Snowy Sapporo

Posted on February 9, 2013

AnnupuriI touched down in Sapporo last night after some horrific turbulence as we attempted to land during a massive snowstorm. On landing, I felt freezing even looking out the window. Think pitch-black darkness and huge snow crystals, lit by the glare of the runway lighting, flying in every direction. Minus ten, the captain announced.  My sister Alex and I just looked at each other and grimaced.  Long-time skiers yes, but we’ve both clearly been living in hot countries for too long and have become totally unaccustomed to colder climes.  Needless to say, the contents of my luggage contain outfits chosen far more for their style than for their warmth factor.

As I’ve written about before however, the body really does have a magical ability to acclimatise.  We are built to adapt. Drop us in the middle of a snowstorm and we adapt accordingly. Drop us in the desert and we do same.

For this very reason, I always strongly propose training al fresco throughout the summer in Dubai. The difficulty lies when people have a break as the temperatures creep up and then find it difficult to get back out there thereafter.  Continue throughout on the other hand, whilst reducing time and intensity, and you find your body will just acclimatise. Our increased sweat rate in the heat, for example, is one of our body’s ways of cooling the surface of our skin.

This morning we woke to a winter wonderland, still in Sapporo and I couldn’t wait to get outside for a little run.  The sun was shining, the snow was glistening and I popped on my yak traks and ran havoc around some snowy trails I found. Bliss.  There are few things more smile-inducing than a gorgeous run in the cold winter air.

After a feast of sashimi, we now await our liner to Nisseko where the fun on the piste can begin.  And after these past twelve hours, I feel safe to say that the plummeting temperatures fill me no longer with fear but instead with a yearning for mountain magic, warming gluhwein and hitting the onsen every afternoon.

Till the next …




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