Guided Off Piste Ski & Snowboard Trip – Hidden Powder Stashes of Japan!
If you are planning a ski or snowboard trip with the idea of riding some powder then this is the ultimate experience that will stay with you forever! Japan is THE location for riding champagne powder and the lesser known spots we head to get 15-16 metres (yes that’s metres!) of the lightest powder snowfall every season. Compare that to the typical seasonal snowfall in the Alps of 3-6 metres of average quality snow and you can see why this is like no other ski or snowboard trip you have ever been on before.
Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido produces some of the lightest and driest powder in the world. The magic happens because Hokkaido is fed by cold air, low pressure systems originating in Siberia that pick up moisture over the Sea of Japan, creating almost perpetual high quality powder snowfalls between January and March.
Ride bottomless powder in the area know as ‘The Playground of the Gods’!
The massive snowfall is only a part of the beauty of this holiday, you are also skiing in a location like no other… Where else can you ski bottomless powder, with no crowds, unlimited off-piste areas including trees, steeps & open powder fields? The scenery also sets this trip apart from any other, as you ride down the side of a volcano, cruising through snow laden tree lines and even taking in ocean views. All this combined with an unforgettable cultural experience will have you coming back on this trip every year!
Why come on our trip? More off-piste guided days, extensive coverage of the back country, local guides, small group, best value & an unforgettable Japanese back country powder riding experience!
Limited To Only 9 Spaces – Small Group, Maximum Japanese Back Country Powder!
Get in touch early to secure a place on your backcountry skiing/snowboarding trip of a lifetime!
Call 01202 237247 to reserve your space(s) before the trip is booked out
Date Of Trip: 17th – 27th February 2013
Booking Deadline: 17th Oct 2012
Hidden Powder Stashes of Japan – Trip Itinerary
Day 1 – Traveling To Hokkaido, Japan & Transfer To Niseko
The powder skiing/boarding holiday of a lifetime begins! We fly from Europe into the new Chitose International Airport and hop on a bus for the transfer to our accommodation at the Freedom Inn, Niseko. After arrival it is time to relax, setup your backcountry gear, wax your skies, set your bindings back & get ready for the powder – Japan style!
Day 2 – Guided Trip Through The Back Bowls Of Niseko
On our first day of riding we will hook up with a local guide to take us all over the Niseko mountain, ripping up the hidden powder stashes, with some epic trips into the back bowls and finishing with a big run off the peak down to a secluded onsen (hot spring) on the back side of the mountain.
Niseko is the largest ski area in Japan, with both alpine & tree skiing/boarding. Based in the Hanazono area of the mountain, we are in the perfect location to get quick access to a lot of the best backcountry. The Niseko ski resort gets the ‘Powderhounds’ award for the best ski terrain in Japan. Niseko also gets best skiing in Japan awards for best powder, best off-piste terrain, best slackcountry (easily accessible backcountry) and best overall resort in Japan. You can see why we are making base camp at Niskeo!
Day 3 – Getting To Know Our Niseko Base Camp
After our guided day of riding, we are now armed with the inside scoop on the best terrain to explore around our local Niseko base camp and have this day to seek and destroy our favourite areas of the mountain before we start to explorer some of the lesser know Japanese powder destinations.
Day 4 – Unguided Day Trip To Rusutsu, Chisenupuri or Moiwa
Based at Niseko, we are in the perfect location to take day trips to some of these other great mountains. Each area has its own unique offerings when it comes to riding powder and we will leave our options open as to which area we head to all depending on the forecasts and word on the street as to where its going off!
Rusutsu: With an average annual snowfall of over 14 metres, a reputation for the driest powder and some of the best tree line skiing you will find anywhere in the world! Lift accessible, fall-line tree skiing that’s out of this world.
Chisenupuri: If Niseko is getting tracked out then a 30 minute drive gets us to this uncrowded mountain, where you can ski fresh lines all day long. Weather permitting, an hours hike will get us up into the alpine zone of Chisenupuri Peak, from where there are a variety of descent options including some cliff drops on the way back down to towards the chair lift!
Moiwa: Just across from the back bowls of Niseko, is a little gem of a resort called Moiwa, where we can ride uncrowded lines through the trees and access sublime backcountry that’s only a short hike away.
Maybe we head to Rusutsu to score some unforgettable tree line action or just sneak over to Chisenupuri or Moiwa to escape into an empty powder playground.
Day 5 – Guided trip to Kiroro
This ski area is spread out over two mountain peaks, offering great off-piste riding between the trees and the most amazing scenery. Uncrowded, with very few riders going off-piste, Kiroro is a perfect little unknown spot for getting fresh lines all day long!
Day 6, 7 & 8 – Guided Exploration Through The Kurodake, Asahidake & Tokachi Mountains
The culmination of our trip to Japan is a legendary 3 day guided road trip taking in an unbelievable area of the sickest off-piste riding terrain you will have ever ridden! We will be riding off piste in Japan’s Daisetsuzan National Park, which translates to mean ‘Great Snowy Mountains’ or ‘Playground of the Gods’. With an area covering over 3,000 square kilometres and including Hokkaido’s highest mountains we have a powder playground on a grand scale! To top things off the Daisetsuzan National Park contains two active volcanoes, Tokachidake with its simmering smoke visible from the valley and Asahidake, which at 2,290 is the highest mountain in Hokkaido.
Kurodake: Japanese powder skiing/boarding that breaks the ‘deep not steep’ tagline of Japans mountains. Kurodake has the legendary Hokkaido powder but with with the added bonus of steep gnarly terrain. Accessed from the town of Sounkyo, Kuro-dake is an uncrowded champagne powder heaven that can provide riding challenges not found elsewhere in Japan.
Asahidake: With an average of about 14 metres of snow per season, the highest mountain in Hokkaido keeps the powder super cold and being set inland the snow is the driest/lightest of any in Japan! Where in Europe do they do ‘Asahidake style’, putting in cat tracks just so you can access a vast back country playground with awesome tree skiing/boarding? Oh, and if that isn’t enough, Mt Asahi (which we will be skiing/boarding on) is an active volcano!
Tokachi: Pure back country paradise! Unlike the more open, rolling terrain of Asahi Dake, the Tokachi mountains has steep fingers of powder reaching all the way into the forest below. Tokachi also faces the cold north, which maintains perfect dry powder snow long after the last dump. As an added bonus the views from the ridges and valleys of this volcanic mountain range are spectacular.
Combined into a 3 day road trip with stay overs on route.
Day 9 – Guided trip to Teine
Made up of two small areas, Olympia and Highland, this little known resort offers some great steep terrain that is easily accessed from the Highland area. A north facing aspect keeps this stash of Hokkaido powder pristine & fresh. Sitting 1,000 metres above sea level, the ski area also offers spectacular views of Sapporo and the ocean beyond!
Our last evening of the trip is spent in Sapporo, with great options for eating out & only a short transfer to the airport the following day.
Day 10 – Leave Sapporo for transfer back to Chitose International Airport
After a well earned nights sleep in Sapporo we get on a transfer back to the international airport of Chitose and pass out on the flight back to Europe, dreaming sweet dreams of the good times that have been had riding Japanese powder!
Come with us on our ski/snowboard trip to the hidden powder stashes of Japan and experience riding powder like never before – it will blow your mind and have you booking to reserve your place for next year before you even finish the trip!
Is This Ski / Snowboard Trip For Me? This trip is designed for those who are confident off-piste powder skiers/boarders looking to score some of the best powder runs in the world! If you are just venturing into powder between pistes this is not the trip for you – sorry.
It is going to be physically demanding, with hike’s into/out of the back country and even include a day or two of remote mountain access via skins/snowshoes.
The rewards for your efforts will be some of the best powder skiing/snowboard you have ever experienced. We just need to make this clear because we want our group to be up for putting in some effort to score the best conditions and we will be keeping the pace up to get maximum powder time throughout the trip!
Location: Hokkaido – Japan
Date: 17th – 27th February 2013
Flight: £550-£600 (on the proviso that we get a full group booking early, exact price TBC at time of booking)
Included : 8 days of ultimate powder skiing/boarding, flights, transfers, accommodation, breakfasts, 6 full days of off-piste guiding in the most amazing locations, 1 unguided day trip to Rusutsu, Chisenupuri or Moiwa, 1 un-guided day skiing in Niseko, lift passes on all guided days and transport between our powder destinations
Not Included : Lunch, evening meals and travel insurance.
Optional Extras : Day pass lift tickets for the 2 unguided days, this gives flexibility for those that want to take a rest day, keeps things open as to where we ride on the unguided days & potentially reduces the cost depending which resort we choose to visit on these days.
We have negotiated a great discounted rate for those who need to rent back country equipment (back country equipment is a requirement for everyone on our trip). This includes pack, beeper, shovel & probe and for the days that require it, also snowshoes & poles for snowboarders / alpine trekkers & skins for skiers.
Full back country setup for the entire trip £118.
Alpine trackers/skins or snow shoes/poles just for the 3 touring days £30.