8-day trip: SKi The North Island

January 11-18, 2020
Price: $3250
Save your spot with $500 deposit

New for 2020, we are excited to introduce the first BTBounds international ski trip!

Japan is known for having some of the deepest, fluffiest snow on the planet. The mountains are rolling, the landscape is gorgeous, and the resorts offer endless stashes of Japanese powder, better known as Japow! Longtime BTBounds ski coach, Meg Clinton and big mountain skier, Emily Barrett will be your guides for this week of exploring the mountains of around Niseko, just two hours from the New Chitose aiport. You will receive the locals’ treatment from the BTBounds staff, exploring the resorts by day (and sometimes in the evening for night riding!), and by enjoying the sights, sounds, and local cuisine by night. Stay in a comfortable chalet just minutes from the lifts and experience the incredible skiing on Hokkaido.

This trip focuses on in bounds and out of bounds (conditions permitting) at Niseko United (home to multiple resorts like Niseko Village and Grand Hirafu) and Rusutsu (we partner with Ski Rusutsu while at this expansive resort). Each mountain has its own personality, snowpack, and epic terrain. Over the course of 8 days, you'll explore the trails and trees of Hokkaido's mountains as well as the off-hill gems of this beautiful place (relaxing onsens, 99-cent Yen stores, hidden speakeasy apres--just a few ideas). For this trip, we have built in six days to ski in case we experience a weather day to ensure we get five days on hill. The sixth day can be a weather day, rest day, activities day, catskiing (additional fee) or more resort skiing, depending on your personal preferences. Check out what to expect, information about what is included in the price, and get an idea of our itinerary. Have questions? Please don't hesitate to email us: info@btbounds.com.

What to expect:
Land at New Chitose airport in Sapporo and head to Niseko to post up in plush accommodations for the week of skiing. Niseko is home not only to beautiful mountains, but also is known for its luxurious onsen. It's the perfect place to make powder turns during the day and relax during the evening. While in Niseko, we will immerse ourselves in traditional Japanese culture through sights, sounds, and culinary experiences. Did we mention the ramen and sushi? For five or six days, we will follow the snow, riding at different resorts and getting as much powder as possible! Learn about backcountry safety from your guides who will prepare you for resort-accessed out of bounds terrain. Whether you are familiar with your beacon, shovel and probe, or new to the off piste, BTBounds will help you to grow your knowledge and spend time in the mountains as safely as possible. Once we've gotten plenty of powder slashes, it's time to head out of the mountains. We will spend a night in an onsen village in an incredible traditional setting, enjoying a delicious meal and trying out different types of sake. The following morning, we enjoy breakfast and a few last glimpses of Japan before boarding our flights home.

We can help you find the best airfare, help with rentals or purchase of backcountry gear (beacon, shovel, and probe), and assist in any way you need!

Included in price:
- Airport pick up and all ground transportation
- Lodging (3-4 stars, both Western and traditional)
- Lift Tickets
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Professional coaching and guiding
- Professional skiing and lifestyle photos
- Goodie bag loaded with gear from BTB sponsors to enhance your trip

Not included in price:
- Airfare (to/from Japan)
- Lunch
- Entertainment (onsen, alcohol, apres)
- Avalanche equipment (beacon, probe, shovel)

Payment can be made in full or a spot will be held with a $500 deposit. Full payment must be completed by November 1, 2020.

8-Day Tour Schedule:
Day 1: Arrive in Sapporo at the New Chitose Airport (CTS) in the evening. Meet BTB staff at Sapporo airport and make the mellow drive to Niseko, our home base for the week. We will check into our chalet, grab our first Japanese dinner and rest up for the first day of skiing!
Day 2: Rise and shine in the beautiful ski town of Niseko! After a traditional Japanese breakfast, we will head to one of the four individual resorts of Niseko United (which one will depend on snow and weather conditions). After skiing, we will relax in the onsen and enjoy more traditional Japanese food for dinner. After dinner, the choice is yours: rest and relaxation or enjoy some late night sake.
Day 3: Hopefully Mother Nature is sending some Japow our way! We will head again to Niseko United, this time skiing at a new resort with the best snow of the day. Grand Hirafu, Annupuri, Niseko Village, or Hanazono—we will find the best conditions and make pow slashes all day! In the evening, after more time relaxing in the onsen, we will head to a special dinner!
Day 4: More of the same is never a bad thing when you’re in Japan! Today we will head 30 minutes away to Rusutsu, a nearby resort, and explore new terrain! After a long day of riding and hopefully scoring great snow, we will return to our chalet in Niseko to relax, enjoy dinner and either rest up or enjoy the Niseko nightlife, your call!
Day 5: We'll be watching the forecasts to make sure we score the best snow possible and today we will head to the resort with the best conditions. This could be back to Rusutsu or more riding at Niseko--there's so much terrain at each resort to explore, we'll find plenty of new lines and powder stashes! In the afternoon and evening, there are onsens to check out, local ski shops, and other spots for shopping, and dinner at an incredible sushi restaurant.
Day 6: We’ve built in six days of skiing, just in case we have a weather day and to provide an optional rest day if anyone would like one, as riding lots of powder can be very exhausting! Today you can choose what you would like to do: relax at the chalet, head to the Sea of Japan and explore a distillery, go shopping in Niseko and Kutchan, or head back on hill and get more turns in! There is also a possibility of a day catbskiing with a local operation for an additional fee.
Day 7: For our final day of skiing, we will watch the weather patterns and partake in powder turns at whichever resort has the best conditions! After riding, we will drive to an incredible onsen town outside of Sapporo for dinner, drinks, and celebration of a week well-spent!
Day 8: Breakfast and departure for home from New Chitose Airport in Sapporo (CTS). You’ll arrive back home on the same day, Sunday, ready to start the week back in reality. Sigh.

A few photos from our 2018 and 2019 snowboard trips to Niseko. We’re very excited to welcome our first ski tour to Hokkaido in January 2020!