Wet Dreams in the Hida Mountains: Shirouma Northeast Face

Zach Paley |

It’s no secret that skiing the alpine around here is something we fantasize about. It’s also no secret that it rains a lot here in the spring. Though the ‘wet dreams’ we don’t want can become a reality all too often in the spring, the ones we want are worth the wait. When rain gave way to snow up high, there was one we’ve been fantasizing about more than others.┬áSignificantly more.

The upper half of Shirouma Northeast. Sometimes images aren’t enough. Photo Zach Paley.

 

The northeast corner pocket of Shiroumadake has called for several years, most palpably so since this winter, when a closer look revealed its potential. It starts with the spine pillow features we have familiarized ourselves with around here, and continues into some steep, techy ridge skiing. The line concludes with a rider’s delight: the choice of a spine or couloir leading into a wide drainage designed for airplane turns, all concluding 2200 meters below at┬áthe valley floor.

 

On the up. Skier Lee Lyon. Photo Zach Paley.
Up and up. Snowboarder Matthias Weichselbaumer. Photo Zach Paley.

 

Requisite entrance shot. Skier and photo Lee Lyon.

 

Top of Hakuba. Snowboarder Matthias Weichselbaumer. Photo Lee Lyon.

 

Matthias further down. Photo Zach Paley.

 

In the thick of things. Skier Lee Lyon. Photo Zach Paley.

 

Skier Zach Paley. Photo Lee Lyon.

 

The second of many pitches. Snowboarder Matthias Weichselbaumer. Photo Zach Paley.

 

Feeling small on the third pitch. Skier Zach Paley. Snowboarder Matthias Weichselbaumer. Photo Lee Lyon.

 

Time to open things up and point ’em. Snowboarder Matthias Weichselbaumer. Photo Zach Paley.

Maybe we are paying for it now as we sit through rain. Maybe it was truly meant to be. This was one of the more difficult and more luck driven objectives of the spring. Attaining it was a true treat.

 

Read about previous adventures, starting with Shakushidake Northeast Couloir.


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