05 Dec Skiing in the Time of COVID – Early Season Kagura
It is the start of winter here in Yuzawa. While we wait for the main snow to hit and all the lower resorts to open, the early season skiing and snowboarding takes place at Kagura. If you haven’t been there at this time of year this is what to expect.
Kagura aims to open every year towards the end of November. This year it didn’t manage to open on time but finally got the lifts moving on December 2nd. There are not many runs open yet but it is still great to get back on snow.
The resort are limiting numbers on the lifts to prevent the spread of infections. You are also asked to wear a mask, especially when in the Mitsumata Ropeway and inside an building. There is an automatic body temperature scanner when you board the ropeway.
At the top of the Mitsumata ropeway you can walk or ride down to the first four person chairlift. It is two to a chair with riders sitting on either end of the lift. From the top of this lift you can can ski or board back down the slope or make your way down the other side to the Kagura gondola which will take you up to the main Kagura area. Both of the slopes you can access from here have plastic matting underneath them so if the snow is a bit thin you can still ride them (but beginners might find it difficult to get an edge on the mats.)
From the top of the Kagura gondola you can find a restaurant, the Moment Ski Demo Center, and can access a couple of lifts depending on snow conditions. The shortest run is reached from the two man lift closest to the top of the ropeway which gives access to a run about 600m long and 30m wide. If conditions are better there maybe longer lifts open that take you to the top of the main run.
If you are heading back down to the Mitsumata Ropeway you can either ride down the long course back from Kagura to Mitsumata, or you can ride the Kagura gondola back down. If there is not enough snow everyone has to download on the gondola. At the base of the gondola there is a short walk across to a two man chair that takes you up to the top of Mitsumata again so you can ski or board down to catch the Mitsumata Ropeway back to the car park. When everything is open it should be possible to ski or board back down to the Mitsumata car park.
It is a bit too early to tell what effect the limited lift capacity will have on lift lines this winter, but it is great to be back on snow again!
Our ski instructors and snowboard instructors are ready to help you get the most out of your time on snow, so feel free to contact us if you would like a ski lesson or snowboard lesson in Yuzawa.