The backcountry in Hokkaido and the terrain surrounding Mt. Yotei in the southwest are great for intermediate to advanced skiers, though backcountry beginners are sure to find routes perfect for their needs. Participants should be in reasonable physical condition and well-aware with the risks associated with backcountry skiing programs. Avalanche safety equipment and training is necessary, often included in certain programs. Some off-piste locations near the resorts can be crowded, so finding a guide for a program further off the beaten path can provide a more personal wilderness ski experience.
Arriving in winter will be cold, but it provides arguably the best snow conditions in the world - it snows a lot! The powder is notoriously deep and dry, with certain backcountry areas gated to control access and preserve quality.
Depending on your schedule, you can plan a few days of skiing to a few weeks. Dip your toes into the expansive backcountry on shorter guided trips to introduce yourself to the impressive mountain terrain. Many programs are easily accessible, so you can easily spend a week discovering great virgin runs and pioneering your way through a lifetime of pristine snow.
During the winter, from mid-December to March.
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