Welcome to the #1 mountain in Japan for POWDER SNOW!

What people are saying about Simon's Powder Tours:

Simon and Bandit - Thanks for all your efforts in making our Japan ski trip so awesome. Al recently uploaded our photos (see below), it was great to see the photos and be reminded of how wicked the trip was. I hope you guys can use some of the photos, I am working on article and will forward when published.
Lots of people have been asking about how the trip was and we have generated heaps of interest. Particularly when people ask me would I return, knowing how many places I have skied in, and without hesitation I confirm that we are all planning a return trip. Expect a few more Kiwis in your parts next season.
Simon, we don't have a email address for Mr. Ashizawa (The Bandit) so would be grateful if you could show/read this to him - his hospitality was exceptional and a real highlight for the team.
All the best,

Matt, 2/2008

215 of the better shots now up on the web gallery. At http://gallery.mac.com/sisson.photo#100001. When you look thru them they are downsized to make viewing quick so can look a bit pixelated but in the background they are full res 2meg images so if you download you should get a good enough image to print or set as desktop wallpaper.

Al, 2/2008

(Note from Simon: Not all the pictures are from Hakkoda...but the best ones are...ha!)


Matt and Geoff dropping in the bowl on Mt. Maedake, you can see the Doozo tea house in the background where they commemorate the Hakkoda Death March where 200 Japanese soldiers died when they were caught in a snow storm 100 years ago.


Matt slicing through the deep powder with Aomori City and Muttsu Bay in the top right background.

"Hakkoda has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Our trio arrived in Hakkoda after spending a week in Niskeo, surrounded by a mountain full of fellow Australians. I won't deny that the snow in Niseko isn't phenomenal however the hoards of loud Australians can leave a bad taste in your mouth. In Hakkoda, a scenic 50 minute bus ride from Aomori, there was a 3m base and it was snowing heavily on our arrival. Our accommodation was at the Sanso Lodge, which came highly recommended by our guide, Simon. The Lodge is run by a unique character named 'The Bandit' who is never shy of a smile and a little jive to keep his guests in high spirits. The food, hospitality and overall experience of the Lodge was a highlight of our adventure in Japan and will not be soon forgotten. We woke the next morning to 43cm of fresh snow, merely a dusting for Hakkoda, and after donning the avalanche beacons, snow shoes and stocks(poles), Simon took us up the mountain for our first run. Simon really knows his way around and ensures that, whatever your boarding ability, you will get the most out of your Hakkoda experience. This includes the ghostly "snow monsters" that haunt the top of the mountain. We spent our entire time on the mountain weaving between trees and hitting jumps all the while being surrounded by a tranquility that could not be experienced anywhere else on earth. Before we knew it, after two days of the deepest and most pristine powder, it was time to go. The Hakkoda experience is one I cannot recommend highly enough. Go get some! "
Thank you again Simon for making our trip so enjoyable.

John, 2/2008


John, Drew and Steve surrounded by their new frozen friends in Hakkoda!

Still daydream of Hakkoda every chance I get.
And see you next year!

Michael, Victoria, Australia, 1/2008


Should we walk it? nah, thereís fresh turns everywhere!


Wicked turns, now a long push home. Love it!


Apparently, this amount of snow is only Ďso-soí for this early in the season (January)

When I first came across Simon's site describing vast expanses of untouched back-country powder, I knew that I had to experience Hakkoda for myself. Now that I have, I am happy to report that the experience was better than I could have imagined. Simon is an excellent guide. He knows every part of the mountain exceptionally well. Given the extreme terrain of this mountain, a highly competent, well equipped guide like Simon is a must. Simon made the whole day a great experience and I can't wait to go again.
Thanks Simon!

Kourt, 1/2008

"After all of my research about the ideal place to find fresh soft powder snow and little crowds in Japan, my trail led me to Hakkoda, where Simon Bernard, the only foreign backcountry ski/board guide introduced to me pure untouched pristine backcountry. After viewing his website, hakkodapowder.com, I was convinced that he knew his stuff and would be the best person to show me around the mountain. This tour was great and Simon definitely knows his way around the mountain like the back of his hand. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is contemplating where to go for true riding/skiing. In addition, what other guide helps you with all your hotel and transportation bookings? The hotel he recommended, Sanso Lodge, was perfect and at a decent rate. Food and owners were great. Hakkoda is definitely not something to miss and I am hooked!"
See my gallery here
See you next time!

Marc, 12/2007


Marc popping in and making first tracks in the Narusawa bowl


Marc shredding the powder somewhere in between the Kita shamen(north slope) and the Forest course.

Having boarded several times all over Japan (including pretty much all of the Big-Name resorts), myself and my friend decided to give Hakkoda a whirl this December (2007). We were met by boundless enthusiasm from Simon, who was simply a pleasure to spend time with, let alone board with ! Aside from his official role of guide/safety instructor (Simon quite rightly takes safety incredibly seriously, explaining everything carefully and simply to both novices and the more-experienced alike), Simon's deep love for his home-prefecture of Aomori was evident as he freely shared his breadth and depth of local knowledge with us, thus making the trip even more memorable. To be honest, before arriving for a 3-day tour with Simon, I was dreading the snowshoe hikes, but they turned out to be truly magnificent (in my eyes actually the highlight of the trip !), and an opportunity to view scenery, and if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of wildlife, otherwise completely inaccessible. The hikes were really not that taxing at all (Simon has all the right kit, including safety kit, for rent), especially when one considers the rewards (miles of untouched powder !) that ensued. If a lot of laughs, smiles, good people, and some serious and varied back-country boarding (or skiing) is what you are after (picture yourself floating and carving on untouched, ungroomed deep powder for minutes on end, in deafening silence), then a Hakkoda tour with Simon is quite possibly just the ticket for you. Just please don't tell the crowds, or anyone who'll disrespect the indisputable privilege of being there. We'll surely be back this season, and again many more times in years to come !

Matt, 12/2007


Matt and Yumi say: We will be back this season and many times in the coming years!

Simon thanks for guiding us through the opening week of the Hakkoda ski season. The quality and depth of snow for the opening week was awesome. The accommodation suggestion from you was spot on, awesome food, very friendly staff and great location.
Cheers mate

Ed, 12/2007


Ed cruising around the East slope on the first day before we got the big dump. The few centimeters of snow on the earlier base made for super easy turns on just about anywhere on the mountain including the tight trees!

     

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