Skiing in Japan

Tips on Teaching Your Little Ones How to Ski

29Nov

With winter approaching, you’re probably excited to hit the slopes with your family. Make this year’s skiing trip a memorable one by sharing your love of the snow with your kids. Many kids start learning how to ski at 4 years old. If you think your little one is ready to learn how to ski, you can teach them yourself without having to spend an arm and a leg on lessons. Although teaching your kids how to ski is a fun experience, it also takes patience. Learning how to ski isn’t easy at any age. Use these tips and tricks to make your experience positive for both you and your kids.

Time and Patience is Key

When it comes to teaching little ones how to ski, it’s important that you start out slow. Think back to the first time you went skiing. How long did it take you to feel comfortable on the board? Skiing can be scary at first, so keep that in mind. Your kids will fall down a lot at first, but they will get back up. Try to have patience with them as they get comfortable having the skis on and doing the basics.

Start Out Small

If you go into this expecting your child to catch on immediately, you’re setting you both up for failure from the beginning. It’s important that you teach your kids the basics and make sure they have them down before moving forward. Get ready to spend a lot of time on the bunny hill, because these basic maneuvers will take some practice. Make sure you work on one step at a time, so they don’t get overwhelmed.

  • Stopping – This one might seem obvious, but before you teach your kids anything else, make sure you teach them how to stop. The best stopping technique for kids and beginners is a wedge. Show them how to move the tips of their skis together and then apart and let them practice it on flat ground until they get the hang of it. Once they seem comfortable with it, let them try it on the hill until they’re able to stop
  • Turning – Once they have stopping down, it’s time to teach your kids how to turn. For many kids, the side-to-side movement needed for turning comes easier than stopping. ‘S’ turns are the best for kids and beginners. If your kid is nervous, try skiing in front to make it easier to follow your motions.

Make Skiing Fun

Skiing is a blast already, but kids have short attention spans. One key tip to keeping your kids interested in skiing is to make it fun. If it feels like a chore or something they have to do, they won’t be as excited to learn. For example, kids love games! Choose a game your kid loves like tag, and let them play while wearing their skis. This will get them used to simple movements without even realizing it. If your kid is scared of skiing, this can help them overcome their fear.

Stock Up on Equipment

The biggest mistake you could make is not being equipped. For starters, you want to bring a few changes of clothes. There’s no doubt that there’s going to be lots of falling and wipeouts. Make sure your kids have a few changes of socks, pants, and sweaters. Gloves and headgear are also important. Kids get colder than adults do, so you can never have enough dry clothes on you when hitting the slopes. There’s nothing worse than trying to ski when your clothes are soaking wet.

Take a Break

You could probably spend the whole trip on the slopes, but that doesn’t mean your kids want to. Even if they’re having a blast learning how to ski, take a little time to explore. Reward them with a big mug of hot cocoa or visit one of the nearby attractions. From delicious food and unique cultures to animals and historic locations, there’s a little something for everyone! The best part is, many of these famous attractions are just a short shuttle ride away from Madarao Ski Resort.

Teaching your kids how to ski and truly appreciate the snow can be tedious and stressful, but it’s absolutely worth it in the end. Just remember that kids need time and patience to get comfortable with their skis, so don’t rush things. Try your best to make learning fun and keep safety at the forefront of your mind. If you follow these tips, you’re sure to have an amazing trip with your family!

How to Stay Warm and Comfortable During Your Ski Trip

28Nov

Nothing ruins a day on the slopes like getting too cold. It’s already cold during ski season. Pair the cold temperatures with freezing wind hitting your face when you’re going downhill and then sitting on a frozen lift, and you’re likely to freeze if you’re not prepared. With the right equipment and gear, you can keep yourself warm even in below freezing temperatures. Follow these tips to make sure you stay warm and comfortable during your ski trip.

Check the Forecast

When deciding what to wear and what gear to bring with you on your skiing trip, make sure you check the weather. You want to check the forecast for the Madarao Ski Resort area for the exact day you plan on going. It’s important to check the forecast for the right area because the weather in one place, even if it’s just a few miles down the road, might not be relevant to where you’ll be skiing. Along with checking the temperature for the area, you should check the wind and sun forecast as well.

Eat Enough the Day of Your Trip

Have you ever gone a long time without eating and realized you felt colder than normal? If you’re not consuming enough calories, your body won’t be able to stay warm. It’s obviously important that you eat enough every day, but especially make sure you’re eating enough when you plan to be out in the cold. If you go skiing on an empty stomach, not only are you going to low on energy, but also your body temperature will be much lower than normal.

Don’t Get Cold Feet

When choosing your clothes for a day of skiing, start at the bottom. Having cold toes is never fun, so you want to take every step necessary to keep them warm. Start with a pair of perfect-fitting boots. You don’t want them to be too loose or too tight. The best pair of boots for skiing is one with insulated liners. Perhaps even more important than your boots is the right pair of socks. If you go out wearing an everyday pair of cotton socks, be prepared to have freezing cold feet. Instead, you want to wear socks that are just for skiing. These will usually be knee-high to add warmth to your legs. Don’t make the mistake of getting socks that are too thick either. Sweating when it’s freezing outside will have you shivering in your boots before even get off the lift.

Keep Those Fingers Warm

If you’ve ever had a snowball fight without gloves, you probably remember that stinging cold feeling you get almost instantly when touching the snow. Cold hands is a common problem among skiers, but can be alleviated by wearing the right hand gear. First, buy a good pair of mittens. They keep your hands much warmer than normal gloves thanks to your natural body heat. Don’t buy just any pair of mittens though. A $5 pair at your local shop isn’t going to cut it. You might have to spend a pretty penny on a quality pair of mittens or gloves, but it’s worth it. A few brands that hold up well in below freezing temperatures include Marmot, The North Face, and Dakine.

Choose the Right Base and Outer Layers

A base layer isn’t required, but is extremely helpful on those super cold days. You want to choose a base layer made from synthetic fabric rather than plain old cotton, to keep your skin dry. The outer layer is perhaps the most important part of your skiing outfit. You don’t want to skimp on this part of your outfit. Remember that you’re going to be in extremely cold temperatures and chances are, you’re going to fall a few times. Make sure your outer layer is waterproof and insulated to ensure the best warming action. You also want a jacket that fits tight, rather than one that hangs loose.

Know Your Own Body

It all comes down to your own body. If you’re natural hot natured, you might not need all the extra layers. If you’re one of those people who stay cold all the time, you probably want to layer up. If you get hot a lot, consider clothes with zippers so you can regulate your body temperature if you get overheated. Remember, you can always shed a layer if you get too hot. It’s better to have too many layers than not enough.

Now that you know how to stay warm, you’re ready to hit the snow. Make sure you take breaks to thaw by the fire or enjoy a big mug of hot cocoa.

 

 

 

arobic

Get Fit For the Ski Season

01Oct

What does December to April mean to you? For some it’s winter festivals; cuddling up in front of a log fire and long snowy walks in the countryside.  For others though, it means only one thing: skiing.

Yes, it’s time to get out the winter resort brochures and get that hotel booked! But isn’t there something else to do first? Get fit for the season ahead!

You may think you’re in good shape, but skiers and snowboarders use a different set of muscles when out on the slopes. On their own, exercise regimes that look after your cardiovascular system may not be up to the job.  Injuries can occur when snowboarding and skiing because you haven’t prepared properly, especially if your job demands you sit behind a desk all day. So whilst you’re deciding where to go this season, follow a simple exercise plan especially designed for getting the most out of those winter sports muscles.

Exercise for the Piste

Quadriceps

Let’s begin with most important muscle group for skiing.  Strength in these muscles is vital for skiers and snowboarders. These muscles do the work of keeping you in the right position and also protect your knees. Leg strengthening exercises should be at the top of your exercise plan. For people who take to the slopes for the first time, quad strain can be the first thing they experience and this can stop them from fully enjoying the sport. Simple exercises for strengthening quads are step-ups, squats and lunges.

 

arobicThighs

Both inner and outer thighs play a very important role for skiers. They are the muscles that are used to keep your skis in the correct position. We have all seen those hilarious images of first time skiers who legs are moving farther and farther away from each other as they slip and slide down the slope. Skiers use their thighs to keep their legs together as they ski. Simple exercises for strengthening this group of muscles are front lunges and squeeze balls (squeezing the ball between the legs as hard as you can). For inner thighs, side lunges, and squeeze balls can be used to good effect too.

 

Glutes and Hamstrings

These exercises are all about flexibility. When skiing and snowboarding your body needs to be able to flex, particularly when moving downhill at speed. You need to lean your body to control your direction, speed and stability. This puts tremendous strain on your glutes and hamstrings. Simple exercises for strengthening these muscles can range from simple lunges to more strenuous exercises using weights, sports equipment and discs.

 

Strengthening the Core

This is so important for skiers and snowboarders. As important as these muscles are for improving the quality of your days on the slopes, exercises to strengthen the core can be amazingly simple to do and require no gym equipment. The last thing you want when enjoying the snow is bad pain. Push-ups help strengthen the core. The plank position is also easy to achieve with results showing in a short time. Lie on your stomach in a straight position and extend your arms to the front of you, then raise your arms and legs as if you intend to take flight. Hold this position for a short time then repeat. Core exercises are incredibly powerful so don’t overdo these exercises. Start with just a few repeats and as your back gets more flexible you can turn on your side and attempt to raise yourself up on one arm. Again these power exercises can show significant results if you stick with them.

Getting fit for your winter sports adventure is a good investment of your time. There will be few days when you are laid up with aching muscles.

 

snow

 

Safety First

Any discussion about planning an exercise regime need to include safety tips.  As keen as you are to show off your prowess on the slopes always take care when exercising and follow some simple rules

  • Never exercise before doing some simple warm up exercises
  • Do exercises correctly. Go to a gym or study the correct exercises from an instructor or a good online source
  • Allow yourself to cool down between sets of exercises
  • Go at your own pace
  • Do not repeat the same exercise too many time as you could strain your muscles
  • Drink plenty of water when doing strenuous exercise
  • Don’t put your body through exercises it can’t manage
  • If you feel unwell or overly stiff do not exercise that day.

 

The slopes await you. Enjoy!

Snowboarding

Is Snowboarding or Skiing the Right Choice for Me?

27Sep

Every year more and more people are joining the slopes as winter travel gets less expensive and tourists get more adventurous, some travelling around the world to find the very best powder. Added to the growing numbers of skiers, the snowboarding community has expanded rapidly and now shares the same slopes with more traditional users. Once thought of as a foolhardy sport, snowboarding has gained in popularity across the globe. If you are new to winter sports you may be wondering whether snowboarding or skiing is the right choice. There are some differences that you should know about before you make your final decision. But of course when you are proficient enough there’s no reason why you can’t do both. Most resorts now cater for skiing and snowboarding. So let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons

Getting on and getting up!

  • Initially skiing may be easier to learn than snowboarding because your legs are independent of each other. You may feel more able to control your movements and stick a leg out to balance yourself if you get into trouble.  Also your whole body faces in the direction you are travelling. Snowboarding on the other hand requires that you twist your body and have both feet firmly anchored to the board, which can be disconcerting for a beginner and takes a while to get accustomed to it. It’s rather like a cyclist getting used to fixed pedals, which can feel awkward at first and if you begin to fall there is little you can do to stop the inevitable.

 

  • Then there are the chair lifts to consider. They certainly look easy to negotiate when watching experts get on and off them, but for the beginner they are challenging. For skiers there is all the gear to negotiate upon boarding the lift and that’s after you’ve struggled in the snow to reach it. But once you’ve mastered how to negotiate different kinds of chair lifts (for example, basket lifts don’t slow down when you board or exit) you will have little trouble using them. For snowboarders it is quite a different matter. Whist snowboarders have the advantage of only carrying their boards, using a basket lift, which does not slow down, poses particular problems because boarders have to have one foot strapped onto their boards. More experienced boarders learn how to snowboard on one foot which solves this problem to a degree. Poma lifts are used quite often by snowboarders (they are button like seats that the snowboarder sits on, which is then dragged up the piste by a cable, but even these lifts take some practice to use competently.

 

Which Sport is Easiest to Master?

Snowboarding 

  • Mastering the art of skiing and snowboarding is a major factor when deciding which sport to choose. On the plus side skiing is easier to learn because you are standing in direction you will be travelling, you have a degree of control because you have two legs and the basic techniques can be broken down so you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. For snowboarders the picture is different because it’s just you and your two feet strapped to a board. This can be pretty daunting for a beginner. Getting up after a fall is bad enough for a newbie skier, but for a beginner snowboarder, finding themselves face down in the snow with their feet tied can be off-putting to say the least.

 

  • But, when it comes to mastering the art, snowboarding wins hands down. Whilst it may take some time to find your balance and your nerve, once you know the basics such as actually moving on the board and how to deal with falls, you are on your way. If you can meet the initial challenges of steering a board that is tied to your feet, you can reach an intermediate level very quickly. Skiers on the other hand, may learn the basics quickly but may take a long time to actually master the sport.

Injuries

  • Leg injuries are more common in skiers, particularly knee injuries. Collisions on busy slopes are quite common too, which can result in head injuries. Snowboarders are just as prone to injuries as skiers but they are more likely to sustain injuries to their upper bodies. Injuries to wrists and collarbones are more common in snowboarders. But thrills and spills don’t always result in injuries. With proper instruction, plenty of snow, and lots of relaxation whether snowboarding or skiing, this coming season could be your best ever!

 

The Fabulous New Active Life Shuttle Bus

24Aug

Here at active life Madarao we are crazy about skiing and offering the best when it comes to hitting the powder. We know that snow is good for your health and a great pass time for your holidays. We are dedicated to making skiing memorable for you. You can check out more on why snow is good for your health.

Our New Shuttle Bus.

We understand that after some skiing sessions at Madarao, you might feel the need to try skiing some new slopes. Worry no more. We got you. We are introducing a new complimentary shuttle to take you to Nozawa ski resort, where you can have a taste of new, different snow. What more? This is absolutely hassle-free. Take it as a gift from Active Life Madarao team, just for your love of snow.

The Active Life shuttle will be operating between Madarao and Nozawa from 25 December 2017 to 31 January 2018 on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The shuttle will, however, run throughout the season (25 December 2017 to 31 March 2018) from Iiyama train station to Madarao and back.

For more information on the shuttle timetable and terms and conditions, you can see

Nozawa Onsen-Nagano

Located in the north of Nagano prefecture, Nozawa Onsen belongs to the Joshinetsu Park, about 50 kilometers from Nagano station.

The Nozawa Onsen has a rich skiing history, with alpine skiing having been introduced in 1930 by Hannes Schneider from Austria.  Since then, many people took an interest in skiing in the Nozawa Onsen. It also leads in skiing and snowboarding tournaments, as well as hosting biathlon competitions for the Nagano Olympics.

The village strives to maintain a traditional Japanese culture, which is ideal for international tourists.

The village also has several bars, restaurants, convenience and souvenir shops.

The Best of Nozawa

1. Nozawa Mountain

Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is among the oldest skiing destinations in Japan, having been established over 70 years ago.  It is no doubt the largest ski resort with 297 hectares of skiing surface, and an elevation of 1650 meters, right at the base of Mount Kenashi-Yama.

Nozawa Onsen is a real skiing paradise, offering powdery, uncontaminated snow, which starts from December, extending well into May.

2. A Ski Trail for Everybody

With 36 skiing trails, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort has something for everyone. There are 14 trails for beginners and children which are gentle and expansive. The ice quality is also superb and safe for beginners.

Intermediate and advanced skiers can also challenge themselves in more difficult trails such as the Utopia, Challenge course, Schneider, Skyline and Yamabiko trails.

The Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort can be accessed using these three routes: the Nagasaki trail, Homage trail, and Kawasaki trail.

To ensure ease of access to the trails, Nozawa offers two gondolas, and 21 ski lifts spread all over the trails, to take you back to the top of the slope.

3. Family-Friendly Services

Nozawa ski resort offers safe and free rest areas for kids, called the “Naski,” where you can leave your kids as you go skiing on the slopes.  Outside the rest area, there is a park with safe playing equipment such as sled rides and inflatable bouncers. At the second floor is a day care for children, but this has its charges and terms.

4. The Soto-Yu (Hot Spring Baths)

The hot baths in Nozawa are a must see for anybody visiting Nozawa. There are thirteen public hot baths, which are locally maintained by the community. Each bath has its own unique story or medicinal value. The baths are clean, and sanitary, and perfect for relaxing and catching up after a long day of skiing. There is no charge for using the baths, but you can leave a donation for maintenance purposes. You are required to bring your towel and personal effects.

You can also enjoy Ashy no yu, which is a hot spring for a foot bath. There are several of these in the village.

You can enjoy Onsen Tamago (eggs boiled in the hot springs) too.

5. Asa Ichi (Market)

You probably want to carry some beautiful souvenirs from Nozawa. The early morning market which usually opens on designated days is ideal for collecting Japanese vegetables, crafts, and other local items.

 

The next time you are in Madarao resort be sure to take advantage of our new Active Life shuttle bus to Nozawa, to enjoy more Japanese snow and culture.

Top Tips on Different Wax Types for Different Slope Conditions.

04Aug

Tips on Different Wax Types for Different Slope Conditions.

Waxing is a maintenance activity that involves applying a lubricant to your ski’s to reduce friction mainly. Waxing works by providing a hydrophobic surface on your board, which resists water.

What’s the Importance of Ski Waxing?

With time, your board gets damaged by hitting rocks, rusting, friction or chemical damage from chemically treated snow.

The most obvious reason for waxing is to reduce friction, hence being able to move faster. Waxing also reduces the rate at which your ski’s wears out.

How Often Should I Wax My Skis?

There’s no given duration after which you should wax your ski’s. However, logic dictates that the more you use your board, the more you should wax it. Just looking at your board can tell you whether or not you need to wax it. If the bottom looks dull and gray, it’s time to wax. There is no such thing as too much waxing. In fact, the more you do it, the better.

Ski Tuning

Ski tuning is a general term for ski maintenance that aims to keep your ski’s sharp, clean and smooth.

Waxing in itself will not make much of a difference if you haven’t repaired your base and edges. In fact, waxing is the last tuning step, preceded by base repair and edge work.

Base repair involves cleaning out your board or ski using a cleaning cloth, which removes dirt, grease, and accumulated wax. Most tuning kits come with a specialized cleaning liquid, which brings out hidden dirt and dissolves wax. After cleaning the ski, apply this liquid, and then wipe it out with a clean towel after 10 minutes.

Next step is the p-tex filling, whereby you light your p-tex candle and wait until it is flames. Let the drops drip onto your ski’s/board, filling out all cuts and scrapes. Give the p-tex 10-15 minutes to cool then scrape it off with a metal scraper, to remove excess p-tex.

Edge tuning involves keeping the edges of your board or ski sharp. Blunt edges have a weak grip on snow, which slows you down. The first step is running a diamond stone, over the edges, giving you smooth edges

Next step is using a special file to sharpen your edges. Do this from tip to tail, taking care not to distort the shape of the edges.

 

Waxing

What Wax Should I Use?

  1. All temperature waxes- these waxes are designed to work in all temperature conditions. Sometimes you may find yourself skiing in different geographical areas, or unable to predict what the temperature will be. All temperature wax, in this case, will be your best bet.
  2. Temperature specific waxes- temperature specific waxes are usually identified as either red or yellow. They both work in a smaller range of temperatures than all temperature waxes.

Red waxes are designed for colder temperatures of between -4 and -10 degrees (25 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit). Red wax is the best when it comes to hot wax scrape cleaning. It is also the best for most skiing activities.

Yellow waxes are appropriate for warmer areas of between 0 and minus-4 degrees Celsius. (32 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Fluorocarbons- fluorocarbon waxes can either be low or high fluorocarbon. These waxes repel water more, adding speed to your ski boards. As a result, they cost significantly more than ordinary waxes and are most preferred by professional skiers. Low fluorocarbon waxes are particularly suitable for those training and intermediate skiers, while advanced skiers prefer high fluorocarbons. It’s however important to note that the higher the fluorocarbon content, the higher the cost.

Ironing

Wax, is usually applied using a special wax iron. You can use an old clothes iron box, but the wax won’t come out fast. Also, the temperature fluctuations in cloth irons are much higher than the wax iron.

Apply the wax on your skating board then use the iron to melt it and spread it evenly across the entire board, ensuring that the wax gets on the board. Zigzag motions are the best for covering the entire base. Take care not to overheat the wax. Overheated wax reacts by producing smoke.

Scraping and Brushing.

After ironing, you should give the board some time to cool. Say a minimum of thirty minutes. You could use a plastic scraper to scrape off the excess wax until only a thin layer of wax is visible.

After scraping, use waxing brushes to clean off excess wax. Start off with coarse brushes, finishing with the softer brushes.

 

 

 

 

Top Tips for Taking Your Skiing to the Next Level

01Aug

Skiing is an exhilarating experience that if you once master, you never want to stop. The adrenaline rush from both the speed and pull of gravity as you slide through the snow is out of this world. The right trainer and the right skiing track are also imperative for your skiing. Check out the Madarao resort in Japan that offers the best when it comes to skiing. If you start right as a beginner, and if you master the right tricks, skiing could be added to your list of hobbies. That being said, let us delve right into some of the top tips for taking your skiing to the next level.

The Basics

To move to the next step, you need to master the basics. Some of the most important basic tips for skiing are:

  1. Clothing: Have your gloves, skiing socks, and water proof jacket and trousers. In short, keep warm.
  2. Equipment: have with yourself well-fitting ski boots, ski boards, and ski poles. I cannot overemphasize the importance of wearing a helmet, no matter how fast you’re learning.
  3. Practice with patience- when you fall, and you will fall, get up and keep at it.
  4. Get help from the right qualified people. Avoid friends and spouses, as you might all get worked up when things do not work out as you expect.

See more on what to expect as a beginner.

 

Advancing to the intermediate level

Stance:

Adopting the right position/posture not only helps you ski with utmost ease but also puts you at less risk of injuring yourself.

 

Tips for maintaining the proper stance include:

  1. Keeping all joints, especially the knees bent at the correct angle, to improve balance and control.
  2. Keep your eyes trained ahead, to get a view of what’s ahead, and to prepare for it.
  3. Avoid leaning backward for balance, otherwise known as back seating. A useful tip to avoid back seating is using your shins to apply pressure on your ski boots so that they bend at the ankles. You must, however, be careful not to bend forward too much as you don’t want to be falling over on your face.
  4. Strive to keep your body weight directly over the skis’ narrowest points, also known as the ‘sweet spot.’

 

Speed Control

Speeding downhill can be breathtaking up until you realize that you’re losing control of speed. Lack of control leads to panic which is equal to disaster. Here are a few techniques for speed control:

  1. Skidding: Skidding involves breaking the top layer of the snow with the ski boards, hence slowing you down.
  2. Turn shape: Turn shape is a smoother technique, whereby you get to turn your skis into clean arcs, which flattens the snow underneath, making you slow down.
  3. Checking: Checking is more useful when you need to stop instantaneously. It involves briefly setting your edge to a stop.

Turning Techniques

The easiest method is whereby you use your feet and shoulders to turn. To turn right, you drop your left shoulder towards your left ski and turn your feet to the right. To turn left, you drop your right shoulder towards your right ski and turn your feet to the left. This is best done when your feet are at the plough or V position. A useful tip is keeping your head, torso, and hips facing in the direction you want to turn. Your legs and skis will automatically turn to face the intended direction.

Parallel Skiing

Parallel skiing is a graceful skiing technique that involves keeping your skis parallel to each other at all times. This is unlike the snow plough position where your skis are positioned in a V shape. The key tip for parallel skiing is keeping your weight on the outer ski when turning. When you master turning, you can then move on to edging where you move your weight to the inside of each ski, creating perfect, effortless turns.

Skiing Moguls

Moguls are bumps/ lumps of snow that have been created by other skiers as they turn, pushing the snow aside. Skiing moguls can be tricky and require right instruction and practice.

Mogul skiing requires keen and fast calculations. It includes knowing how to control speed, knowing when to break, calculating the space needed to turn and break comfortably, and being able to select the best route for skiing moguls.

 

Just like any other thing in life, moving to the next level requires practice, practice and more practice.

Skiing lessons in Japan

Groomed vs. Ungroomed Skiing, and Other Such Lingo.

07Jul

Here at Active Life Madarao, we like to spoil you. And that means giving you the best of everything. So when it comes to your choice of ski slope, we make no exception.

If you are an experienced skier, you probably already have your favourite type of ski slope. With over 30 ski runs, we bet by the end of your stay with us, you’ll have your favourite run here too.

If you are a beginner, or have never even set a ski-donned foot on a slope before, then you probably don’t know what we’re talking about when we say ‘groomed’ and ‘ungroomed’ ski runs.

Don’t panic, it has nothing to do with your personal upkeep. We don’t send our guests rocking the bedhead look after a late night at our bar Tap That, to the ungroomed slope. There’s no judgement here.

A groomed slope is simply a slope we’ve taken our snow-groomer to. We send one of our lovely staff members out in the snow-groomer to drive down the slopes, which packs all the snow down and makes it nice and tightly compressed.

We don’t just do this because we love having a ride down the slopes on the snow-groomer (although we really do), but because it makes it an easier surface to ski down.

This makes it perfect for people who are learning to ski, as well as seasoned skiers.

An ungroomed slope is simply a slope that hasn’t been groomed by our snow-groomer! Try saying that sentence after a few of our craft beers.

Many skiers prefer this type of slope as it has a slightly wilder yet softer feel. It can be slighter harder on the joints as you need to use a lot more physical power to break through the trails. However, some people prefer this type of slope, and it really just comes down to a matter of preference.

Words

Different words from different language in the background there is a moutain.

Speaking of breaking trails…

Even if you’ve never been skiing before, we want you to feel completely at home at Active Life Madarao. We understand that it can be slightly intimating to take your first venture into the wonderful world of skiing, and that all the lingo you may hear flying around might be confusing.

Just like always, we’re here to help by breaking down some of the key jargon you might hear:

Run

The run is the path that you ski down. We always have these clearly marked at Active Life Madarao, and this is for both your safety, and so you have the best possible experience on the best maintained runs.

Breaking trail

This means skiing down a run with fresh snow that hasn’t been skied down yet. In other words, no previous ski trails.

Groomed vs. ungroomed trail

Er, we just did this. If you’ve forgotten already, you may want to re-read this blog post!

Active Life Madarao

Two amazing hotels –Active Life Madarao Hotel, and Hakken By Active Life Madarao Hotel in Madarao, Japan! Skiing in Japan at its finest!

Après-Ski

Literally translated from French, this means ‘after-ski‘. At Active Life Madarao, we translate it to mean ‘exquisite dinners, beers in the bar, bubble baths, and general relaxation’. Luckily for you, we can provide all of that in our hotel accommodation.

Bunny

This is a term sometimes used for a beginner. You may also hear ‘bunny slope/hill’, referring to the slopes used for beginners. It’s not meant as an insult, we were all beginners once. In fact, we think bunnies are very cute.

Shredder

A shredder is someone who is a very experienced, and talented skier. One or two of our staff members are shredders, according to them anyway…

Wipeout

A wipeout is when you fall over, and crash into the snow. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us!

Powder

Just another word for snow. You may also hear ‘pow’, or ‘pow-pow’. Yes, we are obsessed with snow.

These is just a few of the more common lingo you may hear. There is plenty more where that came from, and if you overhear anything you’re confused about, please do feel free to ask any of our lovely English-speaking staff members for a translation.

See you on the pow-pow!

Write Your Life – Become Who You Want To Be; No More Excuses

26Apr

Skiing lessons in JapanIn this modern internet age we have a wealth of awe-inspiring things at our fingertips and that can at times, be rather discouraging; particularly when it comes to pursuing our dreams.

You’ll find that it’s easier to sit and watch someone else achieve greatness, rather than go after it yourself so you don’t even bother trying at all. Ever watched the ‘people are awesome’ channel on YouTube? It’s an inspiring watch, but it is also a sore reminder of how uneventful your life really is…but does it have to be so? You are the commander of your life and it is time for the rest of you to fall in and follow orders.

You see, creating something average is a darn-sight more impressive than doing absolutely nothing at all and even if you don’t shake the very foundations of this planet in the process of trying; I guarantee that you’ll have an incredible amount of fun either way!

That is what life is all about, is it not? – Creation, activity and achievement. We have been blessed with the capacity to endure and aspire and yet the majority of us squander this on mere day dreams, when in actuality all we need to do is say yes. Say yes, as opposed to: “I’d love to be able to Ski like that one day!” – Never mind your half-arsed, speculative wishes and set a date. If you’d ‘love to be able to Ski like that one day’, then book your Ski Trip today!


We are at our happiest when we are expressing ourselves, sharing our passions and achieving our goals. Why aren’t you pursuing your goals? What is stopping you besides your own inaction and procrastination? Is it your age? Do you think that perhaps ‘your ship has sailed?’

Don’t let your age dictate what you can and cannot do! It is never too late to pick up an old guitar and strum your way toward a life full of music and harmony. Sure you’re likely no Bob Dylan, but if the times are changing then so should you be.

People tend to look at art as being very black and white; a dodgy painting slapped on a canvass by a   drunk with one ear. Well, it runs much deeper than that. Art is creation…and you don’t need a pen or a brush to do so, all you need is a little imagination and some will power. You may not be able to write, but you can sure as hell carve your name into the snow.

Whether you see yourself dragging your fingers through the inside of a barrel wave, baking the perfect cake, building a tree-house or sculpting a statue of yourself spearing a grizzly bear; you’ll never know what it is to be happy until you at least give it a try!

Dream, dare, explore and create! Always fancied a trip to Japan? Why not go one better and tie it in with some Skiing or Snowboarding at Madarao Ski Resort?

Life is to be lived. There are so many people who would give what little they have to be able to actualise their dreams. An estimated 46% of the people on this planet who have never seen snow, and likely never will, and yet you’re just a click away. What are you waiting for?

There’s No Time like Now Time – Book Your Next 2017/18 Ski Season Today!

07Apr

ski japan

If you’re thinking about potentially booking your Ski season for either 2017 or 18 (or both) and you’re dragging your feet a little bit, then here’s a little bit of advice for you: get your rear in gear! There really is no time like the present and as the tide changes like the wind, so too does the cost of flights and late bookings!

If you leave it too late, the prices will rise as gaps are filled and desirability increases. In which case you’ll either not be able to afford it, or you’ll have procrastinated so much that you’ll lose interest all together and promise yourself that you’ll “definitely get round to doing it eventually”.

Learn from the Mountains and be bold and stand firm. Here at Active Life Madarao we are all about grabbing life by the horns and making the most of every given opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced Skier or Snowboarder or you’re an absolute new-comer to the slopes looking to give it a try; get yourself booked in and give yourself something to look forward to!

Not only are the weather projections for 2017 and 2018 going to make the skiing conditions on Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture, Japan), absolutely incredible; but having something for you to look forward to, is actually beneficial for your overall happiness mental well-being as well.

The Psychology behind Early Bookings and how they benefit your mental well-being

Happy Skiing coupel skiing

Want to know how having something to look forward to can make you happier?

There are four key stages for enjoying an event in your life:

– Anticipation – This is one of the key stages of a holiday, or an event in your life. By booking something in advance you not only afford yourself a sense of achievement, but also calm. Instead of having the need to eventually arrange your Ski season looming over you, you will have one less thing to worry about and one more, incredibly exciting event to look forward to.

– Savouring – You’ve finally arrived. It’s been months and months of anticipation and finally you have reached the top of the slope with the fresh mountain air in your lungs and an endless bed of soft powder before you waiting to be carved up. Savour these moments, as they are the memories that you will cherish forever – that is what makes it all worthwhile!

– Expression & Reflection – Sharing your passion and pleasure with others is the key to heightening an already incredible experience, and in the same breath having something to look back on makes it all the more special and memorable for you. While you’re there tearing up the mountain, document it on social media and share your excitement with other enthusiasts.

There are where you can kick back and mix with other like-minded people, whilst cutting up your GoPro footage and putting together some truly stunning video memories for you and yours to cherish and adore.

 

So what are you waiting for? Time is ticking, the snow is setting and the spaces are beginning to fill. Your life will pass you by faster than you can say: “I’ll get round to it”, if you don’t throw your procrastination out of the window and do what you want to do today. Be active.