I’ve had a few updates here over the years from the Shiga Kogen ski area, so no real need to go into too much detail I suspect! It’s a great and simple place to go if you just want to get out and do some snowboarding for a few days, and not have to put in a lot of preparation – and so that’s the ‘quick trip’ part – we had a time window for ski and boarding with not much prep time, so we went with what we knew. That’s worth a lot more in these COVID days where you go where you can, when you can.
Given it was the end of February we weren’t sure what kind of snow level or quality to expect, but were really pleased, surprised and impressed by the level for the snow and by just how much powder there was – notably a lot more than earlier in February 2021. The weather was great for three of the four days, with only one being relatively closed out after lunch when the snow was coming down hard, the wind picked up and the cloud dropped, causing the resort to gradually close the lifts, starting at the top and working down.
We spent time over much of the Ichinose diamond as well as Okushiga – great powder and a good variety of runs too. We even spent a few hours in a fairly empty snow park – no big jumps or excitement for me, but still a good laugh and the rest of the group liked it.
One unfortunate thing did happen though; one of our group had a fall on a flat traverse, and hit their head with some force, which, despite their helmet led to a suspected light concussion. We were able to get the ski patrol to take them down off the mountain, and get some rest and fluids at one of the cafes. It’s one of those odd things about snowsports – the falls at low speeds on the flat can be just as risky as anything high speed just due to the distance and angle of that strike. Stay safe out there.
The other thing I was trying on the trip was to extend the lifespan of my GoPro 7 batteries since they seem to give up much quicker now than they did when I had a GoPro HERO 2. I tried using a cheap diving case I bought, wondering if like the 2, that housing would hold in some heat to help, but it really didn’t seem to make any difference. I also tried a wind ‘sponge’, but that didn’t seem to make a difference either. They’re all GoPro official OEM batteries as well – my experience with 3rd party ones has been really mixed.
One evening we were looking for somewhere to eat, and due again to COVID, a lot of places weren’t open, there just wasn’t even people to justify opening, so we headed into Ichinose village, and tried a place called the ‘Junk Food Cafe’. Inside it looked like a cross between a cheap cafe, a retail shop and a hostess club, giving it a very odd vibe. However, the staff were friendly and it did indeed do what it promised – served up some solid junk food around burgers, and large ice-creams. After a solid day on the mountain it just about did the job.
As you can see from the photos, the place is beautiful during the snow season, and when there’s not many people around it’s great to have the run of the place, but you hope that people will return after the pandemic, and these places don’t go under. As for us, we need a little more variety in our locations, but you can’t really go wrong with hitting the Shiga Kogen area. Slide on!