Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shiga Kogen Jan 2010, post 2 - narrative 1

These were the best conditions I've seen at Shiga in years. Our drive up there was uneventful until the last 45 minutes or so. Then, we hit heavy snow. My friend, Yoshi the ski monster, drives a 4WD version of the old Suzuki Samurai - called a Cricket. Snow tires and 4WD on, we powered through enormous flakes and very slippery roads...at one time passing folks on a hill who were stuck because their FWD cars (without chains) didn't have enough traction. Yoshi and I both top 200 pounds and then some. Add on our gear and we had traction. Powered by 660 ccs of raw, turbocharged power...yes, you read that correctly... we owned the mountain. The next time someone says that they don't know if a 1800 cc motor is enough for the mountains, remember this.

Day one - powder so heavy and visibility so low. Still, with that much powder, falling was a giggle - not a problem. The photo shown is after one short run...no falls, just one face shot after the other. The weird grin is not drug-induced but common thoughout the resort. We were laughing, hooting, and carrying on so much I thought they would haul us off. The smiles were universal. Green runs were good...anything with any pitch at all was a secret garden.

Better news - although it was Saturday, it wasn't crowded. There's a reason resorts groom runs - most people prefer it. Mother Nature voted them down this weekend.

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