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Today was a bluebird just like we were hoping for. We headed up to Mt.Norikura to shoot some spring backcountry pictures and were really happy with the good weather.

We rode the first bus that leaves from Kanko Center to Kuraigahara Sonso at 2350m. Since it was a weekday, only one bus went up. Seth, NORTHSTAR’s official photographer took two cameras and few lenses in his back pack which ended up being a few times heavier than a regular pack and made for a good work out for him. The shooting crew was YMKN, Michael and Tony. Seth took some shots as we were going up and riding along the way. We got up to about 2600m, and had our first riding shot where we made some deep turns with the Hodaka range in the background. It was really beautiful.

After that we hiked toward the Kengamine Peak but the lighting was not so good and we decided to stop above Katano Koya. Then we took some shots on the SE face of the Marishiten Peak. After that we ran into a big problem. We wanted to get a shot of the other aspect of the same peak and needed to hike a steep section with snow on it. Tony told ymkn to traverse first and hike up. But ymkn thought it would be OK and kick up the steep snow ridge instead. But the snow on the face was not connected to the place we wanted to ride, we needed to kick straight up almost 60 degrees and then do a little rock climbing with snowboards to get to the peak! It was kind of sketchy to climb and none of us took any pictures but we made it. Also, it was behind the ridge and Seth could not get any shots of us either. Then we got some riding shots with the Hodaka rage in the back, please check them out in the slideshow below.

The snow removal on the Echo Line to Fujimi-Sawa is almost done and we hiked up between some deep snow walls to find a good drop in point for our return to Kuraigahara Sanso. We all enjoyed riding down from there and are looking forward to our next adventure on the mountain. You can ride about two more weeks before the rainy season starts so if you are looking to get a few last tracks in this season lets us know.

[slideshow]