Central Hokkaido Backcountry Ski Tour
Get off the beaten track and discover some of Central Hokkaido’s best backcountry terrain assisted by lifts
GUIDED LIFT-ASSISTED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
Ideal for backcountry skiers and boarders who are looking to maximise their powder skiing. Using lifts to gain some fast elevation at the beginning of each day, you will spend the remaining part of the day touring into the backcountry in search of endless fresh tracks. Explore some of Japan’s best hidden gem ski resorts, whilst experiencing traditional culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.
As featured in the Financial Times
Based out of the traditional towns of Furano and Asahikawa, you will have the opportunity to ski up to 7 different ski areas. Discover a deeper side of Japan as you skin up dormant volcanoes in search of untouched powder, unwind in traditional onsens (natural hot springs) and chat to friendly locals along the way.
Dates: 11 – 19 February 2023
Price: US$3,995 / £3,295 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room)
Spend up to 7 days exploring dormant volcanoes and some of Hokkiado's smaller resorts, where your local ski guide will take you touring beyond the boundaries, in search of the island's best powder. Depending on the conditions, there may be plenty of 'low hanging fruit' accessed via lifts should the group wish to take a day off from skinning. Enjoy being far away from the tourist trail, discovering a whole new side to skiing.
Based out of the traditional Japanese towns of Furano and Asahikawa in Central Hokkaido, your guide will select the ski area and mountain ranges each day depending on snow conditions, group objectives and ability. All ground transportation and lift passes will be provided, including transfers to and from Sapporo (New Chitose Airport).
This backcountry trip is suitable for skiers and snowboarders who are comfortable skiing black runs in resort, and have some powder skiing experience. You should be comfortable with ski touring/splitboarding equipment, and have at least 10 days' experience under your belt. You should also have a decent level of fitness to last 5 to 7 hours each day (don't worry, we're not expecting Kilian Jornet!). The two groups of 5 will be allocated by ability, fitness and confidence, so you can get the most out of this experience.
This guided ski touring trip will take place from 11 February to 19 February 2023. If the dates don't suit or you would like to organise a private trip for a smaller group, please get in touch and we'll be happy to assist.
A once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mabey Ski made very aspect of organising easy and enjoyable. A unique and magical experience!
The attention to detail was second to none and the excursions to onsens and authentic restaurants were excellent. The extra tips on what to take, what to wear and key Japanese phrases were all very helpful. The whole experience was enchanting & fulfilled our desire for adventure – thank you Mabey Ski!
A good mix of luxury, adventure and culture! The highlight of our trip was ski touring on Mount Yōtei. A more personable and flexible approach. Mabey Ski really focus on the small details as much as the big ones.
We really want to thank you for making our first visit to Japan such a memorable experience. Your knowledge of this country really made a huge difference.
Had the time of my life in both Japan and New Zealand with Mabey Ski. Ski touring in Japan in the deepest powder with the most wonderful guide. Their team goes above and beyond, they think of every detail. I cannot recommend their experiences enough.
The whole trip was very well organised. We had no previous knowledge of Niseko and with a large group it was invaluable to have a specialist on the ground. It was completely different to anything I’ve experienced in Europe, and we were all blown away by our Japanese chef’s table experience – it was so unique, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Ski Touring & Splitboarding
Spend up to 7 days touring with your local guide, exploring new mountains and resorts each day on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. Your guide will use their local knowledge and connections to find the best conditions of the day. Expect light, deep, fluffy snow – and lots of it! Whilst the snow is deep, the low density and cold temperatures make for much easier powder skiing than you may have experienced elsewhere – your skis will glide through it like a hot knife through butter.
Renowned for its quality powder snow, Central Hokkaido has a great mix of terrain, from steaming active volcanoes and steep chutes to deep sheltered tree runs and massive pillows. Your guide will take you away from the crowds, where you’ll ski some of Hokkaido’s tallest mountains and best tree runs. Many of the smaller resorts you’ll be skiing have easy lift or ropeway access, providing a straightforward entrance above the tree line where you can then take a short hike along the ridgeline summit some of the more famous volcanoes. The snowfall in Japan can be heavy at this time of year, so we do recommend a good low-light lens for your goggles, as well as wide powder skis/powder board to maximise the fun (we have access to some great rental equipment if you don’t wish to bring your own).
You will have the opportunity to experience Central Hokkaido like a local on this guided ski touring trip. Furano and Asahikawa are totally unique in their own very different ways. Whilst keen skiers far and wide are slowly hearing more and more about Furano, it is still a sleepy country town without too many tourists around. You’ll spend your days skiing some of the best tree runs in Hokkaido, and evenings experiencing a more authentic side to Furano – soaking in local onsens (natural hot springs), dining at small izakayas and sampling sake in local bars.
The traditional city of Asahikawa is Hokkaido’s second biggest city, behind Sapporo, and holds the record for the coldest temperature across the whole of Japan (down to -41 degrees Celcius!). With close proximity to Daisetsuzan Asahidake, Hokkaido’s highest peak (2,291m), you’ll witness endless views from the top and ski some of the driest powder snow in the world. As you gaze down at the frozen lakes and snow-covered forests below, you’re reminded just how far away you are from the crowds. Explore the city’s local nightlife, and make sure to try a bowl of Asahikawa Ramen – one of the best noodle dishes in the world!
After flying into New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, you will be greeted at Arrivals and be driven to the country town of Furano, where you will check into your hotel for the next 5 nights. You will meet your guide and fellow powder lovers over a welcome dinner, where you’ll discuss the conditions and learn about each person’s objectives.
From Furano, you’ll have the chance to ski some of Central Hokkaido’s deepest powder. Selecting the best ski area each day, depending on the weather and snow conditions, you will ski tour up to 5 different ski areas (such as Furano, Kamui, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake, and Tokachidake), all accessed by 4WD. Spend your rest day discovering one of the many cultural highlights of Hokkaido, from whisky distilleries and sake tasting to snow festivals and sushi making.
For your final 3 nights, you will head to the local city of Asahikawa, where your hotel is kitted out with a bar, lounge, waffle station and ski tuning area. Soak in the local onsens and tuck into Japan’s finest seafood and ramen by night, with a final farewell dinner hosted on your last night. You will then be transferred back to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo the following morning to take your flight back home.
Price: US$3,995 / £3,295 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room)
Included in this price:
- 8 nights’ accommodation in Furano and Asahikawa
- Daily breakfast
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- 6 days of professional ski guiding
- 6 days of lift passes
- All ground transportation to and from resorts
- Airport transfers
- Onsen (natural hot spring) excursions
- Cultural day
- Alcoholic drinks
- Daily lunches and dinners (apart from welcome and farewell dinner)
- Ski or snowboard rental (can be arranged)
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be arranged)
Resorts you may visit during your trip (please let us and your guide know if you have any strong preferences):
Looking for a powder road-trip with a twist?
This road trip embodies everything a true Mabey Ski trip is about – amazing snow, rich culture, great beer and of course a relaxing soak in a mountainside hot spring. If you’re looking for a similar trip, but skinning up mountains and volcanoes just isn’t your bag, head over to our Hokkaido Off-Piste Powder Chaser trip, which is being hosted in January 2023.