The season of 2017-2018 is looking more than promising for those living in the northern prefecture of Japan. with snowfall already reaching 100cm in certain mountains, some resorts have moved their opening day up a week or two. However, some slopes have even opened up already with partial access to the mountain. APPI was one of these resorts. located in Hachimantai at the base of Iwate-san. APPI had a preseason starting the day after Thanksgiving (24th of November). It was a small slope but for those who were hungry for shredding it was a suitable appetizer for the season to come, but as the weeks went into December the resort started to open up further and further up the slopes of Iwate-san until eventually, they opened up the gondola that takes riders to the top. My friend Var and I were some of these riders who were lucky enough to go.

The day was early as I piled my bag and board into the back of my CR-V. I then rushed over to Var’s to pick his ass up, and then we soon hit the road. The toll road was free of snow and ice so we were able to make the trek at a decent time arriving at the resort around 0910. After we got ready in the parking lot we hurried to pay for our tickets and got onto the gondola.

The gondola ride doesn’t take too long. Especially if you can hop right on without the of a line (the plus of hitting the mountain during the week.) The views are great and you can plan the course that you want to go down. The top of the mountain offers many courses for different rider levels, all of them offering breathtaking views at the same time. Especially when you get most clear skies like we did.

The courses are great for skiers and boarders but Var and I didn’t go to APPI for the groomers. We both came in search of some powder that’s off the beaten path. Underneath the same Gondola is a gourmet two-part course of delicious deep powder. The first course is a steep and adrenaline pumping incline of awesome. The second being a little tamer but makes up the lack of incline with the number of pillows and bumps, offering ample opportunity to grab some air and hang time. After you carve your way through the second part it’ll spit you out onto the groomers near the base ensuring that you don’t end up somewhere that you can’t get out of. I sadly did not have my camera gear at this time of the day (shit was heavy) so I could not grab pictures of this, so I’m sorry for my rookie mistake.

After a couple runs we grabbed lunch at APPI’s Indian curry restaurant, the food there was great. I highly recommend the mutton curry. After lunch, we then rode up gondola enjoying some Japanese beers and some more runs before our ski pass expired. The last run of the day Var was leading with my ass trailing behind trying to capture some dope shots as I juggled my Canon T2i and avoided slamming into other riders. I almost had to pry my frozen fingers off the damn camera. All in all, it was a great day for shredding, the powder was great, the groomers were mostly empty and I even got to hit a little jib feature with my pow board. These are the kind of days that I live for, and I know for sure that this season will offer more. I hope y’all enjoyed reading this and that you stay tuned for more Scrapeddd adventures.

Remember to dream, dare, do and have yourself a good one.

– Lauren H.

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