JAPOW! It has been a long term dream to go to Japan for skiing once. This year this dream became true because John Irvine, a good friend of ours and Arcteryx member asked us to come. So my boyfriend Felix Tschurtschenthaler, artist and IVBV Mountain Guide and I immediately jumped out of the guiding business in the Dolomites- which was also great this year and cruised over to Japan in order to feel the real JAPOW. What happened was just amazing… When we arrived at ASAHIDAKE, our first spot to visit, we could not see the houses there. Snow all around and the whole village was covered by 16m (!) of snow!
Asahidake is in the north of Hokkaido which is one of Japan`s skiing spots and the most north island of Japan. Precipitation level there is just incredible and we had the feeling to be in the heaven of snow! The very next day after arrival in Asahidake we still felt a bit jet lagged but wanted to enjoy the fresh powder as soon as possible. We tried to hike up to the volcano which is close to here, but due to heavy snowfall and wind we could not see anything and stayed in the resort to enjoy the incredible food and Onsen – hot springs! Since the wheahter was not supposed to improve alot we decided to go further on to Furano which was a great idea because skiing there is possible in really harsh conditions. Although Furano only offers a handful of lifts the off piste terrain offers stellar tree skiing at its finest! We enjoyed to crazy days in the deepest powder we have skied so far!
For conditions such as this, the SHEEVA11 was a great ski. It was super deep champagne powder and I was just cruising on top with these incredible skis. But since tree skiing once in a while also means short turns I was able to turn the Sheeva easily around the trees! I was really happy! Shortly after that incredible experience in Furano we headed on to our last stop on Hokkaido which was the very famouse NISEKO. Niseko has become a very popular place within the last years attracting many freeriders all over the world! When we arrived there by the end of February it was the first sunny day in the month and lots of people around.
According to the crowds in Niseko we decided not to stay in the resort but to ski tour up to Yote Mountain which is a beautiful volcano and a 1600 vertical meters climb. Yote was just a beautiful mountain to climb and more than ever a beautiful run to ski down in perfect powder. We enjoyed a few more chilly days in Niseko together with our Japanese and Canadian friends before we headed back to good old Europe!
All in all Japan was one of the most exciting ski trips so far with alot of fresh powder, good quality food and incredible nice people!