After missing 4 seasons, I hit the slopes this past week, and my body is SORE! I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t snowboarded in a long time or if it’s because I took quite a fall off a small cliff, but it was a BLAST!
I wanted a chance to rev up so I went to two smaller beginner/intermediate resorts: Shirakaba 2-in-1 and Pilatus. For me, this area is so much nicer than the more popular Niseko and Hakuba because it’s less crowded and cheaper. Plus, it attracts more families so people are kind and considerate and I don’t have to worry about my hat hair!!
Bottom of Shirakaba 2-in-1
More about Shirakaba Lake area (hot springs, other resorts, and lake activities) here.
View from the top of Shirakaba 2-in-1
Shirakaba 2-in-1 had 4-5 lifts, with 2 that take you to the top of the mountain. Overall, the runs were pretty short so that’s why we went to Pilatus two days later, which has a large ropeway that takes you up 2237m. There was fresh snow on the ground, but it turned a bit icy later in the day. Pilatus also has 2-3 beginner lifts that take you 1/3 and 1/2 way up the mountain. There were also a lot of trekkers taking the gondola up the mountain to hike the many snow-filled trails.
Can’t wait to report to you about other resorts this season!
Beginners Beware: At the two resorts, the courses aren’t labeled by level. Basically, you have to look down the slope and see if you can do it! At Shirakaba 2-in-1, they have a map at the bottom of the slope labeled with the levels, but there is nothing at the top or throughout the mountain. I didn’t see any level labels at all at Pilatus.