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Hokkaido Backcountry Explorer Ski Tour

Get off the beaten track and discover some of Japan’s best backcountry terrain assisted by lifts

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7 days, 8 nights
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HOKKAIDO JAPAN
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LIST-ASSISTED BACKCOUNTRY
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11 – 19 FEBRUARY 2023
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US$3,995 per person

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, you will spend the remaining part of your days touring into the backcountry in search of endless fresh tracks. Explore hidden gem ski resorts, experience traditional Japanese culture and mouth-watering cuisine along the way.

As featured in the Financial Times

On this lift-assisted backcountry ski trip, you will be based out of the traditional towns of Furano and Asahidake. 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$4,295 / £3,495 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room).
10% off when you book before 31 July

Aaron

Had an amazing time touring with Mabey Ski, it was fun, relaxed, very well organized and professional. Our guide was amazing. Absolutely loved the après experience too. Can't say enough about what a great time I had.

Holly

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 can not recommend their experiences enough.

Spread over 8 nights, you will stay in the towns of Asahidake and Furano, chasing the best powder on Hokkaido, under the wing of a local expert ski guide. Touring (with some resort skiing to ski that low hanging fruit!) for 6 days at unique ski resorts and mountains, away from the tourist trail, expect to climb active volcanoes and ski where few tourists have skied before.

Based out of the traditional Japanese towns of Furano, and Asahidake, your local guide will pick the best ski areas and mountain ranges each day, depending on where has the best snow conditions. All transportation will be provided on the road trip as well as airport transfers to New Chitose airport.

This backcountry trip is suitable for skiers who are comfortable skiing black runs in resort and have some powder skiing ability. We ask that you are comfortable with ski touring equipment, with at least 10 days under your belt, and a good level of fitness (don't worry, we're not expecting Kilian Jornet!). We will split groups based on ability, so as long as you meet this criteria, we will make sure you are in a suitable group.

Ferbruary 11th-19th, 2023.

Ski Touring & Splitboarding

Touring days with your local, expert ski guide, in up to 6 different mountains/resorts on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, each day will be different, as your guide uses local knowledge and connections to find out where the best conditions of the day are. Expect deep, light, fluffy snow – lots of it. Whilst the snow is deep, the low density, low temperature snow makes for much easier powder skiing than you may be used to, as your skis cut through it like a knife on hot butter.  Hokkaido has a great mix of terrain, from steaming live volcanos to mellow, deep trees. We will get you away from the crowds and deep into Japan’s backcountry on some of Japan’s best and least known touring routes. In the evenings, soak in a local onsen (Japanese hot spring) to recharge and recover, and sample local sake and beers. Snowfall in Japan is typically very heavy at this time of year, so we do recommend a good low-light lens for your goggles and wide powder skis to maximize the fun.

Japanese Culture

Japanese culture is truly unique, and on this trip you will experiencing Hokkaido, like a local. Otaru and Furano are both unique towns, absolutely oozing with local culture, from world-class cuisine, traditional sake and steaming onsens to friendly locals, artisans and fellow powder skiers. With all of our trips, we like to help you discover the true heartbeat of the location, and here in Hokkaido, you will dive head first into truly unique destinations, off-the-beaten path and away from the usual tourist trail. With such a diverse number of resorts and ski areas, you will get to experience a smorgasbord of cultures along the way, and on your rest day we will organize a cultural tour (decided by the group and guide together) with a local guide. As mentioned above, the steaming natural hot springs (onsens) are often a highlight of the evenings, and a great way to relax and unwind, as well as feel involved and immersed in this unique part of Japanese culture.

Overview

Over 8 nights, you will start by flying into New Chitose airport in Sapporo, where you will be met by your driver and guide and driven to the traditional town of Furano, where you will check into our hotel for the next 5 nights..  A hearty welcome dinner will be provided so that you can settle in, meet your fellow powder lovers and guide, and start chatting about current conditions and what everyone is looking to get out of the trip. From Furano, you will ski out of some of Japan’s deepest powder in the central Hokkaido area. Again, picking the best resorts of the day, you will drive out to up to 5 different local ski areas (including Furano, Kamui, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake, Pippu & Kurodake and Tokachidake), in your private 4wd road trip machine! Spend your rest day discovering one of the many cultural highlights of Hokkaido, such as a Whiskey distillery, city tour, snow museum (and many more ideas).For the final 3 nights, you will head to the bustling town of Asahikawa, where your hotel comes complete with bar, lounge, waffle station and ski tuning area. Explore even more local onsens and eat Japan’s finest seafood and ramen by night, with a final hosted farewell dinner on the final night, before transferring back to the airport (this is included, although some guests prefer to  extend their trip in Hokkaido or elsewhere in Japan – please let us know if you need assistance with this).

PRICING

Price: US$3,995 / £3,295 per person (based on 2 people sharing 1 room)
only £2,995 when you book before 31 July

Included in this price:

  • 8 nights’ accommodation in Furano and Asahidake
  • 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

Exclusions:

  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Daily lunches and dinners (apart from welcome and farewell dinner)
  • Gratuities
  • Ski or snowboard rental (can be arranged)

Resorts you may visit during your trip (please let us and your guide know if you have any strong preferences):

  • Furano
  • Kamui
  • Tomamu
  • Sahoro
  • Asahidake
  • Pippu & Kurodake
  • Tokachidake
Skier KC Dean trying local cuisine in Japan Nozawa Onsen
Group of Skiers in Japan doing the Four Volcanoes Challenge and following Avalanche Safety tips
The Conibears, Niseko Japan

A once-in-a-lifetime trip. Mabey Ski made very aspect of organising easy and enjoyable. A unique and magical experience!

The Hawkins, Niseko Japan

The best honeymoon we could have dreamt of. 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.

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 to see a different side of Japanese skiing and take a dive into the rich and incredible culture of Japan’s North Island whilst skiing places few foreigners get to see, then this might just be the trip for you.

Skiing through birch trees in Hokkaido Japan