Ski and Snowboard Road-Trips

Hokkaido, Japan | Canterbury, New Zealand


The Powder Project runs custom roadtrips off the beaten track in Hokkaido, Japan and Canterbury, New Zealand.

We hunt out great snow, show you sensational lines, and sort out an amazing travel experience.

Our trips are flexible and customised to suit your needs. If you want to ski hard and chase the best snow each day, we can do that. If you're looking for a mellower pace and a chance to see some local culture, we're more than happy to help. We avoid the crowds at the big-name ski areas, and choose the best terrain and conditions from the places you won't always find in the tourist brochures. Our focus is on spending less time in lift queues and more time exploring some amazing skiing and unique destinations.

We only take group bookings, so you can ensure that you're riding with your friends and moving at the same speed. It's just you and your friends in some of the best powder and terrain on the planet.

Once the skiing is done, we've got you covered - showing you great places to eat, stay and relax. We'll get you off the tourist trails and show you some authentic local restaurants, guesthouses and hot springs.

Head to our trips page, email us at contact@powder-project.com or hit the "Get a quote" button below to get started.

Get the lowdown

We're passionate about sharing great riding and giving people the chance to visit some incredible places. Keep up with what we're doing and get some honest, hype-free insight into the places we travel on our blog, the Powder Project Diaries, or subscribe to our newsletter.

John and Pete are basically the two funnest, nicest, smartest and most modest guys in the world. A pleasure to ride with.
— John Horan

The Powder Project is two people:

 Copyright © Joe Harrison

Copyright © Joe Harrison

John Horan is a financially challenged ski enthusiast who has earned turns in Canada, the US, France, Austria, New Zealand and Japan. Willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid his desk job, John is an expert in sleeping in cars, eating leftover hut food and sniffing out good snow. John is a level 1 ski guide with the New Zealand Mountain Guides' Association, and has wilderness first aid and NZ AST 1 avalanche safety certifications. He also guides with Alpine Guides (Mt Cook Heliski) and Anna Keeling Guiding in New Zealand.

Pete Hemphill was once a ski bum who dropped lines in France, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Japan before settling down in Canberra, Australia. Not content to spend the rest of his life at a desk, Pete dreamed up the Powder Project as a way to combine his love of skiing with his fondness for comfortable beds, good coffee and regular meals. Pete doesn't even have a current first aid certificate - he makes John do all the work.

We're two guys who love skiing powder, finding new experiences and new lines, and sharing the good times with our friends. If you're looking for great turns, in amazing places, without the crowds, so are we. Come and join us.

What are people saying about The Powder Project?

I reckon we each did nearly 20,000m of vert in untracked powder in one week. Sure we got good weather, but it was knowledge that got us there - thanks boys.
— Mike Walker - NZ 2015

Mikko testimonial shot.jpg
In my experience everyone is bound to ski rad stuff for their level with The Powder Project. John’s unparalled experience of Central Hokkaido’s actual backcountry in recent years will put a smile on your face unless you have your mouth full of snow during a turn. And that’s a very good time, too. His professionalism in guiding and genuine enthusiasm is only met by his dry sense of humour. It’s been an empowering experience to ski with The Powder Project and I don’t see a global catastrophe big enough to keep me from doing it again next season.
— Mikko Vänskä, Helsinki, Finland - Japan 2018

This is insane!
— Richard Rosenfeld - many times - Japan 2016

Don’t encourage him.
— John's Mum - upon learning he'd passed his guides' exam.

I’ve skied in the Canterbury club fields a lot, and thought I knew them pretty well. But your knowledge of the mountains and snow and weather of that region meant we skied fantastic snow and challenging terrain all week. Every day delivered, and I know for sure that it wasn’t amazing everywhere that week.
— Tom Holden - NZ 2015

More than alright, epic session today, tks
— Benoit Peignier - Japan 2016