Category Archives: Snowboarding

Cat Skiing!

Provided by: Explore Niseko (050-5309-6905), THoP, HBC & Iwanai Resort

The House of Powder/Hokkaido Backcountry Club:

Cat tours are one of the best ways to access the backcountry pow! If you aren’t too keen on hiking the back bowls of Mt Annupuri-Niseko, Chisenupuri is just a 20min drive. With a pick up service from your Niseko accomodation from 08:00, you’ll be driven through the scenic mountain ranges and arrive at your destination, more commonly known by the locals as Chise.

Once we got to the location, we got to settle into there warm lodge and get kitted up with arm bands, our safety packs and beacons. THoP patroller, Lindsey, gave us a run through of what were in our packs – shovel and probe. In addition, she shows us how to assemble the equipment to use them in an efficient manner. Once we had out beacons and packs strapped on, we stepped out into the snow where other THoP patroller, Jase, had hidden some beacons. Jase provided a simplified demonstration of search and rescue in an avalanche crisis. This was such a great refresher for us who has done their Avalanche Skills Test, or, a good introduction on how to go about equipping yourself with the knowledge of mountain safety.

We did a search together as a team to test our beacons, our dummy was found and rescued! Once we were comfortable with our beacons, we loaded the cat for our first run! HBC guide, Shin, along with the THoP patrollers, takes us down the first few laps. The first lap will always follow the lift line, this basically allows us to always have a safe confirmed route to get back to the cat. The next couple of runs, we are shown some tracks through the back country! The Chise backcountry was full of deep fluffy powder and great pillows! 

Getting back on the cat is quick and easy with 2 cats on a constant loop! I suppose one could think of it as your own private mountain with the cats as your lifts! For our next run, HBC and THoP guides split the group up by terrain interest – either back down the lift line, or, further out into the back country; making this tour fun for all ability levels. After 3-4 runs, we were free to explore the mountain ourselves, or follow one of the guides.

Around 12:00, we head back down to the lodge to have a simple packed lunch that is provided. After lunch we head back up again! With an an approximate vertical elevation of 270m, the runs may be considered short; however, our group managed to do about 6-7 runs* from 10:00-12:30! The tour runs until about 3-4pm, depending on when the sun goes down for our own safety. At the end of the tour, you also have the option to head to the all natural sulphuric onsen next door for just ¥500! After soaking in the outdoor pools and mud bath, the crew takes us back to Hirafu :)

Overall, with the quick looping of the 2 cats, this tour was perfect for us to do some slashes and jump pillows in the trees, as well as the warming up and cooling down the legs with some wide powder turns!

*number of runs depends on the overall ability level of the group.

Iwanai Resort:

Iwanai Resort is currently being re-vamped. It’s offering a 360 degree panorama glass cat! The views are phenomenal. Of all the nearby cat ski tours in Niseko, Iwanai offers the longest runs at 600m vertical and steep pitches. Overall super fun! The backcountry is currently not filled in, so take care out there and make sure you have your safety pack and beacon!

Contact us at Explore Niseko (050-5309-6905) to find out more and/or book your cat experience!


Happy Snowboarding Dayz!

Yesterday, I went to Rusutsu with the brother and Yut the Beaut.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve just been so happy snowboarding. I couldn’t stop smiling; the weather, the conditions, the terrain just perfect! This just rolls off on the day that my chest was abt to explode from happiness of fluttering snow.

It just totally reminded me of The Angry Therapist‘s post:
At a low point earlier last month, I regrammed this to remind myself that 2016 WAS that fkd up friend.. 2016 was a horrible year. I was so unhappy, overworked and underpaid/underappreciated, with a partner who didn’t want to be here.

2017 I was still really negative, I felt like nothing was going to get better…
2017 saw a break up that made me feel I wasted my time, going through a not so healthy healing process (ex was still my tenant, and a crutch as he helped me with my pets), leaving a job that paid the bills, and going no where with my own company.

But, I reread this gram last night, and I had a really different thought “Hey… 2017 IS the friend that changed my life!”; I became bffs with my bff of 18yrs’ future wife whom I’m now closer to than to him, I STARTED my own company which lead me to be in different offices and making new connections, I’ve been able to snowboard way more, I’ve made new good friends, I got my 3rd fur baby, I’ve been in trying situations that let me learn so much more abt living in a foreign country that I’ve made home, I’m in a new chapter again – a growth.

And as John said in the post:

Now I hope 2018 is not a new friend but a fucking rocket that launches me to places I’ve never been to before, literally, figuratively, romantically, stretching me, pushing me, challenging me, to stack my actions on top of my words and standing on both. To run toward my true north without looking back. Or blinking. To create a wider dialogue. To let go of my kite, trusting it will fly. To love harder. To feel gratitude in my bones. To smile more. And to no longer make it about me. That is the island, where I want to go. To live a life of service and make it about others. That is my new definition of a life well lived.

awesome ride

headed up the mountain for the second time since opening day. this time it was on my day off! so i got to ride for more than 2 runs =P besides centre run, shirakaba is now open too! of course you can got onto the closed runs, but there’s a chance of wrecking your board

a certain canadian had his day off too, so off we went!


the runs are pretty short.. 2 mins or so. although there hasn’t been much snow, there’s still some choppy fluffy powder up there!LINEcamera_share_2013-12-04-00-38-38

i thought i was such a smartypoo cause i thought the king hooded 3 lifts were open. so we went down this closed off run, only to find out it wasn’t open yet (it was being tested). so then we had to hike back up cause i didn’t really know my way and i didn’t have a map. oopsys!1455993_10201899940953144_515629058_n

Nike NeverNot Pt2

Nicolas Muller: Couple people want to go to the X-games and do triple corks, and that’s fine. But there is also alot of people who just want to do powder turns.. or… butters. I mean now we get into tricks again… it doesn’t even matter. There’s only one trick.. you know.. and umm

Interviewer: What’s the one trick?

Nicolas Muller: The one trick? The one trick.. is just to strap in =)

Eric Jackson. Pic from TransWorld Snowboarding (Wallpaper Wednesdays)
Eric Jackson – Making Turns and Catching Air.                      Pic from TransWorld Snowboarding (Wallpaper Wednesdays)

The key to life is to live each day like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re sitting on the couch, you’re obviously not riding the powder. So maybe you should get off the couch and go ride some powder.

-Andy Mahre [Like There’s No Tomorrow (2011)]