Postcards from Niseko is a new series for ’17-’18 we have developed with Rome SDS Ambassador, Evan Wilcox. He will be sending us digital postcards from Niseko, sharing images and videos of the famed japow, and detailing the adventures he gets up to.
Over 10 meters of snow has already fallen at the base of the Niseko United resorts. With much more of that wonderful powder up top, this season has been a dream for me! After a big day riding the consistently deep snow, I got an invite to join in on a night shoot. I’ve had some pretty incredible nights boarding around Niseko when it is storming hard, but I’ve never tried to properly shoot when the sun goes down. Not knowing what to expect, I packed up my snowboarding gear that was still wet from the morning, and headed to the spot. The invitation was sent by Kouji Hamada. A local Japanese ripper who rides and films with In Crew. They are a local group of boarders who produce awesome films every year or two, highlighting the big drops, backcountry booters, and hidden features that only seasoned Hokkaido riders would know. Look them up!
We linked up at the spot, put our snowshoes on, and headed up. Equipped with only some headlamps and a flash carried by camera man Daniel Honda, we weren’t sure how the photos would turn out. No burst photo mode, just one flash pop and one chance for everything to line up. I dropped first, followed by Kouji.
Well, this is fun! We both threw our snowshoes back on and ran up for another lap. Kouji dropped first this time, and blew up the perfect dry snow with a heelside blast.
I had an idea to throw up a whiteroom and emerge right next to Daniel and his flash. The timing of this shot needed to be perfect, and I couldn’t put too much snow in the air if we wanted the picture to turn out (a wonderful problem to have). I took a lot of speed into a toeside whiteroom slash, and came out of the cloud right next to Daniel, and the flash popped me right in the face. It was one of those photos where I already knew it was timed perfectly before I looked at it.
Daniel pointed out a cool feature for me to slash next to, and nailed the timing of the photo once again. I believe the sign translates to something like “Danger, keep out.”
My first night shooting mission was such a success. Plans for the next one are already in the works. However, there will be more airtime involved next time around. We capped the night off with a celebratory team selfie!
Hello from Hokkaido! I'm Evan. I'm from Portland, Oregon, but now call Niseko my home. A few uninspiring snow years in the US left me with a hunger for deep snow, which let me to pick up and move to the snowiest place on earth. I now work marketing for Hanazono Niseko Resort and have the freedom to ride and explore these incredible mountains blessed with that world-famous japow. Follow my adventures here through Japan Grabs' Postcards!