Good things come to those who walk
There’s something amazing about being in the mountains with just your crew, moving under your own power, and riding where you want.
Hokkaido’s backcountry riding is unbelievable. The snow is epic and the terrain is rad. Sure, Hokkaido has a reputation for being mellow and that’s fair for most of the resorts, but there’s skiing in the backcountry as good as you’ll find anywhere on the planet in the deep, generally stable pow that Hokkaido is famous for.
A few things to note about our information on backcountry riding:
This information is intended for you to use to figure out where you should stay and how your should arrange your trip to Hokkaido. Use it to compare the backcountry options near Furano and Niseko (or wherever else you’re thinking of going). Don’t use it to plan your backcountry travel - the information isn’t suitable for that purpose and you’ll need to consult proper maps, locals, guides, and all the other usual stuff.
Use this information at your own risk. Make sure you have the necessary skills, fitness and experience before you travel into the backcountry. These places are dangerous. They’ve been the site of multiple fatalities over the years and plenty of serious accidents. If you don’t know what you’re doing, hire a guide or ski somewhere else.
This is just a general guide about what kinds of backcountry options are available. It’s not supposed to be complete and exhaustive, and we aren’t pretending to be experts in every area and every line in Hokkaido. We’re trying to help you plan your trip so that you don’t end up looking for secluded backcountry lines at Hirafu or deciding you’re desperate to ski at Kurodake after booking all your accommodation at Tomamu..
The locals have explicitly asked us not to publish information about a bunch of areas we guide. We’re very fortunate to be a part of a small but committed community of local freeriders in the area and eternally grateful for their generosity. Our friends love their mountains and it’s important that the interests of local users are considered and respected. That means some of this information will be more vague and general than you might like. We realise that’s frustrating, but it’s part of being a respectful guest in Japan.