Hokkaido Japan Powder skiing

Women’s Powder Skiing Hokkaido, Japan Jan 30-Feb 7, 2020

Join Chicks this winter for an adventure to the wonderland of Hokkaido, Japan and experience the deepest, driest powder skiing on earth. Combined with incredible cuisine, culture and natural hot springs, this trip is unrivaled. We’ll ski in the Furano region, located in the center of Hokkaido. Daily excursions from our lodging will include world-class powder skiing destinations in Daisetsuzan National Park, Asahidake, and some off-piste skiing close to Furano. This trip of a lifetime focuses on backcountry tours to access the goods with a little off-piste skiing to give the legs a break. In true Chicks style, you’ll improve your powder skiing technique, get tips on skinning skills and learn about terrain evaluation and avalanche hazards. Join us for a magical experience with a group of like-minded women, skiing perfect powder, eating fresh seafood and wonderful cuisine and capping it all off with relaxing in natural hot springs.

Chicks love skiing powder and Hokkaido, Japan is the place to do it.  Home to world-famous powder stashes, Hokkaido is the North Island of Japan, geographically located to the South of Siberia.  It catches a cold and moisture-rich air from the Siberian Sea, making it a winter wonderland with 3-4 meters of snow cover each season.  While the secret is out on Hokkaido powder skiing, we make this trip very special, skiing and staying in areas with true Japanese culture away from the crowds.  Our group will be a small, nimble 2:1 ratio to maximize the personal nature of the experience both culturally and in the mountains.

Our goal of the trip is foremost safety and a high level of fun, in seeking out the best powder every day.  Our plan is to stay and ski in the Furano area first, just outside one of the island’s six national parks. From Furano, we will travel each day to wherever the weather maker produces the most snow.  For the second half of the trip, we will stay in the National Park lodge, accessing skiing in the park and nearby areas such as Asahidake. The lodge also offers a natural hot spring. Imagine, skiing powder, a relaxing soak in the hot springs and celebrating the day with a wonderful Japanese meal.  This region offers an entirely Japanese experience and hosts the highest and driest powder skiing imaginable. 

In general, we will have good skiing options in any weather.  Beautiful Japanese birch trees will provide visibility on stormy days.  On blue-sky days, we can ski tour high above the trees and climb up one of the live volcanoes nearby, getting beautiful views and watching the volcanic fumes.  On some days, we will be using a tram or lifts to access the off-piste skiing, while other days will be exclusive backcountry skiing days where we climb with skins to earn our turns.

This trip will be a true Chicks experience, with so much more than powder skiing.  You will find friendship and camaraderie, learn new backcountry skills, and work on powder skiing technique with face shots, smiles and more than pretty pictures as memories.  On top of it all, you will get to know a lot about Japanese culture, with one of your guides being a native Japanese who has guided in Hokkaido for many years.

Meet your guides for this trip: 

Norie Kizaki is an American-Japanese Guide that has guided backcountry powder skiing in Japan for the past several seasons.  She was born in rural western Japan and raised in a Buddhist monastery. Norie has lived in Colorado since 1995 and guides full time for the Colorado Mountain School.  Norie is AMGA Assistant Ski Guide and pursuing her IFMGA certification and holds an AIARE Level 3 avalanche training certification. Having Norie included on the guide team adds a unique cultural bonus that most groups will not experience.  She is fluent in Japanese, knows the secret stashes in the backcountry and how to find the best snow and food on the island.

Angela Hawse is a Chicks so-owner and has worked as a professional mountain guide, college faculty member, AMGA guide trainer and examiner and many programs around the world over the past 35 years.  She’s an avalanche forecaster and guides for Telluride Helitrax, guides for Powder South Heli-Ski in Chile and is the lead guide for Ice Axe Expeditions Antarctic Peninsular Ski Cruise. She instructs Pro Level avalanche programs for the Silverton Avalanche School and loves human-powered snowsports. Angela is an IFMGA guide, an AMGA Ski, Rock, and Alpine Ski Guide and the president of the AMGA Board of Directors.

Photo: Angela Hawse

DATES:

January 30- February 7, 2020 (includes travel days to/from the US)

Prerequisite Experience:

Level 2 (or be a Level 1 with 2-3 days of backcountry experience before the program starts)

 

Includes:

  • 5 and a half guided powder skiing days
  • 2 Professional ski guides and their expenses
  • All transportation in Japan, starting at Sapporo airport and ending at Sapporo airport
  • All lodging and breakfasts
  • Dinners for 6 nights (You are on your own on the first night at Air Terminal Hotel)

Not Included:

  • Airfare from the US. (Airfare from the U.S. to Sapporo ranges from $1000.00 to $1500.00 economy class.)

    Adamants

    Photo: Angela Hawse

  • Personal backcountry skiing and avalanche safety equipment
  • Lift tickets if used (average between $45-60 USD)
  • Lunches, alcohol, and dinner on the first night at Air Terminal Hotel
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance (required)

PRICING: $ 3600

You can break this into two payments of $1800 or pay in full at time of registration. We will email you the full equipment list upon registration. This trip will run with a minimum of 4 guests.

Travel Insurance Requirements: (Not Included)

For an international trip with Chicks, LLC, we require that you purchase travel insurance including a global rescue policy. This is necessary to cover your evacuation costs in case of an emergency, trip cancellation, airline delays, and lost baggage. We work with an agent to help you get set up with the required policy. Please contact Erin Rountree at (208) 788-2870. http://www.travelguard.com


PROPOSED ITINERARY*:

Day 1 & 2: JANUARY 30-31

International Travel from the U.S. to Chitose Sapporo Airport.  Arrive late in the afternoon or early evening at Chitose Airport.

Day 3: FEBRUARY 1

Transport from Sapporo to Furano. Half-day of Resort Skiing. Equipment check and avalanche transceiver practice. Stay in Furano

Day 4: FEBRUARY 2

Powder Skiing. Off-piste or ski touring. Stay in Furano.

Day 5: FEBRUARY 3

Powder Skiing. Off-piste or ski touring. Stay in Furano.

Day 6: FEBRUARY 4

Skiing in the Daisetsuzan National Park. Check out from Furano lodging and check into Daisetsuzan National Park lodging.

Day 7: FEBRUARY 5

Skiing in the Daisetsuzan National Park. Stay in Daisetsuzan National Park.

Day 9: FEBRUARY 6

Skiing in Asahidake. Stay in Daisetsuzan National Park.

Day 8: FEBRUARY 7

Check out from National Park lodge and drive 3-4 hours to Chitose airport. Guests fly out in the afternoon!  Because of the time change, you will arrive in US on the same day you depart Japan.

*Actual daily schedule will be based on finding the best powder skiing conditions each day.


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: 

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

*Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. In the event, you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.