Japan: Avalanche Fences and Powder

Skiing, United States

Miles Clark's search for powder in the land of the rising sun is drawing to a close but there is one thing that he made sure to check off his list while over there. Avalanche Fences. The safety barriers build up with so much snow in Japan that they create the chance to have some fun. Check out Miles' recipe for an enjoyable time:

There are no two ways about it: avalanche fences are fun to jump off. The only tricky part is finding these elusive metal bulwarks. North America doesn’t have 'em, Europe does (but they don't seem to fill in), Hokkaido has tons of them on the side of the road, but we're on the isle of Honshu, Japan which certainly isn’t famous for its avy fences. Nevertheless, if you look hard enough, you can find a few spots out there where the fences line up. When you do, nothing but fun is guaranteed to ensue.

We found a fantastic avalanche zone in Myoko, Japan only about 1.5 hours drive from where I'm living in Hakuba, Japan. The fences in Myoko line up well and on the right run, you can link together 13 of 'em.

Every run we had in these fences was in a white out. We didn't know the zone and we paid for it dearly with a plethora of viciously flat landings and ferocious wipeouts. After three days of hitting this zone and it hitting back even harder, we retreated home with bloodstreams full of ibuprofen and heads full of good memories.