Spend 2 days to explore the advanced ice climbing scene in Raiden, near Niseko, in Hokkaido with a knowledgable local certified mountain guide, Takao.
If you’re an experienced ice climber, why not join me for ice climbing in a unique location that is Raiden by the coast in Hokkaido! It is close to Niseko and you will find out that this region is not all about powder skiing!
This scenic ice climbing area faces the sea of Japan and gives access to about a half dozen 100m-class waterfalls!
AVAILABLE PERIOD: February
REQUIRED LEVELS: It is a course for intermediate / advanced ice climbers, and thus a prior experience is necessary, as well as enough fitness to hike up and trail break in snow shoes for 45min.
Day 1: From Sapporo, we will drive to town of Iwanai (80km, 2hrs). We will head to “Runze II” (no. 2 gully) for ice climbing (70m, WI5*, 2 pitches). Overnight stay at a traditional onsen ryokan.
Day 2: Visit “Runze I” (no.1 gully) or “Runze IV” (no. 4 gully) for ice climbing (100m, WI5, 2 pitches). A relaxing dip in an onsen before driving back to Sapporo. Estimated time of return is around 6pm.
*Ice Climbing Grades:
WI5 – near-vertical or vertical steps of up to 20 metres, sustained climbing requiring placing multiple protection screws from strenuous stances with few good rests
If you don’t think you have enough experience or fitness and you’d like to try something not as strenuous then have a look at my ice climbing programme for beginner / intermediates.
CLIMATE: Given its low altitude, it is not as cold as Sounkyo in Daisetsuzan area but is still cold at around -5 to 8c. The wind, however, could be very strong due to the fact that it is located by the sea. Layers of warm clothes are necessary!
|– Crampon compatible Mountaineering boots
– Technical ice axes
– CramponsI can lend you items such as ice axes, harness, helmet, and crampons at JPY 2,000 each. Other ice climbing gears such as ice screws, quick draws etc. will be provided.
Accommodation options in NISEKO:
– Hotel Kanronomori: Japanese style onsen hotel (half-board). JPY 12000～20,000 (pp per night).
– Goshiki Onsen: An Onsen accommodation in the mountains, far from ski resorts. Self catering JPY 4,000. Half board JPY 10,000.
– The Woodpeckers: mountain hut-like accommodation, just below Niseko Moiwa ski resort. Half-board included. JPY 7,500.
Accommodation options in NISEKO: - Hotel Kanronomori: Japanese style onsen hotel (half-board). JPY 12000～20,000 (pp per night) - Goshiki Onsen: An Onsen accommodation in the mountains, far from ski resorts. Self catering JPY 4,000. Half board JPY 10,000. - The Woodpeckers: mountain hut-like accommodation, just below Niseko Moiwa ski resort. Half-board included. JPY 7,500. Accommodation options in TOKACHI: - Ryounkaku: Half-board with onsen. JPY 10,000. - Hakuginso: Self catering. Guide can arrange booking. Amazing onsen outside! JPY 3,000 Accommodation options in ASAHIDAKE: - Shirakabaso: For youth. Half board, JPY 8,000 Accommodation options in SOUNKYO: - Mount View Hotel: Onsen, lots of Asian tourists. Half board. JPY 10,000 - Choyo-tei: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). Great food! JPY 15,000-20,000 Accommodation options in SAPPORO: - Route Inn Sapporo and Sapporo Aspen Hotel: Food not included. JPY 8,000-9,000 - Sapporo Grand Hotel: JPY 10,000-20,000 Accommodation options in OTARU: - Kourakuen: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). JPY 20,000 - Musashitei: Japanese style onsen hotel (half board). JPY 20,000
- Clients need to rent or bring snowshoes and ski poles . - If the ice is not in condition in Raiden, the program will take place in Sounkyo.
I am an experienced IFMGA mountain guide, born and raised in Hokkaido, Japan. I started skiing when I was 3 and started climbing when I was 6. My high school years were spent in ski competitions and I joined mountaineering club at University, where I developed my ski mountaineering skills. I have been a ski instructor for Miura Dolphins founded by Yuichiro Miura (first ski descent of the Everest “The Man Who Skied Down Everest” and the oldest Everest summiting record holder at 80 years old) and also supported Yuichiro's Aconcagua ascent and ski descent in 1984 as a part of his 7 summits ski descent challenge.
I was inspired by the works of mountain guides in Chamonix when I visited there in 1983, and decided to start guiding as a mountain guide in Japan in 1989 to share my passion and experiences in outdoors sports with other people, as well as to offer instruction to people enjoying the mountains to be better climbers / skiers. I have also contributed to the proper training of JMGA (Japan Mountain Guides Association) guides and the affiliation of it to IFMGA. I am responsible for the pioneering of the climbing and backcountry skiing scenes in Japan.
My main guiding arena is alpinism, whether it be mountaineering or ski mountaineering, mainly in Hokkaido. I usually take a small group of people (2-5) for Sawanobori (canyoning up waterfalls), alpine climbing, ice climbing, and ski touring in the more remote areas of Japan.
I enjoy finding the best experience for each client accordingly to their physical abilities, preferences, and weather/conditions. I guide because I like watching and feeling that people are enjoying and having fun, and see how this buzz infects other people through skiing and climbing. I find this invaluable as a mountain guide.
There is more to Hokkaido than skiing lift accessible powder in January and February. Please reach out to me to find your own customised way to enjoy Hokkaido’s mountains, natures and culture!
(Travelled Feb 2017) The trip was good, if a bit short for the amount of travel I had to do to get there (I was in Niseko). It was fun to see a different part of Hokkaido in a unique way. Takao-san was very good at instructing and climbing. I started ice climbing in Colorado and wanted to experience climbing in a different country. If I had come during the summer I definitely would have rock climbed or taken a guided climbing trip. I have a fair amount of climbing experience, but nothing too in-depth. Takao-san took that into consideration for the routes we did. The first day we did a short hike on snowshoes to the climbing, which was a bunch of shorter single pitch routes. The weather was pretty good, but definitely on the warm side. I think we climbed at the right time during the day, as there was starting to be quite a bit of debris melting and falling on the routes when we were leaving... The second day was a two pitch route next to the sea. The exposure and area was very impressive. Takao-san did a great job explaining what he wanted us to do and did a great job working with my level of experience or in-experience. Takao-san obviously has a lot of experience guiding and climbing and did an excellent job making me feel safe and sure about what we were doing. His technical knowledge, as well as his knowledge of the area we were climbing in was definitely great in making the experience a success. I would recommend the program, but I might caution a beginner climber that the climbing was a bit more involved than I expected. For example, I had the experience of lead belaying climbers, but I\'m not sure if someone who did not have the experience would be able to have climbed where we did. I found it interesting that nobody asked me (that I recall) what my level of experience was before the trip. I did like how Takao-san met the climbing to what he thought my abilities are. Yes, I definitely would like to do it again.
Group of 1
|JPY 103093 each|
Group of 2
|JPY 72165 each|
Group of 3
|JPY 51547 each|
Want a different number of travellers?
- Guiding fee
Accommodation is not included. Please note that clients will need to pay for guide’s accommodation expense on the spot as well (JPY10000, including half-board)