Filming with Sweetgrass Productions in Hokkaido Japan

Filming with Sweetgrass Productions in Hokkaido Japan

I’ve always wanted to ski in Japan. We’ve all seen the footage, the time lapse of a Tokyo subway packed with busy Japanese people and the token skiers or snowboarders, then cut to the epic pow segment, Asian music playing in the background of the movie.

When I arrived at Tokyo Narita, the dream began. My vision was fuzzy after waking up from a long plane ride, flying far into the future, almost 14 hours ahead of Salt Lake City, UT. I struggled with my big ski bags. In the international terminal, other travelers with large duffels and roller ski bags gave me nods of approval.

Everyone told me the skiing was amazing in Niseko. Coming from Utah, I thought I’d experienced the deepest of deep, especially after our December storm cycle. But the snowfall here is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The first day, we woke up to 50 cm of fresh snow, and by the second, the storm totals were in the 80 cm range.

The fuzzy daydream continued. Athletes Forrest Coots, JT Robinson, Adam Moszynski and I hiked line after line, while director Nick Waggoner, cinematographers Ian Hock and Ben Sturgulewski and photographer Michael Brown filmed.
We burrowed through the deep snow, bouncing up for air and visibility. Being 5’0″, I usually brag about being able to sink into the snow more, but here, I wish I was taller. The snow completely covers me and I have to have my lines completely memorized because there is no chance to see anything after I make the first turn.

JT and Adam leave tonight and Eben Mond and Charlie Cannon will arrive. Our apartments are full of ski equipment and stinky long underwear, but we are all smiling, satisfied by the conditions in Niseko.

Read more about Sweetgrass Productions and the making of their new movie at https://sweetgrassproductions.wordpress.com/ and check for photo updates on my blog https://www.carolinegleich.com.

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