Right, since moving to Sapporo at the end of March 2013, I've now ridden at Teine enough times to get a good feel for the place. One thing that has to be said is that this place is split into two distinct parts.......Olympia and Highland. They are connected by a long and winding cat track. If you are a beginner then Olympia is for you as the pistes are not too steep and are nice and wide........some great groomers to hone your basic skills on and there are some side pockets to start getting in your powder legs in. BUT the main event is up the hill at the Highland area.
If powder is your thing (and lets face it.....whose isn't it?!) then Highland is a great little hill. The runs themselves are often in great shape, the upper slopes accessed by the summit express are often groomed to perfection in the morning and if its sunny then the views over the city and the sea beyond is quite breathtaking. At the top of the Summit Express there are another two lifts that exfill riders at the same point. Under these lifts can be some great powder runs, often knee deep and better for those who want pow shots without really running the risk of getting in trouble outside the boundary. There are 2 main slopes down to the base station of the Highland area, both are pretty steep. The most direct one is often moguled and a bit of a beginners graveyard. The wind seems to blow right up here and it can be icy or scraped in places. The 2nd main slope is accessed from a green cat track from the top runs. It too is pretty steep but is left ungroomed (the other one perhaps is also ungroomed....I'm not exactly sure). Although it too is wind affected, meaning that some vegetation can still poke through, it usually holds some great powder until even later on in the day.
What Teine is best for is its off course runs......accessed from the same cat track as main slope 2, Paradise tree area is fantastic for deep powder tree turns. The access can be a little jungle chopping but it opens up quickly to a nice dovetail run out onto the bottom run next to the base station. There is a short ridge, skiers left and often this is left untouched.....today (Jan 5th 2014) we lapped that 3 or 4 times getting face shots and only crossing our own lines.........the last runs of the day! Awesome!! All this area is easily scoped from the base station, all run outs exfill onto the run at the base station.....you can hardly go wrong!
THE reason for coming to Teine Highland though are the bowls and chutes. Accessed from the top of the Summit Express, you turn right and walk under an ominous sign saying DANGER, DEATH, with a few skull and cross bones thrown in, heading for the old abandoned ropeway station a little further up the hill. Below and beside the old station is a series of 7 bowls that when accessed will give you some awesome short, but steep n deep turns. I've only been out as far as bowl 3 as the cat track run back to resort is a bit of a PITA. Remember this area is out of bounds so its totally on you and your ability, when you drop in here. The patrol don't keep an eye here and there are no signposts saying where the resort is at the bottom. That said the cat track is usually very well established and should be easy to spot (keep an eye out for all tracks converging skiers right). If you ride down too far then you are gonna have a long and deep walk out to the resort or the access road so be careful. Today, bowl 1 and 2 were fantastic, even when it was all chopped and tracked, it was still soft to plough through and face shots were aplenty!! If you are in the Sapporo area then you should definitely give Teine a try.......actually no, don't....avoid it like the plague!!!! ;)
No specific date.
Snow condition on visit:
Things I liked:
The powder, the bowls, the off piste, under the lifts, the views, the katsu curry
Things I didn't like:
the school groups that are there during school hols, beginners littering the cat tracks, skiers mogulling up the bowls!!