Japanuary: Non-Stop Snow

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Winter has been far from a sure thing in many parts of North America this winter, with almost everything within driving distance of the Pacific Ocean coming up high and dry despite the proximity of all that moisture. But what's one sure bet when your cards are down in the powder game? Japan. Much of the island nation gets pounded with snow with such consistency this time of year that film crews struggle to find enough light to shoot in - instead they "struggle" through waist-deep snow that just seems to keep falling from the sky. During my days in the adventure travel industry, our operators in Niseko, the hub of skiing in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, said in passing that it had snowed 28 out of 31 days during the month of Janaury...

Nimbus Independent made their near-annual pass through Japan's white-choked woods this past month to ensure just that kind of consistent powder delivery - a tradition they've stuck to since their video from Japan three years ago had me immediately calling chefs in Niseko over Skype to see if any would let their air-tight work visa requirement slide for one very industrious and powder-starved American. This time, however, marked a much different outing. Namely the return of Eric Pollard, who had suffered a terrible leg injury in Sochi just last winter, and whose wife Erin was recovering from an injury herself. Along for the ride was their brand-new kid, who we assume never caught a glimpse of the horizon with those two-story snowbanks...

A slightly older group of kids headed by Fernie local Dylan Siggers made their own expedition to Japan happen around the same time, and seem to have garnered similar results in the faceshot department. But who did Japan better in 2014??

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