The Freed Thing – episode 1

Pop quiz: Where is Felix’s favourite place to ski in central Hokkaido?

I may have proclaimed my love for Furano on a few occasions, but who would claim my second favourite place to ski? Contrary to what we have portrayed, there were days that it did not snow in Japan and that blue skies and tracked out slopes were an ubiquitous sight. Granted we aim not to ski those areas, and that it was a rarity that we can’t find some soft stuff.

How rare was it to have a perfect day of skiing or back to back days? With two ski instructors and their dad. It must be a ‘Freed Thing’

We set off for the early-ish lift (apparently not morning people 😉 away from the main gondola crowd. Our aim was to get first lines at Cavo Toddo, thus sacrificing a warm up run down the perfectly smooth groomer. I guess the best form of warm up was to get a massive dose of adrenalin, and Cavo Toddo gave plenty of that. Steep and deep with a puff drop set the tone of the day. We decided to keep that heart rate elevated and ducked in for some treelines. By 11:30am we have experienced some ‘Majik’ and were half way down from the Premium zone ridge popping pillows in amongst the trees. We have done so much skiing that morning, by the time the midday siren sounded we were well and truly ready for some ramen!

(Click to enlarge image)



The Diamond was so popular today, it looked tracked out as we approached. To our delight it was still super soft and the tracks were nothing more than small launch pads for some buttering action. I do love the tree skiing below The Diamond where there were always fresh patches waiting to be discovered and drawn on. We skied through with some bigger turns to ease up on the knees and ankles and made it pass the lava dam wall, 500m vert done just like that.


One of the many reasons why I am a bit fond of Furano was the home run. It could be an adventure on its own, and if you look there might just be a fresh line home. ‘3pm Freshies’ were just what those tired legs deserved, no need to angulate, separate and gripitate… just point those skis and wiggle on down. One encore performance at Cavo Toddo to round off the day was caught on camera for mum to critique and it was time for some chilled out Apres Ski drinks.

What a day – home court advantage, great crew and fresh lines. How do we go about making episode 2 better? Umm…

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