In LPP JAPAN Part 3 we go touring in the Kiroro backcountry and skiing at Rusutsu Resort which are both easily accessible by car from Niseko where we decided to make our home base. An old friend and roommate of mine from Whistler many years ago, Hiroyuki Nishio, or Jackie as he likes to be called, was meeting us there with his mentor Satoshi Tsukahara aka. Sebastian. Sabastian runs and operates Hokkaido Backcountry Guides, not to be mistaken for the Hokkaido Backcountry Club from last week’s episode. He and his company guide clients all over the island of Hokkaido but he specializes in Kiroro as he pioneered the backountry area there.
We met Jackie and Sebastian along with the group they were guiding at around 7:30 in the morning in the Kiroro Resort parking lot and got our gear together. We toured straight up from the lodge and into some amazing, very easily accessible terrain with big rewards. We skied 4 amazing waist deep, blower pow laps that day. The climbs only took about 45 minutes to an hour each. One of the best parts of this area is that you can ski all this terrain yet still get to the lodge for a great lunch and get right back into the zone in no time. After our big day, We went for a relaxing Onsen and then sat down with Satoshi and Jackie with a cold beer.
The next morning, Jackie, Dave Gheriani, Joanna Harrington and myself went to ski Rusutsu Resort. We got there on a pow day, surprise surprise! I don’t think it had stopped snowing in the week we had been there. That place is great. There’s an amusement park, a crazy Vegasy style mall right at the base of the mountain, and I think a petting zoo, but we didn’t find it. The main reason we came of course was to ski a great hill. Rusutsu has 3 different peaks, West, East and Isola . We skied and explored the resort all day, noticing that there really weren’t many people skiing there at all. Especially on a pow day. Although we noticed that everywhere we’d skied in Japan thus far really didn’t have any line ups. We had a great day once more, came in for a rest, a chat and a sake before heading back out to shred some night Pow.
The webpage is mostly in Japanese so
Find Satoshi on FACEBOOK and check out his daily trip photos!