Destination: Niseko, Jaapan
Dates: 13-21. jaanuar
Activity: great powder and good food
Accommodation: twin share
Mountain guides: local gurus
FLIGHTS ARE NOT INCLUDED!
If there is somewhere in the world where the fluffiest powder is, then it's in Japan. The best snow in Japan is on the island of Hokkaido. The most awesome ski resort on Hokkaido is Niseko, and that's where we're going in January.
A trip to Japan is a very special and cool journey. The first reason is, of course, the snow. The cold air coming from Siberia quickly cools down the steam that has formed over the warm ocean water near Hokkaido, and this creates snow clouds that descend over the island of Hokkaido. The resulting snow is a thick carpet with the finest crystals that can accumulate up to 15 meters a year. 15 meters! It's just unbelievable. And that's not all - in Hokkaido, and especially in Niseko, there are mountains that are just right for this kind of snow. They are high enough for long descents, but still low enough to be covered in forests. The trees have broad branches and leaves, and they don't allow enough sunlight to reach the ground for underbrush to grow. This means that there's plenty of space between the trees to ride in an incredibly cool way. And we're going there for the snow, mountains, and Japanese food.
Niseko combines four ski resorts, making it one of Japan's largest ski resorts. We're not just going there to ride the trails, we're going with guides who will take us to particularly cool places.
13.01 transfer from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Niseko
14-15.01 lift-accessed riding with a guide - we ride with guides in the powder so that all runs end near the lift
16.01* lift-accessed backcountry touring - we ride the lift up, hike a little, and then ride down
17-18.01* backcountry touring - we hike up the mountain and then ride down
19-20.01 additional riding days, snowmobiling, or cat-skiing
20.01 transfer to New Chitose Airport after a day of shredding and overnight at the airport hotel
21.01 end of the program
Riding up the mountain on a snowmobile and then sliding down in powder is a great experience, as the maximum group size is 10 people per day, which is very few for one mountain. This means that drawing fresh tracks in the snow is almost guaranteed.
The elevation difference of the mountain is about 700 meters, and the mountain profile is quite steep and you can ride between trees and on open fields. During the day, you can do 6-7 runs. The place is quite close to Niseko, and the journey from the hotel takes about 20 minutes.
Backcountry snowmobiling costs 250€/day.
Cat-ski which is riding up the mountain on a snowcat and then skiing down untouched slopes, takes place in Shimamaki, which is about a 3-hour drive from Niseko. Shimamaki is a quiet fishing village that is as Japanese as it can be. Therefore, life there is very different from the hustle and bustle of Niseko, and experiencing it is definitely an experience in itself.
The mountains are right by the ocean, so the views are simply amazing. The average vertical drop of the runs is 450 meters, and during the day, you will descend about 4000 vertical meters. That's enough to make you tired and happy. For revitalizing your tired feet there is an onsen in our hotel.
At Shimamaki, there are only two snowmobiles allowed on the mountain at a time, which means the maximum number of skiers on the mountain is 24. This also means that we are unlikely to see any tracked slopes during the day, and every descent will be on untouched snow, making it worth its weight in gold (which is reflected in the cat-ski price).
Jan 18th afternoon transfer to Shimamaki
Jan 19-20th untouched slopes and stunning views
Jan 20th afternoon transfer to Niseko and then to the airport from there
Cat-skiing costs 1700€ and it includes:
Our home resort is Grand Hirafu, and our village is Hirafu, which is the liveliest and most fun area in the region. We are staying at the Always Niseko hotel, which is a 10-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride from the nearest lift.
The trip to Niseko is primarily intended for experienced skiers and snowboarders who have previously ridden off-piste in fresh powder. If you have a lot of riding experience but have not previously ridden in powder, you can probably handle it. This is not a learning trip, and we do not provide ski or snowboard lessons.If you still want to come along, you are certainly welcome, because Niseko's marked slopes are very user-friendly and also great for riding on the trails. If desired, we can also arrange an instructor for you on site.
We ride a lot in the forest, which is more difficult and dangerous than riding on open terrain. Please keep this in mind when registering for the trip.
The price of the trip is 2600€ and does not include airfare. It is best to wait to purchase tickets and we will definitely let you know when the time is right.
Additional fee for a single room is 600.-.
*Touring requires splitboards or skis suitable for touring, which can be rented on site if needed.