Submitted by Heather Paul on Fri, 2009-02-27 15:42.
Today was our first day in the backcountry and we were again greeted by great powder, high winds up high and cold temperatures. We continued the early morning Onsen tradition here at Barden. We started our day with some beacon training, to make sure the group members each had a good knowledge of the way their own beacon worked. Once everyone was up to speed and comfortable, we headed up on a bus to get some more altitude fast and try for some views of the whole Tokicha-dake range. We established a skin track up and over the ridge above another lodge, the Ryonkoku, to get a view, the view was minimal but it was perhaps the best we’re going to get. We descended a steep hill onto a gnarly river crossing, put our skins and started the hike. We crossed the valley and stayed in the trees to avoid wind and keep a little vision on our side. The top of the ridges were wind-scoured but the trees were packed with tons of powder.
We ended the day with another traditional Japanese dinner and watched telemark movies, we were exhausted and inspired and ready to ski again tomorrow.
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