Our Guides

Whiteroom prides itself on providing the highest quality guiding and tour products. We have achieved this by building a professional team of hand-picked ski and snowboard guides from around the world with exceptional local knowledge. Our team members originate from a variety of professional ski industry backgrounds but all have one very important thing in common, their love of the mountains and Japanese powder.

At Whiteroom, our number one priority is your safety, which is why all customers guided outside the resort boundaries must personally carry appropriate avalanche safety equipment. All our guides are certified in avalanche safety management and first aid, plus with mountain guiding accreditations or ski patrol background, you can be assured you are in safe hands. Whiteroom guides receive ongoing training in first aid, backcountry travel and avalanche safety with their respective country’s mountain safety associations & through our in-house training programs. Daily guide meetings are held in each area to analyse the days’ weather, snowpack and prevailing conditions. Combined with our seasons’ knowledge bank we make the best decisions to ensure you ski or ride the best lines & maximise your experience.

All of this makes for an epic day with one of our Whiteroom Guides. So meet the team;

 

Meet the Whiteroom crew:

PAUL ELLIS

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR & SNOWBOARD GUIDE

After seasons working in the US, Australia and Japan, as well as expeditions to the mountains of Central Asia, Paul started what was to become Whiteroom Tours in 2007 with an idea to create a website around helping those venturing into the backcountry around the world. Backcountry Logistics was created and soon born Backcountry Snow Tours, which had tours planned for Pakistan, Gulmarg and Furano, Japan. Seeing that the market wasn’t really there for backcountry tours to remote locations yet he moved to offering a resort based Japan tour and sold ESS Boardstore owner Mark Chandler on the idea. In 2007 the first tour was run to Furano. In 2010 he founded Whiteroom Tours with the aim showing more people the areas in Hokkaido he came to love. Today Whiteroom Tours has grown into a Travel Agency, Tour Operator and Guiding Company with more than 40+ tours all over Japan as well as NZ and Alaska, and guiding throughout Japan.

 


 

ROSS MCSWINEY

JAPAN OPERATIONS MANAGER & SKI GUIDE

Ross has seen more winter than most people see in two lifetimes. Having first guided in Japan with Whiteroom Tours 7 seasons ago, he now heads up our Japan operations. He is responsible for managing, training and sourcing new guides as well as insuring Whiteroom runs to the highest of standards. Ross has over 24 years experience as a Thredbo Ski Patroller, National Ski Patrol trainer and examiner plus skied 17 years in Hokkaido, 10 as a ski guide. He holds his NZ Avalanche Stage 1 Professional, Remote/Advanced/Advanced Resus/Occupational First Aid and is also an Avalanche Awareness and First Aid Trainer.

 


 

RONAN MAGUIRERonan-wrt

LEAD SKI GUIDE
AVALANCHE TRAINING CO-ORDINATOR & AVALANCHE FORECASTER

An Irish man who happened to land on his feet in the high alpine of NZ. Ronan has since made the mountains his home and Ski Patrolling, Avalanche Training & Avalanche Forecasting his profession complete with Jazz, his Avy Search and Rescue Dog. With eleven seasons at Mt Hutt as well several in America, Canada & Japan, Ronan is now NZMSC’s National Avalanche Forecaster and manages Snow Safety and the Avalanche Program for Mt Hutt. He looks forward to sharing his passion for the Mountains with you and enjoying some good turns together.

 


 

Our Guest Services team is on the ground in Niseko and Furano, ready to help you with anything you may need to make your holiday even better – booking a Whiteroom private guide availability, additional experiences, restaurant reservations or just general information.


YUKO KAN

Yuko has been in the snow sports industry for 5 years in New Zealand and Japan. Now Yuko is based in Japan and is looking forward to showing people the best snow in the world.

 

 

 

 


YUKI HIGASHIKAWA

Yuki was born and grew up in Kobe, Japan. She has been a passionate traveller for the past 10 years and still has some places left to visit. She is multi-lingual and can speak Japanese as her mother tongue, alongside English and Spanish fluently. After graduating University she worked in the Tokachi region at Sahoro enjoying the metres of deep snow they
receive each year. Most recently she has returned from 18 months in Dubai to make Niseko her home where she has been since the start of the 2018/19 winter.

 

 

 


JASMINE SANDOVER

Raised in Perth, Australia but being half Japanese has brought Jasmine back to Japan to visit every year where she learnt to snowboard. Jasmine loves the outdoors and has just finished studying Marine Biology, hoping
to work towards one day becoming a dive instructor and snowboard instructor, moving between the seasons. This will be Jasmine’s first season in Japan but hopefully the start of many.

 

 

 

 


KATE STIEGLER

Born in a city, Kate started to seek out the mountainous refuge since old enough to travel. After four summer seasons in the Swiss Alps and one in Canada she discovered Japan and is heading towards her sixth winter in the snowy wonderland. Her first time in Hokkaido, she’s keen to explore
best places to ride, eat out and bathe and will be more than happy to share her discoveries with you!