Backcountry Guiding & Tours
Experience the diamond destination of Japan’s backcountry, touring in meters of snow in the land of the rising sun!
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Make a detailed reservation complete:
Hakuba Backcountry Ski/Snowboard Tour
Nested in the famous valley of Hakuba, Nagano; you will be surrounded by the stunning 9000ft/3000m peaks of Japan’s Northern Alps. With easy access to amazing untracked lines from top to bottom. Explore the hidden pearls of Hakuba Valley’s backcountry ski & snowboard touring destinations with our expert, certified, local ski guides – intimate to the local terrain & conditions for your best possible day on the snow!
What to expect?
Whether you have a specific idea on where you wish to tour or happy to leave it up to us, we are well versed on the entire Hakuba Valley and the best location to tour based on the days weather conditions, experience of the group – always performing avalanche safety drill and check before starting. On-request providing a complete pick up and drop off service, with rentals available including touring gear and avalanche safety kits which are essential.
Most importantly we are here to provide you with an ultimately FUN & SAFE experience, finding you the best fresh runs on any day – all day! Having faith in our decisions, continually evaluating snowpack, adjusting for and managing the day based on the progress of the group. We look forward to hear from you!
For a complete understanding of our tour operations and process please continute to read below.
General Flow of Tour
Please read carefully!
This tour outline is provided as a reliable example of how we run our tours. However it is subject to modifications depending on your guide’s style, your group and the conditions on that day.
Purchase process :
- Inquire about available dates by filling out the booking inquiry form for your group or by contacting us
- We will send you our available dates and options via email
- Once you have validated the chosen date / program we will send you an invitation for payment
- After completing the payment, please fill out the risk acknowledgement form (1 per participant)
Pre-tour Meetup :
- The night prior to your tour, your guide will come to meet you at your accommodation. This will be the opportunity to get to know each other, review the required equipment list and perform a short briefing regarding the tour including safety, weather conditions, potential routes.
- Logistics will be covered regarding travel to area, ski passes, lunch and planned return time.
- If rental equipment is to be provided by us, this will be moment to pass it over and adjust it.
- You will fill out any required forms if this has not been done prior.
AM tour Meetup :
- Your guide will greet you at your accommodation with a vehicle allowing to transport your group and gear. In case, the vehicle is not large enough to accommodate your group pre-arrangements will be made with your guide to deal with the situation.
- Meetup time is generally set to be at 07:30.
- An optional stop at a nearby convenience store will be offered to purchase lunch and hot drinks for the day.
- Ideally ski passes need to be purchased in advance to avoid the morning line-up.
- Your guide will review with you the conditions of the day and potential hazards for this tour explaining the strategies we will be using to minimize the risk and maximize the pleasure.
In the field :
- An avalanche safety drill is performed first thing on the first day to make sure everyone is familiar with the equipment and procedures to carry out an avalanche rescue.
- Access to the backcountry area is done by ski lift. However, sometimes we tour in locations where we climb from the bottom as well.
- Once the backcountry touring area has been accessed multiple laps will be skied throughout the day. The number of runs performed in one day cannot be stated in advance as they depend on numerous factors such as: weather conditions, length of the runs themselves, technical and physical abilities of the group, equipment performance.
- There will be multiple rest stops during the way up and while doing change over. Though there is not usually a proper lunch break, the change over at the bottom of a run (if deemed a safe area) are prone to take some time to eat and drink before starting to hike up again.
The following services are included
- Certified guide
- Safety management: hazard assessment (including a daily avalanche forecast) and risk mitigation procedures
- Transportation from and to your accommodation for maximum 4 people (inquire if more riders)
The following services are not included
- Mountain rescue insurance
- Equipment rental including touring gear and avalanche safety gear.
- Lunch, snacks, drinks for the day
- Ski pass for the traveled area on the day of the tour
What To Prepare
- Train physically to enjoy your up-track as well as your downhill riding
- Fill out the booking inquiry form for the group
- Fill out the risk acknowledgement form (1 per participant)
- Review your equipment and prepare your pack with the Backcountry ski tour packing list
- Make sure to plan for lunch or snack options if you have specific dietary needs
Avalanche Safety Equipment
Reliable avalanche safety equipment is required for the tour!
By reliable we mean the following:
- A 3 antenna transceiver (usually any transceiver after 2012 should match these specifications, in doubt ask us)
- a probe longer than 2m (6 ft.)
- a shovel with a metallic blade
The transceiver must have been checked, gone through factory checkups and regularly tested in sending and receiving modes.
If your equipment is not deemed reliable by the guide, a last minute rental can be attempted but without any warranty.
Please let us know well ahead of time if you need a rental.
If your equipment is not functional on the day of the tour you may not be allowed to join the tour.
JMGA & JAN certified, multiple season guiding english speaking guests
CSGA & CAA certified)
JAN certified, multiple seasons guiding english speaking guests