Japan - Hokkaido Powder

Mind Blowing Powder, Culture, Sushi and Onsens

Altus Mountain Guides is very excited to offer Guided Backcountry Trips to Japan and bookings are now available for February 2018.  Ski waist deep powder, summit volcanoes, take a soak in the natural hot springs and enjoy great food- this is going to be a trip of a lifetime.  And with the most consistent snowfall anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, if Japan is not on your ‘Bucket List,’ it should be.

Don’t expect to be in one place for the entire trip, we will be road tripping to the absolute best locations throughout Hokkaido, away from the crowds to explore areas of the backcountry where even locals rarely go.  Our Lead Guide Ben Johns has 3 seasons experience guiding in Hokkaido’s Backcountry and feels that Hokkaido’s ski hills are only for days it snows more than 50cms and that the backcountry is the only place to be.  With Ben’s knowledge and experience, you can be certain you are skiing the best and deepest Japan has to offer.

We are heading to Japan in February for the best snow coverage.  Longer days and more stable weather than January will give us more time to ski bigger objectives.

The Goods

Length: 8 Days of Adventure and Amazing Pristine Powder Skiing

Elevations: 300 - 2300m

Terrain: The entire Island of Hokkaido! We will road trip to ski the best terrain and snow for the current conditions.  Perfect tree skiing, volcano craters and 30-40º powder runs.

Length of Runs: From a 400m to a massive 1500m of vertical.

Season: January - March

Max Guide to Guest Ratio: 6:1

Favorite Runs: Mount Yotei

The Skiing

It's actually quite a simply a fantasy... lots of snow… maybe too much snow.  Large perfect picturesque volcanoes covered in a thick blanket of blower powder.  You are standing at the top.  There is no rush, no powder anxiety, no lines.  You and your group are the only people around and the mountain is yours.

Skiing Difficulty
Fitness Level
Mountain Experience

The Terrain

  • 90% Tree Skiing.  So bad weather is a good thing!
  • 10% High Alpine
  • 500-1500m of Vertical
  • 300-2300m of Elevation Range
  • The Entire Island of Hokkaido with 6 major Volcanoes to Ski
  • The Famous Yotei Crater Run

Meet Your Guides

image (1)

Ben Johns

Ben has worked as an ACMG Ski Guide for almost a decade guiding all over the world!   More on Ben >

Ross Berg - Mountain Guide

Ross Berg

With a passion for exploring new areas, new mountains and new sushi restaurants, Ross is teaming up with Ben to apply his wealth of mountain experience to our Japan trips.  More on Ross >

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrive in Sapporo (New Chitose International Airport) Meet your guide and get on the road towards Niseko
  • Settle into accommodation, eat dinner (Sushi maybe?)
  • Discuss the game plan for next day. Early bed… Jet lag recovery.

Day 2

  • Safety First! A detailed safety briefing and thorough rescue training session will prepare you for the week and make you much more skilled in the backcountry.
  • Easy Ski tour. The first day will not be strenuous at all. Most likely a tour off the ski hill followed by a soak in a natural hot spring called an Onsen.
  • Dinner at one of the many restaurants located in the town of Hirafu or we can visit the quieter Niseko Town.

Day 3

  • Mount Yotei!! This volcano is such a beautiful mountain; some call it the Mount Fuji of Hokkaido. It rises 1500mand offers the longest runs in the area. 

Day 4

  • The Kiroro Traverse. We travel about an hour away to the ski resort calledKiroro. Kiroro consistently get some of the deepest snow packs of all the skills. We take advantage of the gondola that brings us to the foot of the mountain Yoichi Dake. From here we ski a total of 1500m making our way back to the Van. We finish this day at the local Onsen before driving back to the Niseko area.

Day 5

  • Mount Shiribetsu ski tour.
  • Travel toCentral Hokkaido

Day 6

  • Today we ski an active volcano! Asahi-dake at 2290m is the highest point in Hokkaido. This volcano has fumaroles that billow steam from the crater. The snow here is some of the lightest and driest because of the altitude and distance from the ocean.

Day 7

  • Tokachidake backcountry. The surrounding area of Tokachidake has some amazing spruce forests that need to be skied. So if the weather is stormy, the glades are the place to be.

Day 8

  • Tomamu, Furano, or Sahoro. The backcountry skiing around these resort is very accessible and taking advantage of the lifts make it easier to get maximum vertical.
  • After our day we pack up and drive to Sapporo.

Day 9

  • The last day of skiing is based out of Sapporo. There are a number of options that all offer something different. Teine and Kokusa are the best bets. We will go where the best snow is.
  • Party night in Sapporo!!

Day 10

  • Airport transfer day. Sleep in, eat a late breakfast, organize your gear and get dropped off at the airport.
  • There are a few Places to visit in the city if your flights are later in the day.
Gear list
What's Included

What's Included
8 day guided skiing with ACMG guide

Pre-trip logistics and Altus concierge support

Transportation to and from airport

Transportation during ski week

9-nights of accommodation

All breakfast

Lift tickets

One heck of a good time

Not Included
Not included: Lunch and dinner, Alcohol or additional beverages, flights to Japan, and travel insurance. For help booking flights or travel insurance, chat with our Concierge department
Prerequisites
Prerequisites
  • Intermediate ski ability (blue/black diamond runs)
  • Previous ski touring experience
  • Moderate fitness (ability to walk up while for 2- 4 hours)
  • Eagerness for adventure
  • Powder skiing experience (minimum 20 days)

Scheduled Trip Dates

February 1 - 10, 2018$3950 /person

Sold out

February 10 - 20, 2018$3950 /person

Only 6 spots available

Custom Dates AvailableContact Us

All listed prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.

Why These Weeks

Season - February has the best snow coverage.  The days are longer and the weather is more stable than January and that gives us more time to ski bigger objectives.  The snow base would also be quite mature so creeks and other early season hazards are no longer as big an issue.

Guides - We are extremely selective of the Guides who run these trips.  Both Guides are full ACMG Ski Guides or IFMG Mountain Guides.  Which means they have the training and the work experience to deliver excellent skiing while ensuring the utmost safety.

Exploration - Our trips take advantage of the whole island of Hokkaido. We will ski the classic lines and the local secrets.  Not to mention taking in a variety of Japanese culture along the way.

Still Have Questions or Concerns?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or requests on how we can make this the best trip ever!!!