Japan Powder Skiing 2017 - SOLD OUT

Niseko gets its snow from cold fronts coming out of Siberia, picking up moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan, then dumping it when it hits the mountains of Hokkaido and Honshu. The combination creates a huge amount of very dry snow, and you get to ski it over, and over, and over again.

January 30, 2017 - February 4, 2017

$2,780.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience and powder skiing experience

Fitness Level: Moderately strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 4:1,8:2

Niseko gets its snow from cold fronts coming out of Siberia, picking up moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan, then dumping it when it hits the mountains of Hokkaido and Honshu. The combination creates a huge amount of very dry snow, and you get to ski it over, and over, and over again. It snows relentlessly, but don't worry when the avalanche hazard climbs too high, the birch forests are perfectly spaced for tree skiing.
The backcountry terrain is easy to reach, easy to travel through and fantastic to ski. Chris Simmons and Martin Volken have been there several times since 2008 and we are inspired to return. Chris created this itinerary to maximize your time and make the most out of a week.
Its possible to depart North America on Saturday and land in Japan on Sunday, but then return home just on Sunday - the international date line knocks back the clock. That can give you six days of skiing!  
The easiest route is to fly directly into Sapporo, Japan, where we'll pick you up and drive you down to the village of Niseko, which sits at the bottom of majestic Annupuri. Four massive ski areas - Niseko United - girdle the southern and south-eastern sides of the mountain.
A short bootpack from the highest chair gains the summit, and some fantastic ski descents on the northern and western aspects.The range runs on to the west, and its possible to ride one chair, exit the areas, and link summits. Every day will feature 5000-7000' of ski descents, more if we stay close to the resorts.
We'll stay at the Woodpecker Lodge, which resides only 30 meters away from the Moiwa ski area on the southwest arm of Annupuri. The owner happens to be the regional avalanche forecaster with 40 years of local experience. The age of the building makes the lodging rustic, but the bathrooms and showers were renovated this summer and his wife is an incredible cook who will be feeding us breakfast and dinner every day.
We'll also have the option to visit any one of a number of local onsens (hot spring baths). One of our favorite days is to ski all day and slide right up to an onsen nearby, then have a short 15-minute climb and a final run down to the lodge in time for dinner.If you have time, consider spending a few extra days in Tokyo. It is an incredible experience.  If you'd like help or advice with additional bookings, we're happy to assist.




Costs included in the trip:
•            Sapporo-Niseko transportation
•            Transportation during the week
•            Lodging at Woodpecker Lodge for seven nights
•            Dinner and breakfast at Woodpecker lodge for seven nights
•            Guides' daily wages
Costs not included in the trip:
•            Transportation to Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
•            Meals taken outside of Woodpecker Lodge
•            Onsen visits outside of Woodpecker Lodge
•            Lift tickets (which can range from $35-65 USD for a full day ticket, or as little as $4 for a single-trip ticket)
•            Gratuity/tip
Suggested Itinerary:
Saturday - Step on a plane and make your way to Japan. See you on Sunday!
Sunday - Let us pick you up in Sapporo and drive you down to Niseko. We'll make it in time for dinner and meet the owner of the Woodpecker Lodge, Akio Shinya. Shinya-san has lived and skied here for more than 40 years.
Monday - After all that sitting, today's going to focus on the down. We'll pick up a single-trip or half-day ticket to ski the back bowl of Moiwa, the local hill only 100m away from the lodge. This backcountry basin separates Moiwa from Mt Annupri (1309m/4295'), and so we'll traverse over there and pick up a second ticket to reach the summit, a 20 minute bootpack outside of the ski area. An 1800-2500' runs exist on the west and north aspects. We'll ski what looks best before heading down to the Moiwa-Io onsen. After a good soak, we'll be fresh for a 15 minute climb back to Moiwa and a final run to dinner.
Tuesday - All right, now we're going to get after it. The north side of Mt Io (1090m/3576') features some great 1000' couloirs. From here we can explore north to Waisuhorun (1020m/3346'), which features incredible tree skiing and open glades on moderate slopes, and ends at the Hanazono onsen; or head east to climb the Chisenupuri (1130m/3707') before getting an 1800' ski descent to the Chisenupuri ski area for a pickup back to the lodge.
Wednesday - We'll drive back to the Chise ski hill to get one-trip lift tickets and a 800' leg up. Our goal today is simply to ski and traverse as many peaks as we can - or want to - westwards. From Chisenupuri there's Shakunagedake (1030m/3376'), Shirakabayama (930m/3051') and Zenmennaidake (970m/3182'). From the summit of Shiraka we'll have a 1400' ski descent to Niimi onsen, where we can soak while we wait for our ride.
Thursday - We'll return to the Niimi onsen to continue the hunt for summits and snow. This time we'll climb the massive Mt Mekunnai (1190m/3904'), and Mt Raiden (1220m/4003') . Mt Raiden is particularly special - this massive mountain sits right on the edge of the Sea of Japan, and features descents up to 3000' - the longest in the area. We'll finish the day back at the Niimi onsen.
Friday - Mt Yotei (1898m/6227') is almost a perfectly symmetrical stratocolcano, towering over 6000' above the valley floor, and one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains (a list penned by climber and author Kuuka Fukada in 1964). We'll have a 4900-5200' climb, depending on where we start. From the summit, we'll get a one-of-a-kind summit, and a 1000' ski descent in the crater! A short climb back out will give us a 4600' descent back down to the car.
Saturday - Bonus day - we'll save this one for a rest day (if you want one) to shuffle into the week, explore the Raiden-Annupuri ridge further, or explore areas like Rusutsu Ski Area and Mt Nukkibetsu.
 
 

 






Pro Ski LogoSign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental.


Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.


The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.


 



EQUIPMENT LIST

If you are in need of any of these items, please follow the red links to see the equipment we have tested, recommend, and sell through our online retail shop, Pro Ski and Mountain Service.
 
CLOTHING
BASE LAYER    Men's - Womens's
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Ski Socks - 2 pair
MID LAYER    Men's - Women's
o            Soft Shell, Windshirt, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o            Soft shell ski touring pant
OUTERWEAR    Men's - Women's
o           Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o           Waterproof/Breathable Pants –
o            Warm Hat
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves
o            Ski Gloves
INSULATION    Men's - Women's
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
 
PERSONAL GEAR
o            Day Pack - about 30 Liters in size
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o            Goggles
o            Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
o            Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
 
SKI GEAR
o            Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark; we recommend a fatter skis (at least 100 mm of waist width).
o            Ski Boots - we recommend a touring boot that has good downhill performance such as a Scarpa Maestrale RS 
o            Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o            Alpine Touring Bindings 
o            Climbing Skins
o            Ski Crampons 
o            Ski Brakes
 
SAFETY GEAR
o            Transceiver -  new batteries at start of trip
o            Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o            Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
 
TECHNICAL GEAR
o           Airbag Pack such as a BCA Float pack. This is optional, but recommended. We have the option to provide customers with air canisters at the resort. 

OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o            Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o            Skin Wax
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Compass 
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
 
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS 
o            Group 1st Aid Kit
 


 


 





 






Pro Ski Service Logo

Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental.


Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999. The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.