The Oneballjay crew consisting of Temple and Matt Cummins, Forrest Burki and Zak Basher headed over to Japan for a couple grassy roots contest and to hopefully score some powder. We hooked up with our Japan friends, Taka, Kay, and snowshredder/ phototographer Endo. After an six hour drive we ended up at Endo’s Grandmother’s hostel where we would be based out of for the next six days. No heat or hot water but some of the best Onsens in Japan !
The next morning we woke and drove to the Bluewood Lake Resort for the Annual Bowl riding contest. It was raining but still lots of fun. Surf carves, board slides and transfers into and out of the bowl. Zak Basher took home double high lights. The first was a very hairball top rope bombdrop out of a possible 16ft scaffolding. One inch round steel pipe for balance, gnarl. Zak has no fear we learned when it's on. Back to Zak in a minute. The “doctor” M.C. was called on twice. The first being a wounded Japanese rider, final diagnosis, broken collarbone. Next, last call, last hit of the contest, Zak attacks, bam… shoulder dislocate. kinda burly. M.C. put one foot on neck other on ribs/torso and pulled arm till the shoulder let the arm back in. Zak pops back up and off we go, get some food and to the onsen.
The Rain turned to sunshine so we headed up to Hakuba Happo Resort thinking we were getting some backcountry pow but when we got to the top we realized it was frozen solid. Slushy session at the High Cascade Snowboard park and called it a day. With the forecast looking very grim and warm with freezing temperatures at night we were pushing hard to take this snow trip and camp out on the beach near Chiba for some surf, but the communication gab seemed to get a little further and we stayed put.
Day Three- Still Raining and the surf check out wasn't going to happen, so we got in the vans and headed out for an 8 hr. ride up in the hills to an old village town to sight see. We did see some monkeys along the road and some amazing backyard and more tunnels than i have ever been inside of collectively my entire life. Sketchy roads, steep valleys, a very cool part of Japan to check out.
Day Four- we woke up early to see that it has snowed a couple inches, and with that we needed a new mountain that had better tree skiing with less of a pitch to hold the snow. After mentioning our need for smaller resorts with better trees, our Japanese guides took us right to the resort Matt and Temple had been there before ten years earlier.
(Tsugaike ) Six new inches of fresh, no tracks, and snowing, perfect shredding.
Calling the reports in the morning to see where to go and figured to go back to where we went the day before, good call, frozen base layer with another 5” on top. Lots of tree skiing powder lines and looking for hidden glades from the gondola ride up. Zak, still healing from his shoulder dislocation was at 70% maybe again and charging though the woods when a tree got in his way and served Zak in a big way. Matt heard people yelling for him and got down to him first. He was talking but not making any sense and ovbiousley in a lot of pain. Zak hit the tree with his head and back but saved his injured shoulder and newly repaired knee. We were all stoked he’s a cowboy and rode out another one but his head and body were differently feeling it for the rest of the trip. We shredded all day and found some cool dams and rivers to gap. Temple and Forrest was warming up and going off.
We got back to the hostel, and hit up the local skate park, then onsen, and Thai food café that happened to be throwing a big party from their last day being open of the winter season. All you could eat and drink for $20.00 ! Turned out to the the best day yet of the trip, still snowing hard outside.
~ stay tuned for the dumpJAPAN BOUND
6 HOUR DRIVE PAY BOOTH
BOWL REPAIR DUE TO HEAVY RAINS
DRUMMERS AT BOWL CONTEST
FORREST METHOD INTO BOWL
KAY SLOB TRANSFER
TV SNOW FORECAST
ZAK, FORREST AND KAY, DINNER
FORREST GETTING SOME
ENDO'S WARMEST ROOM
THAI FOOD PARTY
ZAK, TEMPLE, AND FORREST IN ENDO'S KITCHEN
FORREST ROAD POPPER
FORREST AND ZAK AT TEMPLE