I wrote my last post a few days ago, since then most days have been more or less similar; my wife has been practicing pretty much on her own while I have been up on the higher slopes searching for powder. We always end the day with the open air hot spring in our hotel.

In most Japanese bathes men and women are separated but here at Niseko Grand Hotel they have a mixed part. You can, if you want, borrow some kind of fabric swimwear at the reception, but it seems to be optional since a lot of the Japanese men go naked (the women don’t).

Yini had a bit of a slump yesterday but other that she has been progressing nicely. By now she regularly gets down the kids slope without falling and is starting to make proper turns. The weather has been worse though so I haven’t taken any more pictures of her.

Not wanting to tire herself out too much Yini made this her last day in the slopes. When she went to return her equipment to the rental shop she realized she forgot to bring her regular shoes with her so she had to improvise a solution. She ended up strapping her gloves to the bottom of her feet then covering the rest with the ends of her rain trousers. It’s not something you’d want to wear for a long walk but it worked fine for the few meters to the bus.

Yini’s makeshift shoes

For my part, the first run this morning was just fantastic. I had gone to the slope extra early, getting there well before nine, the only people there were a few other powder addicts. When I got to the top the sun was shining and before me I had a large field of nearly untouched fluffy snow. I went down it full speed, shouting with joy, it was one of best runs in my life. Shortly after that it started to snow which killed the visibility. The day was pretty good anyway but not as fantastic as that first run.

Speaking of snow, it’s been snowing more or less every day here, at least at the top of the mountain, and it keeps sticking to my beard; it makes me look like some kind of polar explorer.

Since today is Chinese new years eve we took a photo we could send to Yini’s family. It’s a bit wonky since it was difficult to balance the camera properly, but I’ll let it finish the post anyway.

Happy couple in the slope