After a few weeks of anticipation for the Niseko opening day in Grand Hirafu, it has finally happened, and we got a taste of what to expect for the season ahead. Vibes were at an all-time high as we eagerly waited in the queue for that all too familiar announcement melody to boom over the PA system, signifying the lifts are now open. After a light cheer from the crowd, we began hurdling through the gates all too excited for those first few turns.
On the chair, I met a little dude who hails from New Zealand, and he became my model for the first few shots due to my actual friends having one too many refreshments last night and leaving me high and dry. A rookie error on their behalf indeed. As we neared the top, we decided that putting the camera away and just enjoying the first lap of the season was most appropriate. We were right. I must admit, I have never gotten fresh lines and multiple face shots in all my seasons on the very first day, a true testament to the specialness that is Niseko. That fresh pow turned to chop pretty quickly, making filming quite challenging. None the less the morning was excellent, and I didn’t see one unhappy face on the hill. If today was an indicator of how the rest of the season will turn out, get excited people, we’re in for an absolute ripper. Read the daily snow report to keep up-to-date on mountain conditions via the SkiJapan website.