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Slalom Races, Hachimantai
April 21st 2014
I am spending the Easter school holiday in Japan.  The first destination was Hachimantai in the north of the main south island of Japan where we arrived to find that there was plenty of snow even this late in the season.  It was my first time on skis since the Winter Olympics and I was very glad of a couple of days to get acclimatised to the time difference as well as to get the feel of my skis on snow again.

There was a large entry owing to the cancellation of some slalom races in Hokkaido and it was difficult to come from bib 41 to make any inroads into the top 30 for the flip.  I scored 74 which was OK but I was hoping for better and so I tried to go faster on the second day and failed to finish the first run! I was reasonably happy with my performance given that I had been off the snow for so long and considering the size of the field.

In the finish at Hachimantai.

This part of Japan is interesting, geographically.  The Hachimantai mountain is actually a dormant volcano; the last eruption believed to date back 7000 years.  The smell was really unpleasant when we first arrived (like rotten eggs) although we did get used to it.  From time to time we could see flumes of steam bursting into the air from sulfur vents.  It's actually interesting to see things in real life, that you learn about in Geography.

Sulphuric steam in Hachimantai.