Grand Hirafu’s 1000m Hut Hike

As snow now covers the peaks in the Niseko region it was time to hike up the mountain from Grand Hirafu, take a closer look at the snowline and see how the groomed runs have been prepared for the coming season.

After the recent weather we’ve been having, yesterday’s forecast of a fine day was all that was needed to motivate the early rise.

Starry view over Super Ridge hiking up Sennoki, 5 November 2012

Starry view over Super Ridge hiking up Sennoki, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village from the Alpen course, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village from the Alpen course, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village from the Kokutai course, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village from the Kokutai course, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village and Mt.Yotei from Kokutai and Furiko just below the Ace Hill, 5 November 2012

Hirafu village and Mt.Yotei from Kokutai and Furiko just below the Ace Hill, 5 November 2012

This year the resort has done an great job trimming down the runs that will be regularly groomed throughout the season. Sennoki , Alpen , Furiko were all very easy to hike.

Hirafu center course, 5 November 2012

Hirafu center course, 5 November 2012

Snow was observed at the top of Center but unfortunately the 1000m Hut was not open…..

Sunrise from the 1000m Hut, 5 November 2012

Sunrise from the 1000m Hut, 5 November 2012

The temperature was 0.5C and compounded by strong northerly winds.

.5 of a degree at the 1000m hut 06:48, 5 November 2012

.5 of a degree at the 1000m hut 06:48, 5 November 2012

Hirafu's 1000m hut, 5 November 2012

Hirafu’s 1000m hut, 5 November 2012

Higher up on the mountain there were patches of icy snow but not enough to get excited about at this stage.

Shirakaba course, 5 November 2012

Shirakaba course, 5 November 2012

Shirakaba course looking up towards the peak, 5 November 2012

Shirakaba course looking up towards the peak, 5 November 2012

To recognize what a great job the resort has done cutting the scrub back – especially the tough Sasa bamboo that covers nearly all native forests and untended land in Hokkaido – take a look at the cutting out of the runs.

Upper mountain from the Ace Hill, 5 November 2012

Upper mountain from the Ace Hill, 5 November 2012

Super course with a fresh cut ready for winter, 5 November 2012

Super course with a fresh cut ready for winter, 5 November 2012

Hirafu waits for the first snow…when will it be!??

Hirafu Village, 5 November 2012

Hirafu Village, 5 November 2012