I had to be up very early on the 17th March to meet my colleague Ash to go snowboarding on a one-day return trip. He booked it the day before so I had no idea where we were even going. It turned out to be an eventful day at Hotaka in Nagano but for all the wrong reasons.
No problems with the weather (sunny), the bus (spacious) or the price (3100 yen) but as we went to get on the chair lift to start we got a bit tangled up and having not warmed up I embarrassingly fell off and lay in agony for a few moments fearing I had damaged my thigh badly. As it was, I was back up and ready to go within a few minutes.
Time to continue from where I left off last year but that didn’t quite go so smoothly either as I had a tumble half way down the mountain which ended up with me badly injuring my little finger. A bad case of cramp followed before our next descend and then I decided to alter the board (very kindly given to me by Ethan last year) to make the foot settings ‘goofy’ (right foot forward) rather than normal (left foot first).
Hoping that it would be plain sailing after that I uttered the immortal words “nothing can go wrong now!” and I was right for the next 2-3 hours before Ash decided to attempt a fairly simple barrel jump (that I chickened out of) which he wanted me to record on his camera.
Inevitably he fell but little did I know at the time that there was anything wrong. He was in agony with a bad wrist and walked back up to the top to get help while I had to carry his board down which wasn’t so easy as I found out when I fell on my ar*e to great pain. When I got to the bottom Ash arrived on the back of the snowmobile and that was basically the end of our day as he was left with no choice but to basically wait till we returned to Tokyo to get it seriously checked as cancelling his bus ticket and taking a taxi to the nearest hospital and back would have been more hassle than it was worth. Ultimately, his wrist was broken and has since been fitted with a metal plate and my finger has yet to recover properly.