Frequently Asked Questions - Snowboard Tours

What level of riding is necessary to attend a weekend park camp?
We ask that all participants are comfortable and confident linking turns on a blue trail. No experience in the terrain park is needed, at all! Everyone is placed in small groups based on skill level so that the coaching and learning process is as enriching as possible. While we encourage everyone to try new things and push their abilities, we all learn at our own pace and our staff is encouraging of finding the balance between promoting progression and ensuring everyone feels comfortable riding new terrain and attempting new tricks.

What level of riding is necessary to go on a tour?
For all-mountain tours, participants much be confident linking turns on blue trails and comfortable going down at least some black trails. The terrain at all of our all-mountain destinations is accessible for a wide-range of skill levels, though feel confident exploring a wide variety of terrain will open up more possibility for powder stashes and exploration! (Please see the next two questions if you feel you are on the cusp of ability for an all-mountain tour.)

What if I really want to go on an all-mountain tour but I do not feel I meet the skill requirements?
Send us an email with your concerns! We are happy to offer advice and figure out how to provide the best experience for you. Often, a combination of riding with the group and separate, individual lessons with local mountain staff are beneficial for riders looking for a group trip experience while also seriously upleveling their abilities. We can help arrange all of this while offering the camaraderie of the BTBounds experience.

What if I've never ridden powder before? Or I've ridden a little, but I'm not very confident?
This is totally ok! Many of us live in areas where powder is not as readily available and so have less experience riding this wonderful type of snow. But that doesn’t mean you need to learn how to ride it before coming on a BTBounds trip! BTBounds all-mountain trips are staffed by 2-4 guides (depending on group size) in order to provide the best experience for each crew. Our staff has the ability to split the group into two skill levels if needed to give anyone who is learning a little extra time to get used to fresh snow. Overall, the best way to get better at riding pow is to immerse yourself in it and Japan, in particular, is a very friendly environment for improving your powder riding abilities.

I feel very confident riding powder and I'm experienced and capable in a variety of terrain. Will the group be able to keep up with me?

How do you manage groups with varying ability levels?

What types of certifications do your guides and coaches have?

I've never been in the backcountry before. Will I be comfortable on the trip?

I have a lot of backcountry experience. Will I be too experienced for the trip?

I don't have my own backcountry gear (beacon, probe, shovel), what should I do?

How many days will we snowboard on the Japan trip?
We plan to snowboard for 5 days on the 9-day: Niseko to Tokyo tour and 5 days on the 8-day: The North Island tour with the sixth day built in for weather/rest/activities. We are dependent on weather for any changes that arise, but January in Japan is generally a very dependable time to snowboard!

Why is there a rest/activity/weather day included in the trip I'm interested in?
Of course we want to maximize our time riding while we're in Japan, but we have to be prepared in case Mother Nature has other plans. During the 8-day: The North Island trip, we have 6 days built in for riding, but one of the days is a weather/rest/activity day. If we encounter a storm that inhibits the resorts from operating or makes riding dangerous or impossible, then we are able to enjoy off hill activities (like exploring a local snowboard museum/shop, Japanese whiskey tasting, shopping, 99 yen store, onsen, etc). If the weather is great for the entire trip, we know that it can be tiring on our bodies to ride from open-to-close for six days straight, which is why one day we allow ourselves to take a breather and let our muscles recover while we do other awesome things! If you do want to ride that day, freeriding is also an option on your own! It's all about options and we will decide depending on conditions which day is the down day and what activities the group is interested in participating in.

Where do we stay? Can I reserve my own room?
Each tour has different sorts of accommodations (for example, in Chile we stay in hotels, but in Japan, the majority of the stay is in a group chalet), but all are based on double-room occupancy. If you are interested in reserving a single room, please email us at info@btbounds.com and we will do our best to accommodate. Single occupancy had an additional room fee, depending on location.

What do we eat? What if I have allergies and/or dietary restrictions?
Luckily, one of BTBounds’ founders, Mary, doesn’t eat meat and so is no stranger to navigating different culinary cultures with a particular dietary restriction. She also loves to eat delicious food, so has been able to get creative and find plenty to eat everywhere we go. On all trips, it is no problem to accommodate for any sort of dietary restriction, whether meat/veggie, allergies, gluten-free, etc. Just email us prior to departure and we can explain the local cuisine we will be enjoying and offer options. It is definitely possible to take part in the culinary offerings of each destination while being considerate of all dietary needs.

What time should I book my tickets to arrive?

Do I have to pay for the whole trip or camp upon booking?
Nope! There is an option for a $500 deposit to hold your spot for all tours. While the full payment is due apprx. six weeks out from tour dates, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any financial assistance, payment plans, etc. We know that it is a financial commitment to travel for snowboarding and skiing and are more than happy to help make it a reality any way that we can.

Are there refunds or cancellations?
Yes! The $500 deposit for tours is non-refundable, but the rest of the trip cost can be refunded if canceled prior to departure. For even more security with your trip, we recommend booking travel insurance ahead of time that will cover all of your costs, just in case anything comes up. Again, please email us with any questions, individual situations, etc. at info@btbounds.com.

Is it customary to leave a tip for guides and coaches?
This is a wonderful way to thank your guides and coaches and while not required, is customary for this type of travel experience. The BTBounds staff pours their hearts into enhancing time spent both on hill and off, and sharing their passion for snowboarding and skiing with each guest. The BTBounds staff is incredibly appreciate of any tipping that you wish to contribute.