While most of us know very little about the small Baltic state of Estonia, those who follow freeskiing will no doubt have heard of the Estonian Sildaru family. 16 year old Kelly Sildaru, caused a sensation a few years ago when she won X Games Gold at age 13. Her younger brother, 11 year old Henry Sildaru is following closely in her freestyle footsteps.
The Sildarus are a tight knit family with Kelly & Henry coached by their Dad, Tonis. They travel the world together for their freeski training and to follow the World Cup competition circuit.
With Kelly sustaining an injury in late 2017, the winter 18 season took a different turn. While Kelly stayed home in Estonia for rehab, Henry and his dad scoped out different options. A friend’s recommendation of an off-the-radar ski resort in Northern Honshu, Japan, with lots of powder as well as park and pipe, came to fruition. That ski resort was Aomori Spring.
So in mid January, Henry and his dad made a trip to Japan for a two week adventure.
Most of time the Sildarus spend on snow involves intensive training in the terrain park, but that was not the main focus of this trip. Henry and Tonis pulled out their powder skis and snowshoes and headed into the backcountry.
Traveling above the resort boundary, they were rewarded with bottomless fresh powder.
But when the sun came out, Henry was keen to return to lower elevations for some freestyle action. Henry headed to the terrain park to hit the rails and jumps.
The snow wasn’t the only attraction at Aomori Spring. Henry was also fond of the Aomori apple sorbet, a speciality of the Rockwood Hotel.