Friday 10th January 2003
Met Dan at Shinagawa station and took the Keikyu line to Haneda airport. It was on the way that I realized how heavy the board and the other bag were together. Everyone else got through the security check without problem, but I had to be searched because of the metal in my shoes and belt. It still wasn’t too bad.
After arriving at the Tokachi airport, we took roughly an hour long bus to the resort and were on the slopes by about 1 p.m. After lunch we went right to the top and were deceived by a downhill slope that looked like it was rising.
It was after that that I had my first, and thankfully last, serious fall of the trip. I was going too fast and was stopped dead by a block of ice on the side of the run. My left knee took the brunt of the force and left me in agonizing pain for the next few minutes. The good thing was that it didn’t bother me much after that though my body went into defense mode and prevented me from going fast for a while.
For dinner we went to an Italian place inside the resort. It was after rejecting about 3 seafood dishes that they finally understood that I couldn’t eat any meat other than fish and shrimp. Really frustrating.
Saturday 11th January 2003
It was colder than the day before, but quite sunny and the fresh snow from last night made the slopes quite comfortable. The water tube was freezing even faster so I put the whole thing in my suit’s pocket and it never froze again.
The day went very well and I spent some time in the powder, off the main slopes. Feels incredible. Just have to learn to avoid the trees and not fall down. My triceps felt quite painful after pushing myself up so often. Lawrence hurt his head quite a few times, but I think he is getting used to it.
Sunday 12th January 2003
Tim, Dan and I had decided to do dog-sledding today before lunch and both of them returned their boards and boots to the rental place. Unfortunately, the sleds only ran in the afternoon and cost more than we had imagined.
We decided to do the 5-minute run after lunch so I took the gondola to the top to find the others. I found them near the trees going into the powder, but at the same time we lost Lawrence.
It was the coldest of the three days that we were there, but I loved it. By the time we were ready to leave, it was snowing quite heavily and I really wished we could stay longer.