08 Jan - more velvet

Nice day with some experienced partners. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade. Skied some steeper north facing terrain from treeline on some of that left over velvet soft. Good skiing on stable snow, though I am skiing really badly this season, just not clicking. Kind of a drag but just a phase I hope. We also skied some shaded terrain below treeline that still has nice soft smooth fast very well settled old hero snow on it. Saw surface hoar and some surface faceting which may get buried. There are places which tomorrow would be really nice, one particular very well hidden sun and wind protected zone starting above 2100m comes to mind. Pity I have to visit other places to take care of important business (Japan has decided to give me permanent residency and I need to go get my book stamped!). The coming small storm is a good size for backcountry skiing. In fact week-long high pressure with low FL and sporadic small top-ups is sometimes a nice change in Hakuba. I'd expect others do not share that opinion. In other news: still watching that below 1700m late December rain crust. Whether it weakens and conclusively starts producing avalanches is yet to be seen.