From simple icefalls in the nearby Sounkyo valley to massive multi-pitch frozen waterfalls in Iwanai, there is plenty of incredible ice climbing awaiting you in Niseko.
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Located in the heart of the northerly Japanese island of Hokkaido, Niseko is well-situated for various ice climbing adventures.
The most popular option for advanced climbers is a 2-day program that involves climbing various routes on the frozen waterfalls around Iwanai. The first day is usually spent with a bit of a warm up, ascending the 70-meter, two-pitch, WI5-rated Runze II, also known as the number two gully.
This is usually followed up the next day with a continuous ascent of the Runze I followed by the Runze IV. Combined this is quite a day of ice climbing, requiring a 100-meter ascent up two pitches of WI5-rated climbing.
During the winter, the average daily temperatures hover just below freezing in Niseko. The area is renowned for the large amount of dry powder it receives throughout the winter.
Any trip to Niseko likely begins with a flight into New Chitose Airport (CTS). From here, it is easy to find a bus that takes you right into Niseko.
Japanese yen (JPY)
December to March
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