Prime Cutlets #4: Hokkaido, Japan
[Editor's note: Meathead Films' 10th annual movie, "Prime Cut," debuts Sept. 30 in Burlington, Vermont. Until then, we'll be hosting regular teasers, exclusive to ESPN Freeskiing, called "Prime Cutlets," which give you an inside look at the making of their feature film. You can also watch the official "Prime Cut" movie trailer and pre-order your DVD now. ]
Last winter, the Meatheads kept a close eye on the weather in Japan all season. The country had huge snowfall in January and then a dry February, so it was a gamble when the film crew booked tickets for the first two weeks of March. Veterans Dan Marion and Sean Decker teamed up with fresh Meat, Chris Logan, to explore the island and complete some unfinished business from the 2010 trip.
Luckily, the snow returned with a vengeance in March, and the Meatheads were buried under a fresh foot of snow almost every day. Working with Clayton Kernaghan at Black Diamond Guides, the skiers were able to access plenty of collar-deep powder and pillows via chairlift, skinning and snowmobile.
Meathead Films was in Hokkaido backcountry on the afternoon of March 11, 2011 when the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit off the coast of Honshu, the main island. No tremors were felt on the snow and Hokkaido was unaffected, but as news trickled in over the days following the event, the crew's priorities shifted toward getting home. More about the trip, the amazing snow and the earthquake can be seen in the new movie, "Prime Cut."