Annupuri Ski Area spun its gondola and quad lift for the first time of the season this saturday and it was a bit of a time-machine deal to Novembers past. The turnout was mostly local and the snow was GREAT, vibe on the gondola was pretty epic as well and most people seemed very happy to be accessing such good snow SO SO early after the average seasons of the last 4 years. There is/was around 1-3 feet of dry light pow depending on where you rode and there was still plenty of features in the hill (which will fill in in coming days) the groomers have done a great job and well it felt like mid winter. Access was cut at the Gondola so nobody was up high and we imagine that the stash up there is going to be all-time when it opens up so keep an eye out. With a couple of weeks till the first big wave of visitors arrive it’s hog-heaven for seasonal workers and locals alike. No -crowds and epic snow the exact formula the made Niseko famous world wide and a very welcome return to normal Niseko programing.
Below: The staff at Annupuri do a great job and are always super stoked giving the resort a really welcoming feel.
Above: Osamu Okada, Yama San and Makoto Yamada from Powder Company Guiding at Annupuri ready to roll!
Below: These two fellows were first aboard the Gondola and seem pretty happy about it!
Above: The crew at the quad lift were not letting the Gondola guys beat them on the happy meter!
Below: Ben Harding from Niseko Black has ridden every opening day at Annupuri for as long as 360 can remember and this year was no exception.
Above: The Gondola line at 8.15AM
Above: Fresh groomers via this good fellow and knee to waist deep pow off the course what’s not to love.
Below: Most resorts would be happy with this kind of snow in the off piste areas but this is a lower part of the groomer at Annupuri today.
Above: The small crowd of mostly locals made short work of the groomed runs and as 360 left they were taking to the ungroomed areas like a hungy dog on a packet of biscuits