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Snowcat Adventure & Usage Forum Snow Trac, Kristi, Thickol/LMC, Tucker, Bombardier stories & discussions

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  #1  
Old 08-18-2018, 10:08 AM
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Default Hi from Japan (and France)

Hi I am based in Chamonix France, but I have spent the last 2 winters running a Cat Skiing operation in Naeba Japan.

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By running I mean everything. I thought I was going to be a 2nd guide and learn from those who'd already been running things.

Shortly after arriving I got give the keys to this

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A 1992 PB 240, unmodified apart form a badly molested rear arm, but also unused for the last 4 winters.

I had driven on (might have been a pb200 can't remember) back in 1992 whilst working in Switzerland as summer trail crew. But that was a hundred yards with an instructor on flat ground 25 years ago.

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All the instructions were in Japanese and I don't speak it, and google translate doesn't work well on faded/shiny/irregular txt.

I got it going and figured out how to make the thing move.

The cat skiing area

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was up a 4km (2.4miles) road that no one had driven/plowed in winter since 2003, and when this (no abandoned) ski area was running they used to truck in the cats and assemble then onsight.

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I taught myself how to build roads, not so bad when there is a road underneath

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Unless the weather gets nasty

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But when there is just abandoned ski pistes/runs there is a lot more unknowns

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Once I'd got that all sorted I built a passenger cabin (over in Restoration and Modification). Work out what was good skiing what sucked, where to stay out of. Teach others to drive (prepared roads only) and then run the daily operation.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

it looks good,well done.
after 2 years you should have the brush off the trails.
pb has a 24/7 number you can call for pistenbully problems.
jim
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Looks like a lot of fun in a beautiful place. Glad you joined the forum, we definitely need more cat skiing pictures and stories. How many acres do you cat ski? What's the terrain like? Does that area get a lot of snow? I really want to find a cool "snowcat job" and reading your story has inspired me to redouble my efforts. Keep the pictures coming.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Welcome aboard Idris, great pictures.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

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Originally Posted by PJL View Post
Welcome aboard Idris, great pictures.

Naeba Mt - Japan Ski resort (530 Photos )

https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-...otos/tag/Naeba

https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resort-photos/tags

Winter Vocation in Japan.snow2_smi

Nikos
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2018, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVT View Post
it looks good,well done.
after 2 years you should have the brush off the trails.
pb has a 24/7 number you can call for pistenbully problems.
jim
We are only allowed to play with the land as is, at the moment, forestry in Niigata Prefecture won't let us cut ANYTHING.

PB told us to contact their local dealership here, due to various distributor agreements I can't call the USA (have talked to them, they told me the score) or the French (not that they would be of ANY use) help numbers.
The local dealership and I are barely talking to each other as I got pissed at them for overcharging, they got mad when I showed them they were charging 2-5 times the going rate for parts.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2018, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlacierSean View Post
Looks like a lot of fun in a beautiful place. Glad you joined the forum, we definitely need more cat skiing pictures and stories. How many acres do you cat ski? What's the terrain like? Does that area get a lot of snow? I really want to find a cool "snowcat job" and reading your story has inspired me to redouble my efforts. Keep the pictures coming.
Terrain is mellow, the ski runs used to be red (single diamond) and blue. Don't know what the acreage is, but the area is 2km wide 3km deep and has 450m ( 1500ft) of vert. Off the trails is reasonably spaced mainly birch trees. The end of the day the clients normally choose to ski the 4km access road which would be a green ski run to get home.
Last winter was an average year - 12m (40ft) of snow. Snow quality is like Tahoe. Winters are short (late December to mid March) but heavy.

Not sure what's happening this coming winter. But in future there may be jobs available.

Japan is a country of great contrasts. On one hand the most technologically advanced in the world and at the same time, one foot firmly in the dark ages.

Some simple things are done in black and white in triplicate whilst others, its a sledge hammer and DIY.

Last edited by Idris; 08-18-2018 at 01:10 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2018, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlacierSean View Post
Looks like a lot of fun in a beautiful place. Glad you joined the forum, we definitely need more cat skiing pictures and stories. How many acres do you cat ski? What's the terrain like? Does that area get a lot of snow? I really want to find a cool "snowcat job" and reading your story has inspired me to redouble my efforts. Keep the pictures coming.

Jobs Available
Japan winter season employment opportunities

https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-...er-season-jobs


Nikos
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Welcome to this forum !

Congrats on having the perseverance to teach yourself all the technical stuff and get to the fun stuff :)

The skiers must be Japanese speakers: do you have a translator ?
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2018, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

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Originally Posted by pixie View Post
Welcome to this forum !

Congrats on having the perseverance to teach yourself all the technical stuff and get to the fun stuff :)

The skiers must be Japanese speakers: do you have a translator ?
My wife is Japanese (we met in Whistler, Canada of all places), she is a tail guide (although she claims she can't ski)

BUT most of our clients are international - we are under 2.5 hours form Tokyo.

In general the Japanese either ski piste/groomed or human powered backcountry but not much in between.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

IDRIS i know that isnt the right manual for the PB240D but i think, some of the switches are common.


http://telemet.com/_manuals/Pistenbu...0-10839_en.pdf

I had driven on (might have been a pb200 can't remember) back in 1992 whilst working in Switzerland as summer trail cre.

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Old 08-18-2018, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikos View Post
IDRIS i know that isnt the right manual for the PB240D but i think, some of the switches are common.


http://telemet.com/_manuals/Pistenbu...0-10839_en.pdf

I had driven on (might have been a pb200 can't remember) back in 1992 whilst working in Switzerland as summer trail cre.

Nikos
Thanks Nikos, I now have the same style manual for the PB240 and unfortunately most of the technical stuff is different on the newer PB200/300/400 than the older ones. Although the 240 and 200 (of old) look different they are mechanical/hydraulically more similar
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Howdy and welcome.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idris View Post
We are only allowed to play with the land as is, at the moment, forestry in Niigata Prefecture won't let us cut ANYTHING.

PB told us to contact their local dealership here, due to various distributor agreements I can't call the USA (have talked to them, they told me the score) or the French (not that they would be of ANY use) help numbers.
The local dealership and I are barely talking to each other as I got pissed at them for overcharging, they got mad when I showed them they were charging 2-5 times the going rate for parts.
my local pb parts add 40% . I have a vw industrial engine and get those at a parts store.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Welcome to FF Idris. GREAT Pics!!!!!!
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

I have the same cat---just updated my paint and stickers last fall
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Start of season we had a big (128cm/4ft6) dump of very light snow in one night. This was on a meter (3ft) base. Trying to put a track in was a bit much.

https://youtu.be/hPmFtBEMfvI
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Giddy freaking up.....
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

holy cow
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Hi from Japan (and France)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idris View Post
Start of season we had a big (128cm/4ft6) dump of very light snow in one night. This was on a meter (3ft) base. Trying to put a track in was a bit much.

https://youtu.be/hPmFtBEMfvI
This is why God ( Emmitt) created 500 series Sno-Cats!
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