Mountain Madness #2: Get Your Ski On At Washigatake In Gifu, Japan

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No lions, no tigers, but bears!  Oh my!

This winter season we are trying to make the most of living less than 2 hours away from ski territory.  Our second trip this year landed us at WASHIGATAKE SKI RESORT in Gifu prefecture, Japan.  Washigatake is only a stone’s throw away from our first ski adventure resort, Dynaland.  Having learned the lay of the land on our first trip, we set out a little earlier this time so we could make it onto the slopes a few hours before lunchtime and hopefully beat the traffic.  It worked!

We started out at the smaller domain, White Pia, that is connected to the rest of the Washigatake resort.   We found Washigatake to be a bit smaller and more crowded than Dynaland.  The tracks were more corridor-like in general, which was a bit nerve-racking at times, because a sudden loss of control would have resulted in speeding over the edge of the track and into the forest.  I had visions of Sonny Bono (didn’t he smack into a tree?) dancing in my head as I carefully made my way down the winding, narrow paths.

I survived, though it was a day of a few falls due to the icy conditions.  I have some advice for those of you who find yourselves falling on an icy track.  DO NOT get back up and try again.  JUST SLIDE.  Keep sliding until you reach safe ground and can get back up without instantly veering down the slope again at high speed.  You may lose your ski in the process, but don’t worry, a nice gentleman who breezes easily down the same slope you have just now named your nemesis, will magically appear at your side with the lost ski.  Trust me on this one, folks.  I speak from experience.

We’ll see you back on the slopes in a few weeks when we head to Nagano, home of the 1998 Winter Olympics.  Enjoy the show!


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