The Pacific Northwest has had a dearth of powder this season and the lack of fluffy white stuff got to me. I’m an addict, and these past few months put me in dire need of a fix. The solution was obvious: head to Japan, land of the best snow on earth (sorry Utah).
To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Over the past few years of Japan dreaming, whenever I’ve talked to someone who’s gone, the only response is: “You’ve got to go ASAP.” The attraction lies not only in the sumptuous deep powder, but the incredible culture, food, and hospitality as well. After years of thinking about the snows of the East, I was finally able to make it happen this year.
Accompanying me are Julie, Michael, and Hayden Kennedy. For the last portion of the trip, Penn and Kir Newhard will join the crew. The plan is to fly to Hokkaido, then spend the initial five or six days skiing out of the Niseko area. After that, we’ll meet up with Mako and Yuki, who’ll show us some other spots around the island of Hokkaido. Mako and Yuki are owners of the eponymous van in Patagonia’s excellent “Japan By Van” video. I’m excited to get to know them, as well as follow them to some of Hokkaido’s best pow spots.
Of course, this being Wildsnow, this trip wouldn’t be complete without some hardcore gear testing. DPS Spoons are tailor-made for deep pow, so they seemed like the right choice for a journey like this. Indeed, I feel like Hokkaido is one of a few places to really give a ski like the Spoon an adequate test. We shall see, but I have a feeling they’ll do pretty well. I’ve got them mounted with
G3’s new Ion LT 12 bindings. I’ve been impressed with the original Ion, and I’m psyched to test out the parred down LT version. I’ve also got Black Diamond Front Point bibs and Sharp End Shell jacket, as well as some new top secret high-tech fully Gore-tex Arc’teryx gloves.
To follow tradition, I could do some “Guess That Pastry” posts, but since this is Japan, they might be more along the lines of “Guess That Weird Looking Seafood And Rice Concoction.” Stay tuned!
For the shoppers:
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.