Last month we spent a very fun week over in Central-Hokkaido, exploring the local resorts of Furano, Tomamu and Asahidake. This is a little stop-motion video from one glorious sunshiny day at Asahidake…
Our February Detourees scored a whole lot of powder, but that’s fairly standard here. Small groups, and a really good bunch of guys. We spent the first few days in and around Niseko, exploring the stashes out of the Annupuri gates and working on techniques in some of our favourite Hirafu powder spots.
The latter half of the week was set for heading a little further afield. We scored a BIG snowfall at Rusutsu – phrases like “deepest powder of my life” being batted about – followed by another deep day at Kiroro.
A great week overall. Next season we’ll be putting on Detours almost every week in January and February, so think about your trip now and come join us in Hokkaido for the deepest powder of your life.
While basing ourselves out of Furano, we scored Asahidake with blue sky (rare in January) and 20ms of slightly wind-affected powder. A super-fun day was had by all with a glorious onsen to heel the aching muscles afterwards.
We also found great little powder stashes in Furano before heading to Sapporo and hitting Teine (a personal favourite of Brian and Keith’s), again scoring blue skies and a nice layer of fresh.
Overall it was a great second week with a solid group of people (including two returners from our inaugural trip a few years back), great visibility and fresh aplenty. Enjoy the pics…
It’s been a fun week! While we haven’t had many of Niseko’s not atypical 50cms overnight, we’ve found fresh snow every day for the week. And we scored it big time in Kiroro!
Now our Powder Experience week crew have left us and our Two Week Hokkaido Detourees will carry on with us for another week of action over in Central Hokkaido. Biff’s ski group made leaps and bounds in progress this week, while the others got to explore new places and get hone their skills in preparation for the second week.
Here’s a few shots from the past week…
As always we started our first Powder Detour for 2013 in Niseko. It’s not very often you get a Niseko blue bird powder day but we scored it today, and the smiles were beaming far and wide.
We started our day splitting off into our groups over coffee: our Powder Experience Week skiers in one group, the Two Week Hokkaido Detour skiers in another group, and all the snowboarders heading out together.
The snowboarders headed straight for the peak (as all had been on snow for a few days already), while the skiers decided to cruise the lower gates in Hirafu. The peak was limited visibility (so no amazing views of Yotei) but the Kozanosawa Bowl provided some amazing knee deep freshies all the way down to the base of Annupuri. We snowboarders spent the majority of the day heading out gates 1 and 2 in Annupuri riding the Osawa Bowl, before heading back to catch up with the Two Week Detour skiers for a short avalanche beacon training session.
Fun times! But then Niseko blue bird powder days always are. Enjoy the pics…
Since the start of December there have only been three days where it HASN’T snowed in Niseko (note that all three of those days were in December). Granted a few of those snow falls have been less than 5cms, but the vast majority are between 10 and 30cms. Pretty amazing huh?
Central Hokkaido has also had a lot of snow. Not quite as regular as the Niseko area, but often bigger dumps. And Asahidake recently opened for the season too!
Our first Powder Detour for the season starts in a few weeks and we’re pumped to get out with our guests and show them the goods. We still have a few spots on our our snowboard Powder Experience week and our ski Two Week Detour, so get in now and ride the best pow you’ve ever had.
The snowfall in Hokkaido will undoubtedly continue on the same path for the next month at least – another bumper season here we come!!!
But then all of a sudden, Niseko pops up on the radar and goes from having a dusting in the streets to having a 50cm snowbase overnight.
It’s worth noting that the altitude of Hokkaido’s ski resorts is very low when compared to those of Europe, North America and even NZ. So while the higher resorts around the world are getting their big October and November snowfalls, the Hokkaido resorts are still usually very green. Until about now, when it all seems to come at once!
Last season it didn’t really start snowing until the December 2nd. But when it started, it literally didn’t stop for 28 days. Phew, that brings back a lot of driveway digging memories – oh, and some amazing powder days too of course.
Last week we had an email from one of our valued Powder Detourees and good friend Bob Williams. The email title was “Good news, bad news, good news”.
Bob has been nominated as one of the snowboard officials for the 2013 Special Olympics Word Winter Games in South Korea (Bob’s been running a programme for adaptive skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand for the past 5 years).
This is a first for New Zealand, so it’s a big moment. We’re super proud of Bob, so we thought we’d put together a little image sequence of him shredding some Niseko powder from earlier this year…
Bob’s bad news was that the dates conflict with our main 2-week Hokkaido Tour, which Bob was planning on joining next year. We’re doing what we can to make it work.
Well done Bob!
Howdy all. We’ve set the dates and prices for our amazing Japanese powder trips in 2013…
Hokkaido Two Week Detour – 340,000 JPY:
20th January to 1st February 2013
Niseko Area Powder Experience week – 90,000 JPY (basic package only):
20th to 27th January or
17th to 23rd February, 2013
We only run one Hokkaido Two Week Detour per season, so get in quick if you want a place on this amazing powder trip. And we’re offering an early booking discount of JPY 20,000 on this epic Detour, if booked before 31st August 2012!
Please note: we can arrange additional Powder Experience weeks if you have a group of 4 people or more.
With some mixed and challenging weather on our February Powder Experience week, our crew were just wee bit happy to see the 30cms of fresh at Moiwa on the last day of our week.