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Japan skiing during the earthquake (yes, it happened)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well, that was an adventure.  Went to Japan to meet the new in-laws and, of, course, had to ski while there!  Drove from Nagoya up to some of the Nagano ski areas (Hakuba Gotyu and Hakuba 47) on Tuesday and skied until Thursday morning (photos attached).  Very pretty and fun areas.  Hakuba Goryu is more open and Haskuba 47 reminds me of a New England or New York ski area: fairly narrow trails cut through trees.  Both have simple base areas with numerous family-owned guesthouses surrounding them.  Fresh snow on Wednesday afternoon and about 8 inches of modeately dense snow to play in. 

 

On Thursday, we drove south back to Nagoya and arrived about 4 PM.  People on the srteets were saying "Earthquake!  Earthquake!"  We hurried up to my new in-laws apartment on the ninth floor in central Nagoya and put on the TV.  As we did, the whole place rocked.  This lasted for about 10 minutes.  As it continued, we were watching the tsunamis come in starting on the shores just north of us.  The ski areas were hit also.  Talk about good timing on an exit!  Tokyo airport was closed, but we were able to get on our flight home from the airport in central Japan.  Pure luck we were booked out of there instread of Narita in Tokyo.  We might still be there!  Twenty-four hours later, back in Colorado. 

 

You know, I'm beginning to get worried.  First I was in Times Square on 9/11, then skiing at A-Basin the day of the fatal in-bounds avalanche, now in Japan during the biggest earthquake in its history.  Either folks should be stick around me because I'm lucky, or folks should keep me away from wherever they live!

 

Well, we'll see what happerns during the Gathering in a few weeks! 

 

Hakuba Goryu.JPG

 

Hakuba 47 (2).jpg

 

View from the top of Hakuba 47 (2).JPGHakuba Goryu restaurants.JPGHakuba 47 base.JPGHakuba 47.JPG

 

 

 

 Hakuba 47 (4).jpg

post #2 of 6

Do earthquakes start avalanches, or does that only happen in the movies?

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Do earthquakes start avalanches, or does that only happen in the movies?

I am no earthquake expert, but I would have to think that an earthquake would be a great trigger for avalanches.

 

JF
 

 

post #4 of 6
I happened to be standing at the side of a run at Summit West (Ski Acres) with a friend at the moment the 6.8 Nisqually Quake hit the Seattle Area. Ski Acres is about 75 miles from the epicenter so the ground effects were greatly diminished..

As I remember it the snow surface wobbled systematically back and forth more than up and down and I could just see 'waves' moving across the wide snow surface in front of us. Kinda cool, like a very mild series of ocean rollers moving away from us for maybe 15 or 20 seconds. My friend was from Minnesota so he kinda wigged out about, "The ground! The Ground! It's moving! It's Moving!!!!" biggrin.gif.

I could hear a muted rumble the whole time but it seemed really distant. A little snow fell off the trees and I didn't see any large nor small avalanches nearby. Ski Acres isn't steep at all so I wouldn't expect anything to move unless it was already unstable.

Still, seems likely a sustained back and forth motion would eventually liquefy one of the underlying layers and start things moving.

.ma
post #5 of 6
Mike, good to hear you and your new family are ok. Did you get to ski any of the famous Niseko pow?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi, Mike! 

 

We stayed in the Nagano region.  Good snow, but a little heavy.  Just read that you were injured.  You have to stop that stuff!! 

Heal quick!

 

Mike_M

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