Whilst I enjoyed the trip, it was a bit of an awakening in terms of my ability to ski in loose snow (powdery or crud). In summary, I just haven't skied enough powder to be good at it, and so I ended up skiing poorly at times.
I want to be more capable as a skier, and the only way I really see that happening is living in a place where I can ski more and develop my skill set. As good as our alpine region is, it's still a mediocre existence as a BC skier in the shitest country in the world for mountains.
I know that I'll improve the more I ski - it's just a matter of being patient.
I'll be in Hakuba for the start of April, and then the Oz season awaits. By then, I will most likely have made a decision about next year's destination - either Japan or Canada...leaning towards the latter at the moment, but I know both would be fantastic places to live for a while.
In terms of gear, everything I've been using has been outstanding, and I'd like to be skiing better before commentating too much on my skis and boots. In terms of future acquisitions, two items are piquing my interest:
Fritschi Tecton 12
I'm interested to try a binding with more elasticity, and couldn't see myself lugging the weight of the Shift around. These are getting great reviews from up north, even if there are some reported brake problems - I use leashes most of the time anyway.
Technica Zero G Pro Tour
This boot sounds perfect; 1300g, great ROM and as stiff as a Mtn Lab. I'll see if they appear in stores down this way...if not, I may have to wait till the end of the year to get a pair.
I've got some Bogong pics to post too - went for a good walk and saw much potential terrain on the north faces and Quartz ridge. For now, a few more shots of Japan are below.