Coast to Coast Backcountry Tour
8 NIGHTS | 7 DAYS SKIING/RIDING |
¥285,000 ¥256,500 SUPER EARLY-BIRD*
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING TOUR
What does this mean? Click here to find out
THE COAST TO COAST BACKCOUNTRY TOUR WILL TAKE YOU AWAY FROM THE LIFTS IN SEARCH OF FRESH UNTOUCHED LINES IN SPECTACULAR SURROUNDINGS.
Only bordered by the Sea of Japan to the east or the Pacific Ocean in the west, this tour will span across Southern Hokkaido chasing the best storm cells Siberia can produce. With no set agenda each day the goal will be to get you hiking into some wide open volcanic bowls and smashing endless fresh lines through spectacular white birch forests.
We’ve limited this tour to a max of 4 people to allow you to move quickly and bag some peaks!
Each year Southern Hokkaido is blanketed in up to 18 meters of some the driest snow on the planet. You’ll be based in world-famous Niseko for the first 5 nights, where will venture away from the crowds and into the less-visited backcountry areas in the region. Expect to explore, Goshiki Onsen area, Yoichi-dake behind Kiroro, as well as climbing iconic peaks like Mt Yotei and it’s sister mountain Shirebetsu-daki.
For the last 3nights we will move to the coast giving you easier access to the backcountry of Kokusai, Iwanupuri and the Shakotan Peninsula, this tour is laid out for those that wish to have a true Japanese backcountry adventure.
After chasing the snow gods all day expect to rest your legs in soothing onsens and to eat some of the best local cuisine on offer.
Summiting Mt Yotei is on everyone’s Niseko touring bucket list if we are lucky enough. If we can summit the peak, you will be among the few to do so and will be rewarded after your 4-5 hour slog with a blissful run into the volcano’s crater (see pic above) then the epic 1600m of vertical down!
Guided by two of our most experienced guides the Coast to Coast Backcountry Tour will allow you to get the most of your touring experience in Japan as well as enjoying unique Japanese cultural experiences.
Further details are available in our blog article on the previously named Niseko Backcountry Tour.
¥285,000 ¥256,500 SUPER EARLY-BIRD*
16 – 24 Jan 2021 – 4 SPOTS
20 – 28 Feb 2021 – 4 SPOTS
Free cancellation up to 30th June, 2020. From 1st July onwards to 30 days prior to check in date, free cancellation will apply if a COVID-19 travel ban is in-force.**
4 to 1 Client to Guide ratio
4 people max per tour. 3 person minimum.
Skill Level: Advanced – Expert in powder (experienced tourer)
You must be able to ski/board the whole mountain in all conditions confidently at speed and have advanced ability in powder, through trees in steep terrain and in variable conditions. Snowboarders in this level are able to keep speed in flat sections by planning ahead as well as hold a solid traverse line and be able to hop up and manoeuvre in a way as to not slow down the group. You must have a very good level of fitness and be able to hike for around 2-4 hours total per day. AT/skins set-up or split-boards are required, no snowshoes. You must be experienced using this equipment. The idea of these tours is to have complete flexibility to seek out the best conditions and objectives on any given day. Some days we will use the lifts for their vertical bump, on other days we will head to secluded locations to hike and explore Hokkaido’s amazing powder filled terrain.
We are a IATA registered travel agent with wholesale fares and can organise discounted flights from anywhere in Australia. Ask for our ski and fly packages.
Prices are in Japanese Yen and include consumption tax. Correct as of 23rd April 2020. LAND ONLY.
*10% SUPER EARLY-BIRD SPECIAL – Applies to all tours booked and pay in full by June 30, 2020.
**Free cancellation for any reason up to 30th June, 2020. From 1st July onwards to 30 days prior to check-in date a full refund (less ¥20,000 fee) will apply if a COVID-19 travel ban is in-force which stops outbound travel from your home country or inbound travel to Japan you may cancel and receive a full refund. (See our terms and conditions for full details)
- Fully guided & hosted
- Resort Liner airport transfers & daily transport
- 5 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Pension Full Note, in Niseko
- 3 nights twin/triple share accommodation at Grand Park Otaru
- 7 guided days touring in the Niseko and Otaru areas
- Welcome & farewell dinner party
- Optional cultural/rest day tour to Otaru
- Daily cooked breakfast
- Onsen (hotspring) tour
- Whiteroom T-shirt
*Lift passes are not included – you’ll pay on the day as depending on the itinerary you may or may not use the lifts or full day passes.
– Single share accommodation – ¥7500 per night
– Avalanche gear rental – ¥12,500 for 7 days
– Discounted flights with Qantas ex Australian capital cities
– Extra nights accommodation & ski days in Niseko or elsewhere
– Tokyo or Kyoto stopovers
NOTE: Avalanche safety gear is compulsory for all our tours. Please advise us upon booking if you have your own gear or will need to rent.
Arrival/Check-in day – 1st night
Upon landing at Sapporo’s Chitose Airport you’ll be transferred by Niseko Airport Shuttle to the Hirafu Welcome Centre where you’ll be met by our team and then checked into Full Note. That night we’ll host you in the Half Note Bar where you’ll meet our lead guide and managers who will run you through the tour, weather and answer any questions you have.
(NOTE: If you wish to organise rental ski/SB equipment it is advised that you try to arrive with enough time on the arrival day to be fitted – seek advice from your consultant)
After a good night’s rest, a full cooked breakfast at your accommodation will give you the fuel to get your legs moving on your first day on the snow.
On day one we will look to stay somewhere local to make sure we have worked out any issues with gear by heading to Goshiki Onsen and chasing fresh lines around the volcanic hot pools famous in the area. The day will be rounded off with a traditional Japanese dinner at Full Note Pension to welcome you to Japan and celebrate the first day on the snow.
Hopefully rising to fresh snow overnight we will load into one of Whiteroom luxury 4- wheel drive vans and head North towards the Sea of Japan to attack Mt Yoichi in the Kiroro backcountry.
Famous for getting an abundance of snow due to this range being one of the first to feel the storms coming out of Siberia. This area has everything from open bowls to endless tree runs. The 45 minutes drive time back to Niseko give you the perfect excuse to start happy hour early and enjoy and ice cold Sapporo Classic beer on the way home.
Sister to the iconic Mt Yotei its smaller relative, Shirebetsu-daki is an awesome warm-up before taking on Yotei later in the week. Shiribetsu is on plenty of people’s bucket list in its own right when visiting the area as it is blessed with great lines on multiple aspects all looking towards the Pacific in the South of the region.
Depending on where the snow has been falling we can ski perfect Japanese silver birch runs on the Southerly side or long gullies in the North. You will need to keep some strength in the legs for the end of the day as we ski a huge open face all the way to a car, this one is a leg burner!
On the way home, we can stop at any one of the local onsens to get a slice of Japanese living and rest those weary legs and maybe a spot of sushi at one of Japanse conveyor belt restaurants.
Nothing will finish off a touring trip in the Niseko region quite like summiting the famous Mt Yotei and skiing/riding into the crater. If weather permits expect a dawn start to get the most of early morning conditions to tackle this imposing local Volcano. After a climb up to the 1,898-metre summit you will be blessed with unmatched views few see when visiting the area. After taking it all in, you will still have an epic run down to enjoy.
Once back at the lodge after a big day, you can head downstairs to Half Note bar for a well earned beer, a feed and some live music. From there you can sample what Niseko is also well known for, an abundance of lively bars and nightspots.
Niimi Onsen is now long abandoned with the local vegetation reclaiming the land however great skiing and riding can still be found. Right from the car park of the old onsen we quickly use a river system to gain access to the ridgelines above.
Bagging as many lines as possible will be the aim of the day as your guide will work the terrain to make sure the skinning is a quick as possible to maximise your downhill time.
Morning or evening transfer to Otaru for our time on the coast.
Cultural Day Option – If the group is starting to feel the sting in your legs after so many days hiking in the deep snow that Japan is known the world over for we can plan a rest day for you. Although of snow the guide won’t leave you high and dry but will take you for a day seeing some of the other local experiences such as the Nikka Whisky distillery or a trip down into Otaru to try some of its renowned seafood. Being flexible is kee on this tour so if the group wants to keep skiing that’s exactly what we will do or we can do a part-day of both. Majority rules.
We will be pushing North once again to the front ranges. Kokusai sits in the direct path of the storms that bring the best snow to the region. Perched above Otaru and Ishikari Bay, the backcountry here has been a favourite of locals for many years due to the long spines and endless powder to be found.
With views out across the ocean touring in the Iwani range feels like you are about to ski or ride onto the beach. The range runs across endless peaks stretching East to Niseko.
From the trail head, it is a quick hike up the summer roads to get easy access to the Alpine. The guides will be watching the changeable coastal weather to know where to find the best conditions and picking one of the numerous bowls to attack.
On your last night we’ll take you out for a sumptuous farewell dinner at one of Otaru’s many restaurants along with a few celebratory beers.
Time to check out and say goodbye to your new friends and transfer to Sapporo’s Chitose Airport for your flight home. If you have a later flight you can even sneak in another ski day!
NOTE: This itinerary is an example. The tour will be run largely by the weather and each day will fit around where the best conditions are. This is the beauty of such a tour.
Summiting Mount Yotei, or joining several summits on our last day will stay in our minds for a long time! We felt perfectly safe avalanche wise.
Connor listened perfectly to our needs and wishes to adapt the touring program and evenings. Full Note was also a good place to stay, with a very welcoming staff and apres-ski atmosphere.
Last but not least, we didn’t have the right snow, but we had an amazing sun 🙂 Thanks for everything!
– Joseph Huard, 2019
Overall was a fantastic experience with no complaints or suggestions for improvement. I think it worked so well because Connor was a great guide and we were a small group of 4 who all got along very well. We also were lucky with the weather and snow conditions with the trip culminating in a bluebird day and trip up Mt Yotei.
Also, I was a solo travelling so everything about the way the tour worked out suited me. I had no restrictions and was more than happy to go with the flow. Despite some differences in ability/fitness amongst our group, it all went perfectly.
Izzy –I’m back at work now in London and the Niseko winter wonderland feels like a world away, sadly!When I was looking to book a ski trip, I was keen to find a backcountry trip where I could get away from the big city lights, and explore somewhere a bit more isolated than I was used to. I wasn’t particularly bothered about where I went, as long as it involved a fair amount of exploring, some worthwhile skinning, and as much powder as possible!From the outset Graeme latched onto this. His correspondence was always swift, detailed and very helpful.I was concerned at first that my lack of ski touring, having done most of my backcountry in the French Alps, would be hinder my participation in one of the more adventurous tours, but Graeme soon put my fears to rest, emphasising that it was the off piste descent where experience was needed, and that my skinning inexperience wasn’t a problem.He duly booked me onto the Niseko Backcountry Tour, as well as helping me with other administrative things above and beyond his role, such as accommodation in Sapporo before I came to Niseko, advice on train travel in Hokkaido, and answers to other numerous questions I kept bugging him about.Arrival in Niseko was simple – personalised pick up from the station and offers to be ferried about to various places in town to get equipment serviced and any other needs.As for the ski guiding itself, it looks like I landed on my feet. Any expectations that I had were far exceeded. I was lucky – and I think this was luck – to have just one other guest in my group, who turned out to be of similar fitness, aptitude, experience and we had similar ideas on what we wanted out of the trip.As for our guide, luck appears to have struck again. Ronan was incredible. Not only does he have an exemplary knowledge of the backcountry terrain, his background as an avalanche forecaster, and his involvement (ie been the lead) in setting up a number of the avalanche safety systems in the surrounding resorts, meant that Auke (the other guest) and I not only felt that all possible precautions were taken with regards safety, but that we also learnt huge amounts about avalanches and their risks – far more than I had ever known and this after many years of off-piste skiing in Europe.To top it off Ronan is a great person! All three of us got on really well – his easy-going personality made him a pleasure to ski with and his willingness to take Auke and I to dinner at local sushi restaurants and Japanese pubs at little local outlets on our way back from each day’s adventure went above and beyond.I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that Ronan was the perfect guide – a brilliant mix of knowledge, understanding of his clients’ needs, and a great character to round it off.Extremely satisfied with my trip all in all. A quick note too about the accommodation – the Pension Full Note – an accurate description I think is that it’s just what you need for an active ski holiday. It’s got a bit of character, and although a bit rundown at parts and certainly with no frills attached, it is welcoming, has competent staff and serves great breakfasts in the morning. As far as I’m concerned that’s perfect – I was there for the skiing, not luxury accommodation, and that’s exactly what I got. Very happy!Also, the bar downstairs – the Half Note – does a decent flat white. Happy days!
In Niseko you’ll be staying at the lovely Pension Full Note. It is a Japanese-style Bed & Breakfast located in the centre of town, with lovely staff and a warm and cosy ski lodge vibe. It has a sunken lounge, fireplace, long communal table where we have our Shabu-Shabu welcome dinner party and daily breaky. Rooms are twin or triple share with shared bathroom facilities on the lower floor and sinks and toilets on every floor.
If shared facilities aren’t for you there are plenty of accommodation options close by which we can upgrade you to whilst still feeling a part of the tour.
UPGRADE OPTIONS AVAILABLE – Price & availability on request
Speak to your consultant about upgrading your tour accommodation in Niseko.
This 4.5-star hotel is right on the water with views up and down the coast and on the other side of the hotel, there are views to the hills you’ll be skiing over the next few days. You’ll stay in luxury here with all the comforts of home and then some. The breakfast is amazing and with a shopping centre, bars and restaurants below the hotel you’ll have plenty to do when you’re not skiing.