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Freeride and ski touring at Niseko on the island of Hokkaido

Landscapes of snow-covered ski slopes in Niseko, Japan

Niseko, a name that makes all freeride and ski touring enthusiasts dream. Nestled on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, this ski resort is renowned for its exceptional quality powder snow. Whether you're a seasoned skier or a beginner looking for adventure, Niseko offers a variety of Japanese ski terrain and landscapes to suit all tastes.

Discover Niseko, the paradise of powder

Located on the island of Hokkaido, Niseko is Japan's most famous ski resort. It is known for its abundant, light and powdery snow, which attracts local and foreign skiers in every season. In winter, this fabulous ski resort often receives more than 15 meters of snow between December and February, which is 4 meters more snow than any other resort in the world! Put on your touring skis and set off to explore the fabulous backcountry terrain of Niseko for an unforgettable experience.

The different ski options in Niseko

With PowderWeGo Ski Travels, you can choose the level of ski touring or snowboarding you want. Their tours range from week-long tours mostly assisted by ski lifts, which require minimal walking in the vicinity of the ski resorts around Niseko, to 8-15 day ski touring tours for intermediate and advanced skiers using skins, snowshoes or splitboards.

There are two types of backcountry backcountry skiing: lift-assisted backcountry, or freerando, and traditional backcountry, or ski touring. The first type uses ski resorts' lifts, followed by short hikes or ski-on-the-shoulder approach steps to access the backcountry. You will ski about 1,000m of vertical drop on the beautiful Niseko runs. Traditional backcountry, on the other hand, involves all-day backcountry ski touring, with no lifts, queues, or crowds of people! However, this means that you will be outside all day; There are no facilities or lodges to warm up. You will ski about 500m to 1,500m of elevation gain, depending on the speed of the tour. For ski touring, freeride gear mounted touring for skis or a splitboard, as well as skins are required.

The Rules of Niseko

Niseko has implemented a backcountry system that allows skiers and snowboarders to access off-piste terrain through the resort's ski lifts. This system is unique to Niseko, as it has received approval and support from local and national governments. However, like anywhere else in the world, it is paramount to have proper avalanche safety equipment before venturing into the backcountry. This includes a transceiver, a shovel and a probe in your Avalanche Airbag backpack type ABS® or Reactor®, as well as the knowledge of their correct use.

To ensure your safety and the best powder skiing experience possible, follow Niseko's rules :

  1. It is strictly forbidden to enter the prohibited areas at ANY TIME and for ANY REASON.

  2. It is strictly forbidden to cross the boundary ropes. Use the designated doors when you go out of bounds.

  3. There is no ski patrol outside the ski areas. Leave the limits at your own risk.

  4. The Gates will be closed if conditions are deemed unsafe. Out-of-bounds skiing is prohibited when the gates are closed.

  5. For official information on mountain conditions, please refer to "Niseko Avalanche Information" or

  6. YOU WILL BE CHARGED for search and rescue costs outside the boundaries of marked and open ski trails.

  7. All users, inside and outside the boundaries of the marked trails, must obey the authority of the ski patrol at all times.

  8. Children under the age of 18 must refrain from leaving the boundaries of marked and open trails unless accompanied by a competent adult.

  9. Niseko's resorts and the local community respect the freedom of mountain users and emphasize SAFE MOUNTAIN PRACTICES.

Hire a guide!

Backcountry skiing and snowboarding is becoming more and more popular as it can provide you with the best conditions of your life! However, this comes with risks. There are several qualified guiding operations in the Niseko area that can help you find the best snow conditions and use their knowledge to keep you safe. PowderWeGo is a company that specializes in backcountry skiing around the world, operating in Niseko and can tailor a backcountry ski or snowboard holiday to your needs.

Niseko is also home to hundreds of riders who come to tear up the most accessible slopes every day. Treat yourself to the services of a qualified and qualified guide, and take advantage of his knowledge of the terrain to get away from the crowds and ride hidden spots and exclusive lines.

Explore the backcountry with PowderWeGo

PowderWeGo, a guiding company that specializes in ski touring and freeriding, offers tours in the Niseko backcountry. With their in-depth local knowledge and passion for skiing, they can take you to remote locations where the snow is the deepest powder, in the safest conditions. Whether you're looking to explore pristine, gentle slopes or experience the mountains in a more engaged way, PowderWeGo has the perfect formula for you.

Ski touring topos in Hokkaido, for DIY riders

Hokkaido Wilds is a free resource that provides GPS route maps, downloadable GPS route files, photos and more. A wealth of information in English about backcountry ski touring in Hokkaido. Even from the center of Sapporo city, fun ski touring routes exist within an hour by public transport. Some even have mountain huts that are only accessible by skis. This site is an ever-changing database of Hokkaido's winter mountain offerings accessible by ski or snowboard.

Two skiers before a session in Japan

To resume, whether you're an experienced skier looking for new adventures or a beginner looking to discover the joys of ski touring, Niseko is the perfect destination. With exceptional snow conditions, varied terrain, and tour options suitable for all levels, Niseko promises an unforgettable skiing experience. So, strap on your skis, play by the rules, and get ready to explore the backcountry of Niseko, putting powder up to your ears!

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