Dreaming of skiing the fabled powder of Japan? Come join our Backcountry Babes co-ed trip for a fully guided combo of lift-accessed backcountry and true hike-to backcountry in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.
Experience some of the lightest, driest, and deepest snow on the planet. Volcanoes, birch trees, guided backcountry skiing, small group, quaint Japanese lodges and guest houses, enjoy fresh Japanese food, unique restaurants, Onsen visits (Japanese hot springs), all in the company of good new friends.
Our experienced, professional ski guides lead us to the best snow available, while making conservative decisions about avalanche terrain based on conditions. Their extensive training as Canadian Mountain Guides and Japanese Avalanche Network members, as well as many seasons in Japan, Canada and New Zealand as professional ski guides are an incredible asset to our trip, and get us off the beaten track instantly. Under their guidance, we can focus on enjoying our turns and our adventure!
Our Backcountry Babes guides are welcoming, inclusive, non-competitive, and eager to teach new skills to our clients. Our guides enthusiasm combined with our clients energy is the heart and soul of what makes our trips stand out from others. If you've been dreaming of skiing Japan, we'd love to have join us!
Duration: 7 days
Activity Level: High
Required Skill Level: Backcountry skier or splitboarder able to ski high- intermediate to advanced ungroomed terrain; have some avalanche safety education and backcountry experience; decent level of fitness for hiking
(Day before the trip starts.) Fly to Chitose/Sapporo Airport (CTS), Hokkaido, Japan. Book your flight keeping in that we’ll be crossing the international date line. We recommend the Chitose Air Terminal Hotel to rest up for an adventure filled week. Bonus onsen within the hotel!
Day 1, Feb 3
Meet in the Chitose Air Terminal Hotel Lounge. Our adventure starts with a shuttle to Furano. We’ll dive into the snow as soon as we can with an afternoon ski tour to inhale fresh, cold air, and refresh our beacon skills to have a dialed team.
Ski Furano for 3 days! Enjoy a combination of lift-accessed backcountry and true hike-to backcountry skiing in Japan with our local lead guide and our Backcountry Babes tail guide. Our experienced, professional guides will study the details of the avalanche forecast, weather report, and local micro-climate knowledge to take us to the best snow available, all the while making conservative decisions and continually assessing snow and conditions as we ski. If we take an oath of secrecy, our guides show us magical, off-the-radar powder stashes.
Today we travel to Asahidake! Located in Daisetsuzan National Park, Ashidake is Hokkaido’s highest peak. Find mega backcountry with the added luxury of a cable car that sweeps us to the top. From the cable car, our Japanese guides lead us off the beaten track into an off-piste playground. Enjoy terrific tree skiing and over 14 meters of snow each season. Our lodging in Ashidake is in a tiny village, with excellent dinners and onsen soaks.
Day 8, Feb 10th
Departure day. Shuttle back to the Sapporo/Chitose airport. Plan your return flight for the afternoon, or stay and explore more of Japan.
What To Expect
7 nights Lodging at unique, off the beaten track Japanese style guest houses
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Local, homemade meals and restaurants.
Lift tickets are included for days the group uses lift-accessed backcountry
6.5 days guided backcountry skiing
Professional, certified, and very experienced ski guides
Onsen (hot springs!)
Camaraderie and fun in our co-ed Backcountry Babes’ trip
Small group of 5-9 clients
Getting to Japan’s Powder
FLY: New Chitose Aiport (CTS), Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.
Gear Needed for Backcountry Skiing
Backcountry skis or splitboard, ski poles, ski or snowboard boots, climbing skins
Avalanche beacon, probe, shovel
Warm outerwear, ski gear, and warm layers for spending all day outdoors in various weather conditions. It can be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermos for hot drinks
Small towel for the Onsen!
Backcountry Skiing in Japan
Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island, boasts meters upon meters of snow each season. We’ll be hitting the interior mountains, including Ashidake, Hokkaido’s highest peak, so expect dry, light fluffy snow. We Babes have fun in whatever ski conditions mother nature throws our way and our experienced guides know how to make the best of angles, aspects, and secret stashes.
Our powder adventure will be curated to our own small group. Like all our ski trips, our guides will adjust our plan according to daily weather and conditions. We’ll base out of two different boutique lodges and ski a combination of terrain near Furano, Tokachidaki, and Ashidake. Furano is a Japanese farming town, with the added bonus of ski culture and excellent off-piste and sidecountry skiing, of course! From our cozy lodge in Furano we will go on guided backcountry excursions. Explore ridge lines, birch tree skiing, open bowls, or maybe even couloirs if conditions allow. At night, we’ll enjoy wild and developed onsens (hot springs) to rest our satisfied legs.
Asahidake is located within Daisetsuzan National Park and has a 100-person cable car that whisks you up high on the volcano. From our cable car bump, we easily dive deep into the backcountry, hitting excellent ski lines. If the cable car in on wind hold, will chase the powder to a nearby wind sheltered powder stash. Going guided is better!
A Japanese local, Chika guides backcountry skiers in Hokkaido and Hakuba. She is a JMGA certified ski guide who loves shredding deep powder and soaking in onsens.
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I can’t even describe the emotions I feel thinking back to the two backcounty ski hut trips I’ve done in Canada with Backcountry Babes. It’s a lot of “Oh my god that was fun!”, but it was also such a confidence builder. I feel like I can hang, I’m a badass, and now I know all these incredible women that I can use as role models.
Amy H. Canada Hut Trip
This trip was one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences I’ve ever had. Great women, fantastic guides, way too much food, and AMAZING skiing! As soon as I got home I was already signed up for next year’s trip.