After a 24 hour journey from Vail Colorado to Naeba Resort in Niigata Japan the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail team arrived at the Naeba Prince Hotel.

Five ski racers from Colorado on a journey to compete against other nations and to see some new countryside and learn a new language. The trip of a life time as guests of the Organizing Committee of the 12th Annual Japan Cup with over 400 kids competing for Japanese children’s skiing supremacy and as a reward a trip tot the renowned Whistler Cup for the best kids from the host nation!

Our team…the SSCV J3 racers (and some VSSA students!) of Delaney Patterson, Genevieve Soden, Quin Davis, Vitor Guilmineau and Zeke pierce is a formidable machine. We plan to make a trip or two to the podium (six of them get to go up there!) and learn as much as we can to see what has made Japan such great Slalom racers over the last 30 years! We’ll also celebrate their 100th anniversary of the birth of skiing in Japan (thanks to Austria) as well a slearn a few words or more!

We left Denver Tuesday morning at 8:30 and made our way to Narita airport outside of Tokyo  with a short stop in Seattle to change planes. Upon arrive in the land of the rising sun we were greeted by out guide and swept off to the mountains almost 4 hours away. Exchanging money, seeing Tokyo rush-hour, the birth of the new tower in the city called the “Tokyo Tree” (over 600 metres), stopping for udon , toilet break and in Zeke case “Lobster Chips” along the way. The kids are seeing the joys and pitfalls of knowing a new land and living the adventure. When we arrived at Naeba at about 10pm after almost 24 hours of travel it was time to load up lockers, find our way to the rooms and get some sleep….I am sure there will be many stories about the size of the beds, the toilets seats with built in heat, sprayers and bidet functions as well as the smell of tobacco in most public places (both indoors and out). But hopefully what they’ll talk about most is the snow we received last night! Looks like about a foot of powder to tour the mountain on this morning and lots of accumulation from the season. This afternoon we are going to train some gates and then we’ll be totally in the swing of things with a full meal cycle under our belt as well as time change adjustment!

Stay tuned for another report after skiing but follow us Facebook, and later some entries from the personal blogs of the kids…..

Thanks to SSCV, the parents, Jim & Laura Marx and of course Goldwin for their generous and heartfelt support of this mini adventure abroad to do what we love….ski!