Hakuba Backcountry

The premier backcountry location in Asia.

If   backcountry   is   your   thing   then   Hakuba   is   your   place.   The   secret   is   well   and   truly   out   that Hakuba   has   steep   challening   terrain   that   is   easily   accessible.   There   is   almost   never   a   time when   lack   of   snow   is   an   issue,   more   usually   it   is   a   matter   of   waiting   for   it   to   stop   snowing and   stabilize   and   then   picking   a   safe   line   and   safe   time   to   go.   In   January   2017,   the   World Free   ride   tournament   (extreme   skiing   and   boarding)   was   held   for   the   1st   time   in   Asia,   in (you   guessed   it)   Hakuba-   see   the   video   below.   If   you   need   any   more   convincing   have   a look at the Jeremy Jones and Xavier da le Rue movie trailers below. The    most    popular    ski    resorts    for    backcountry    are    Happo,   Tsugaike    and    Cortina    with Tsugaike   being   regarded   as   the   safest,   and   Happo   as   having   the   easiest   access.   It   is possible   to   do   1,000   metre   vertical   descents   after   only   a   short   hike   of   the   top   of   Happo. As long   as   you   begin   your   descent   from   a   point   above   the   the   ski   resorts   (through   one   of   the backcountry   gates)   you   don’t   have   to   worry   about   violating   any   local   ski   rules.   What   you   do need   to   worry   about   is   avalanche   safety,   so   you   need   to   have   appropriate   avalanche safety   training,equipment   and   experience   to   tackle   these   runs   or   else   go   with   a   qualified guide from one of the companies below. If   you   will   be   going   without   a   guide,   then   you   won’t   need   to   be   told   to   check   the   daily avalanche    report    but    remember    the    report    only    gives    you    a    general    picture    of    hte avalanche   situation   on   any   given   day,   you   will   still   need   to   manage   the   terrain   in   order   to avoid localized dangers. Mountain   Life   Hakuba    does   week   long   backcountry   tours   with   small   group   sizes   and   also do   shorter   tours   with   private   groups.   They   also   run   avalanche   course   AST   level   1   three times during the season, and AST level 2 once. Hakuba   Evergreen    do   day   trips   into   the   backcountry   for   several   different   levels   as   well   as longer   multi   day   tours.   The   owner   Dave   Enright   was   one   of   the   first   foreigners   to   set   up   a business   in   Hakuba.   They   also   offer   level   1   &   2   AST   avalanche   courses   several   times during the season. Hakuba    Powder    Tours    do    combined    6    or    7    night    backcountry    +    accommodation packages,   with   the   accommodation   being   at   their   lodge   near   the   station   in   Hakuba.   The company is run by the ex olympic skier Steve Lee. .
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Backcountry skier hiking up the Happo ridge