GOLD – We have another guest post… This time from the winter beauty of Niseko, where the Snow Hawk has been getting busy on it with the legendary Cannondale Scalpel. I asked for some snow MTB action and he has delivered. Even better still, how about the whole low down from the Hawk’s mouth, here we go:

If historical weather data is anything to go by Niseko should be coated in champagne powder by now. We had a few dumps last week and I managed to get the Hawk Mobile stuck sideways in the street but as of yesterday most of the white stuff had melted and we’re all wondering if the lifts will actually open this weekend as planned.

So a rare sunny day meant one last hit of the trails could be had before the Scalpel is replaced for a younger, skinnier plaything in the way of the my new K2 Turbo Dream snowboard, “It’s not you it’s the weather baby, we’ll see each other again next spring. Yeees I promise to take you on the rollers. Yes I know I say that every year.” (DN ed note – I can actually see him saying that with the hawk grin and a gentle stroking… scary)

An hour and 12 base layers later I headed to my local trail called Higashiyama that basically connects the Hilton Hotel at Niseko Village to Upper Hirafu (DN ed note – See, he basically speaks Japanese). It’s a short and sweet run which lots of variation and finishes with a nice DH called DSEN through a pine forest area that runs parallel to the Hirafu chairlift. I knew there’d be a bit of snow up there but figured most of it would have melted and the Nobby Nics would do the job:


“Just a little further up past these bushes. Sssh don’t make any noises” (moments before the fingering)

DN Ed note – I am not sure what concerns me more, the clean faced assassin, or the old school FDJ white road jacket getting dirty on it… Its a definite Niseko Psycho look 


Unassuming entrance to the trail


Hmmm… Shit is about to get interesting…


A few technical water and bridge sections, Niseko style


Not as slippery as it looks… I’ve had slipperier…

DN Ed note – LOVE the strategic porn shot placement of the Scalpel here… Sexy bitch.


The sun finally made its appearance at the right time


Steep drops + snow = Water slide

At the end of the trail there is a steep 20% dirt road climb to the start of the DSEN downhill run. It’s much more protected and drier there making for a fast and fun little run through the pine:


Boom – Sweet flowing DH time!

I rode back up DSEN for the first time for a bit of exercise and came out at the trail again ready to hit it from the back dirty nomad style (DN Ed note – Alleged style, no real evidence to confirm). The return loop has a bit of climbing which was going to be suck balls in the snow:


Unrideable? So much mud it was basically unwalkable…


Bump N Grind it…

So there you have it a short little local trail only a few k’s long but conveniently right on my doorstep so an easy option for an arvo mud sesh. As it happened the snow came down as soon as I got back to the Hawk bunker and hasn’t stopped so maybe we will be hitting the mountain this weekend after all.

Hawk saying HAI DOMO from Niseko.

EPIC Guest post and greatly appreciated Snow Hawk… So, we have nailed Perth, UK and now Japan, and, for those keeping score, its now blown out 3-0 with the Mountain Bikers taking a Mexican like advantage over the Road crew. Come ON roadies, do something interesting… 

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