We are off to Japan! Land of the rising sun, sushi and some pretty epic skiing. I’m taking a break from the spreadsheets for now; the only thing I’m going to be analysing from here on in is the snow depth and my route up and down the mountain. H is super excited, having missed out on the Gap Yah; I am excited too but of course I’m playing it cool. H will freely tell you that the most excited she’s ever seen me was when Monopoly Deal arrived through the letter box. Well it’s a good game alright!

When life gives you lemons, bugger off to Japan!” – C Brook

Playing it cool in Tignes – first time in a helicopter

I first heard about skiing in Japan 20 years ago, watching ski films on VHS over and over and since then it has been a destination on the bucket list. The quantity and quality of the snow I’m told are hard to beat. I think I’m going to need a powder skirt (it’s a jacket, not a ski outfit for women). They receive over a metre of snow a week on average!

We will be working at Hopi Hills, a ski lodge close to Kiroro ski resort on Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. Not sure exactly what we’ll be doing yet, but I expect shovelling a lot of snow will be required. If they ask H to manage the farm ostrich I fear she may have a word or two to say.

The self-taught Japanese is coming along and we have nailed the numbers 1-10, hello and thank you. All we need to learn are the words for “backcountry”, “double black diamond” and “apres” and we’ll be good to go.

H will be living off bananas as it’s basically the same word used in Japanese. Given that we’ll be doing a physical job and skiing most days, I’m sure the energy will be much needed.

Next stop Tokyo on 11 Jan. Sayonara for now!

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