Appi Kogen Revisited

     Christina, the kid, and I took off with friends Deuce and Pitch and their families and spent Christmas Eve skiing at Appi.  We had a lot of fun, of course! Having brought the baby with us meant that one of us would have to babysit while the other hit the slopes! Lucky for us it had snowed the night before, so we had good snow.  Plus, this was the inaugural use of the skis Christina bought me for my birthday after last season, so I was stoked to finally get to use them! Since it was Monday, there weren’t a whole lot of people out and about, either; although there were times I had to avoid a gaggle of snowboarders. 

     This was our first time out this season, so I started off with the 5 km green run both to warm up and to practice keeping my shoulders squared down-slope; Christina started immediately with a red for a warm-up and went all black afterward.  After the first run, both of us (separately, as I mentioned) hit the black runs.  Christina jumped in with both feet and had a blast.  I actually did okay, I only slid three times; I never wiped out and lost my skis, which I found a little surprising for my first outing of the season.  Then again, the black runs on the main slope at Appi weren’t as difficult as the "Tower run" at Okunakayama.  I have a tendency when I get tired to put too much weight on my uphill ski, which leads me to turn my shoulders in the direction of travel instead of down-slope, which leads me to turn uphill when I’m trying to go downhill, which leads to a stop (if I’m lucky) or a fall and a slide.  I still haven’t gotten to the root causes of my wipeouts, but fortunately there were no data points today!

     The new skis worked great! They’re 156 cm Atomic Metron.  In my opinion, having your own skis is as essential as having your own bowling ball.  Take that for what it’s worth. . . I don’t own a bowling ball! The new baby did great, too; he slept most of the time, even when the cafeteria at the bottom of the mountain got noisy during lunch.  The couple times he woke up he just smiled a lot, mostly because he’s ticklish and Dad spent a lot of time tickling!

     We’re looking forward to our next outing.  We’re considering Hakkoda since we’ve never been there and it’s supposed to be pretty close to us.  We’ve heard great things about Hokkaido, but since that’s an entire other island, I don’t see us getting there. 

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