Tuesday, January 24, 2006

worst ski nightmare!

The super thin futon and the kerosene warmth in the room made for an interesting sleep. At 8AM sharp our Japanese style breakfast was served. The boys scoff their food and head out the door, keen as ever to make fresh tracks. I was running a few minutes late and missed the boat of the HMAS Crebbin Ski Machine.

Niseko: Family run was mobbed by hundreds of bib-wearers so I continued up the second lift, the ACE #2 quad. The snow under my dangling feet is so deep that the lack of safety bars on the chairlift doesn't really bother me, it's only a short drop.

At the Ace Hill Rest House the wind blew a gale, discouraging loitering. Down the Furiko (Pendulum) intermediate slope, survival was simply a matter of skill. However the connecting Alpen green run shallows out and nothing short of endurance will bring you down in one piece. Just when I was getting used to the burning thigh muscles on my 7th or 8th run, one ski detached from the binding and screamed off down the mountain, "Oh bugger!"

landing site of the run-away ski!
landing site of the run-away ski!,
originally uploaded by vfowler.
Initially I was confused, the runaway leash was still connected to my boot. Walking down the remainder of the slope, I noticed an ambulance and a small crowd gathered - not the best time to ask if anyone has seen a run-away Telemark ski... About to give up my search when I spotted the beast T-boned into the rear tyre of a little black Suzuki. Great, now what do I do?

Back at the hostel, the manager Kumi outlined details of a shop that stocks Telemark ski gear in the next town. A 1:20pm bus took me into Kutchan and with Kumi's directions I easily found the Sport Takiguchi store - closed! With broken ski bits in my arms and almost tears, a girl behind me says, It's closed. So quickly the Northern hemisphere winter holiday I've been dreaming of for years, turned into my worst nightmare.

Then she told me that another sport shop is across the road. Boom is the dodgiest shop but I was desperate. I bought some old stock on special, but the guy had no clue about mounting Telemark bindings at all. Back to Hirafu on another bus and soon Kumi directs me to a workshop. Finally the guys at Toyru (who have more Telemark gear than I have ever seen in my life) put my mind at ease promising a tomorrow morning turn-around.

Kim and I at the doorI drop in to Pension Create to catch up with the Crebbin crew. My late return to the hostel earns me a lecture from Kumi about dinner time, My wife likes to serve it hot. Again dinner is served with cutlery and my competence with these tools is waning.


Anonymous said...

luck to survive!! I have just survived moving again!!!
all is well
Happy Birthday Mr thrityone year old for the 29th Jan....getting old!!!
your old man is getting old too
60th on the 4th Feb
we had dinner with him on Sunday night...your birthday
he looks good for an old man!!!
don't tell him I said that
when are you coming home???

yukari said...

i guess that you are having so much fun there in hokkaido. it started snowing here in hiroshima, too. catch you later...

Kate said...

I'm glad you survived your trip (get it? hee hee). Although you didn't trip at all, so not really that funny. Good to have your now 'old self' back in Hiroshima, the Shack almost closed from lack of income. But it's all Ok now that you visited on Friday. Always love to hear your stories. See you tonight.