Early Morning climb up Mt Yotei.
It all came down to the last day! We started yesterday with 0 expectations. Half of our group had already taken off for Tokyo and we were getting a 10am start. No one had even checked the weather. We just wanted to head up the west side of Yotei and ski some powder and check out a new zone. As we started out, the new zone was cast in the most magical light. Totally different from our typical overcast grey powing days. As we got further and further into the alpine, no one said a word, but the skies were clear and the crater was on all of our minds. 3 hours of climbing later we found ourselves on the rim of a volcano ready to drop into the crater. 4 years of waiting and with a little trepidation we dropped in one by one. The feeling at the bottom was unreal. Breaming and full of life and yet so vulnerable; sitting ducks in the crater. We threw our skins back on, headed up to the rim and ripped 5000ft of pow back down to the car. Sometimes the best days are the ones you just don't plan.
Mark Zitelli at the bottom of the crater.