About Us

CERTIFIED JAPOW FANATICS

Whiteroom Tours was founded on the principle of creating tours & ski holidays that are fun, adventurous and allow you to experience each destination from a local’s perspective.

From these humble beginnings and with the help of our growing client base, we have grown into a fully licenced travel agency specialising in guided ski and snowboard tours, ski and snowboard holidays, mountain guiding, instructional tours, group travel, as well as personalised travel packages to Japan.

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.

POWDER, CULTURE, ADVENTURE!

Meet the Team

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 CEO, OPERATIONS MANAGER & SKI GUIDE

Ross has seen more winter than most people see in two lifetimes. Having first guided in Japan with Whiteroom Tours in 2012, he heads up our Whiteroom Japan operations. He is responsible for establishing Whiteroom Guides and ensuring Whiteroom runs to the highest of standards. Ross has over 26 years experience as a Thredbo Ski Patroller, National Ski Patrol Trainer & Examiner, Australian Ski Patrol Advanced Emergency Care Course Trainer & Examiner  plus has skied 19 years in Hokkaido & Northern Honshu, 13 as a professional ski guide.

He holds his NZ Avalanche Stage 1 Professional, Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Remote / Advanced / Advanced Resuscitation / Occupational First Aid and is also an Avalanche Awareness and First Aid Trainer.

RONAN MAGUIRE

GENERAL MANAGER, GUIDE OPERATIONS MANAGER & SKI GUIDE

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 Guiding, Ski Patrolling, Avalanche Training & Avalanche Forecasting his profession. With eleven seasons at Mt Hutt as well several in America, Canada combined with his time in Japan. Ronan has been an NZMSC’s National Avalanche Forecaster, managed Snow Safety and the Avalanche Program for Mt Hutt NZ, member of the NZ Avalanche Education Advisory committee, trainer of both recreational and professional avalanche course plus an Avy Search and Rescue Dog handler. For the past 7 years Ronan has been with Whiteroom becoming our General Manager plus overseeing all guide operations, avalanche assessment and forecasting.

He looks forward to sharing his passion for the Mountains with you and enjoying some good turns together.

Our Guides

Paul Black

After cutting his teeth backcountry skiing multiple seasons in Austria & France, Blackie kept his love of winter going with 19 years Ski Patrolling, 8 as Thredbo Ski Patrol Captain & 10 years skiing in Hokkaido, 7 as a Ski Guide. Holds NZMSC Stage 1 Professional & is a Patrol Trainer/Examiner.

Gareth Bevan

Gareth has been skiing Japan since 1999, including over 20 resorts in Hokkaido & Honshu. He holds his NAMSG (US mechanised ski guide) cert L2 and L2 Avalanche cert. He has heli-guided in Valdez AK for 4 years for H2o heli guides & has Ski Patrolled at Thredbo for the last 5 years. Whilst he’s well skied, he can’t beat Japan’s pow!

Peter Biskind

Peter began guiding as a teenager on rocks and rivers in the US West. He has gone on to guide on 6 continents with significant expeditions in Antarctica, Tajikistan, and at home in Alaska. Peter is a certified Ski Guide within the American Mountain Guide Association. Peter began ski guiding in Japan in 2015.

Greg Young

Originally from Western Australia, Greg now has 20 winters under his belt between New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the last 6 guiding in Japan. He holds his Avalanche Stage 1 Professional, NZSIA L-2, Freestyle Cert & First Aid accreditation. Greg’s positive attitude and love of the snow & backcountry splitboarding is infectious.

CONNOR GLYNN

Growing up skiing NZ’s Club Fields from a young age Connor joined the industry at the first chance he got. With 5 Seasons ski patrolling in NZ & Canada, hard ice guiding in NZ high glaciers alongside mountain bike patrolling. Connor holds in the NZMSC Avalanche Stage 2, PHEC & British Colombia OFA3.

Eri Nozawa

Originally from Tokyo Eri is a laugh a minute & loves the snow and showing off the mountains she calls home. This is her third season with Whiteroom and with 14 seasons experience as a highly qualified instructor & race coach in Japan & New Zealand, and accreditations in Backcountry Avalanche & First Aid she will will ensure you have the best experience possible.

Taneli Peussa

Taneli grew up in the icy winters of Finland. He has over 23 years experience in snowboarding and 7 telemark adventuring throughout Europe, New Zealand & Japan and in the summer runs eBike tours in Finland. A highly qualified ski, snowboard and telemark instructor, holds his NZMSC Pro Level 1 & remote First Aid.

THOMAS STUBBS

An Englishman that found his way to the NZ Alps & never looked back. After years skiing in Italy, France, NZ and Japan, skiing became not only his passion but also his profession. Tom joins the team after Ski Patrolling at Mt Hutt for the last three years. He holds his Avalanche Stage 1 Professional, NZMGA ATG & Pre-Hospital emergency care.

ZENO WICKS

Born and raised in South Dakota, Zeno started skiing during his college years at the University of Montana, guiding for the Outdoor Program and later ski patrolled at Discovery Ski Area. He has since instructed for NOLS and has led trips throughout the Western US and with Whiteroom for 3 seasons. He holds an AAA Avalanche Level 1, Wilderness First Responder and NREMT Emergency Medical.

ZACH HUSTED

Zach hails from Frisco, Colorado. He has spent five years living between New Zealand and North America while working as a sponsored athlete, equipment developer, outdoor medic, and ski patroller. Currently holding Avalanche 1 & 2 certifications as an Emergency Medical Technician. He has been with Whiteroom for 3 years.

Xavier GABORIAUD

Raised in the French Alps, Xavier lives for backcountry skiing and mountaineering. As a lifeguard, he realized the desire he had to work outdoors. After his first rescue, he wanted to continue saving lives and living adventurously in the Alps. He worked ski patrol for 5 years and currently holds an Avalanche Blaster qualification and is First-Aid certified.

JAAKKO SUUTARI

A born and raised Finn. Jaakko has been skiing since he was 5 years old and is a qualified snowboard and skiing instructor able to guide both on skis or snowboard. He has completed a two-year Nordic wilderness guide program and holds the Swedish Svelav Pro 2 Avalanche cert and a Wilderness First Responder and has guided for Whiteroom for 3 seasons

Nathan Hunter

Nathan aka Nate, spent his early years skiing the mountains of Scotland. He now joins the team with over 10 seasons of ski Instructing/Race Coaching and Guiding experience in Scotland, Italy, Japan, Canada and New Zealand. Nathan has spent the last few years managing snow schools in New Zealand and Canada. This will be his 3rd season based in Niseko.

Rachael Britten

Rachel’s ski passion started early in Europe which eventually took her to Canada and New Zealand. Between working the last three seasons for Whiteroom, Rachael is a Ski Patroller at Cardrona which means her adventures never have to be put on hold for her job. She holds the NZMSC Avalanche stage 1 & PHEC.

" Julian and Taneli were AWESOME! They went above and beyond to make sure we found fresh powder every day "

Lisa Wilson

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