Nishidake Furano

It was supposed to be the day before the wind hits Furano. But it came a little earlier than expected. From the southeast the wind was blowing a gale against the familiar cornice on the ridge towards Nishidake. The resort was done, no pow. So Krusty, Elwood, Slack and I decided to head to Nishidake in hope for some backcountry powder.

The first stumble was that the gondola was closed at Kitanomine. A quick car trip to the Ropeway, and a comedic free heeled fall (Krusty), we were at the starting point. Skinning along the ridge was brutal with high winds and scoured snow. It didn’t look great when we saw another tour group drop into the wind scoured slope.

We persisted along the horse-shoe shaped ridge staying low amongst the trees and eventually ended at an iced up cliff face with frozen trees. A perfect spot to ski off. Boot deep wind loaded pow tree run brought a smile to our frozen faces, and before you knew it we were ready to skin back up for more.

The bottom near the gully was blowing so hard we almost lost a set of skins. There was no time to hang around. A quick bite under a tree and we were off again. The last skin up we managed to find the cow bell at the top of the shoulder just below Nishidake. Smacked the bell and we were off.

A good chat about ski design with Elwood from Coop Ski Works and a toboggan like ride out from the gully finished a full day of skiing by sun down. All in all a great day with Alpine Backcountry Guides through the wind, we found pow. Boom!

(Click on images to enlarge)

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