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

What people are saying about Simonís Powder Tours:

Our Log:
6 Feb Arrived from Aomori mid afternoon, check into Yamagoya Hakkoda Sanso & met our charming hosts Mr. & Mrs. Ashizawa. Snow base of nearly 5 meters. 50cm overnight snowfall, what serious skier could ask for more
7 Feb night snowfall: 60cm, day: 20cm, Temp: -10, windy, visibility: very limited
Spent morning acclimatizing to waist deep powder, losing lot of sweat, tighten up bindings after a few premature releases
8 Feb snowfall: trace, Temp: -10, clear skies
Skied with Mr. Ashizawa (aka "the bandit" to his friends). He has very good local knowledge of mountain. Tree runs on western aspect.
9 Feb snowfall: 25cm day, Temp: -6, windy, visibility: limited
Morning and afternoon tour on the Doozo run: Long glades, more deep powder.
10 Feb night snowfall: 20cm, day: 25cm, Temp: -10, very windy, visibility: total white out
Skied runs under ropeway (I think). Fitness improving & great day despite lack of visibility.
11 Feb night snowfall: 40cm, day: 30cm, Temp: -17, very windy, visibility: poor
Crowd starts to build up on ropeway for Japanese long weekend. More good runs under towers
12 Feb night snowfall: 50cm, day: 35cm, Temp: -15, windy, visibility: limited
Crowded at base, so limited runs. Great powder when we got to it.
13 Feb night snowfall: 45cm, day: 20cm, Temp: -10
We left the crowds on the mountain, & Simon took us all on a sightseeing & shopping tour of northern Honshu.
14 Feb night snowfall: 25cm, day: 30cm, Temp: -10, windy, visibility: very poor
Ropeway staff present us with chocolates for Valentine's day. Yesterday's layoff leaves us in fine form for uncrowded mountain & more deep powder
15 Feb night snowfall: 35cm, day: 20cm, Temp: -11, windy, visibility: improving snow heavier & wind packed
Yet another day in deep but working powder.
16 Feb snowfall: trace, SE storm building up, windy, visibility: fair
Ropeway remained closed so a few of us donned skins to hike up the mountain. Phil had a GPS & measured his climb to 1100 metres
17 Feb night snowfall: 1cm, day: 7cm, Temp: -6, windy, visibility: average
Simon couldn't get to Hakkoda due to weather & roads, so the Bandit took us out in the morning, Good Ropeway runs in pm, but Richard followed Roly off the track, requiring an awkward climb through deep snow to get around a creek. You really need to know your way around this mountain or you could literally be ďup the creekĒ.
18 Feb night snowfall: 10cm, day: trace, Temp: -9, calm! & sunny! visibility: good!
Best all round day yet. Doozo run, then Onsen run in afternoon, fair weather with lots of photo stops
19 Feb night snowfall: trace, day: 7cm, Temp: -8, very windy, visibility: limited, poor in pm
Split up so those with skins could hike a ridge on the Onsen run. Richard kicked a small slide off a cornice. Tom, Roly, Peter decided to guide themselves, invented a new route & met up with us on the road.
20 Feb All good things have to end. Mr. Ashizawa takes us to airport, & helps with language to get us on the right flights

Highlights The awesome skiing has been detailed above, but words alone don't do Hakkoda justice. The small village, the friendly atmosphere at Yamagoya Sanso Ė we were made to feel like family. The meals are truly sensational, just the best of Japanese cuisine. Even though heís a snowboarder, after a while we ďbondedĒ with Simon, and became confident that he could get us safely on & off this huge daunting mountain. The staff of Yamagoya are wonderful people, they even left their hotel duties to come pick us up from ski tours miles from the base. Evening visits to (coed) Sukayu & outdoor Hakkoda Onsen hot springs, were real treats, rejuvenating the mind & body for another dayís hectic skiing

Lowlights If I had to get picky it would be the weather. But the trade off is to put up with days & days of high winds, poor visibility in blizzard conditions in order to be treated to 499cm of measured quality snowfall during our stay.

Take home message Hakkoda is a totally different & unique ski experience, testing but rewarding. There is nothing quite like it in North America, Europe or even Hokkaido.

***

Please convey our best regards to the Bandit, Mrs. Ashizawa & the Hotel Hakkoda Sansou staff. We can't stop showing the video. Everyone that sees it can't believe the snow conditions and the wonderful sights. We miss the very great time & fantastic home cooking.

Tom, 4/2005
Australia



Here is Tom in 60cm of fresh powder waving to all his friends back in Australia: WISH YOU WERE Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!


On hill
Loved the combined challenges provided by the low visibility & the wind on top, the deep & continuous snowfalls, the ungroomed terrain, the relative safe (non-avalanche) conditions, the lack of people except for w/end, the terrain in the upper areas, the absence of the YOYO type groomed ski-resort conditions, the total mountain experience provided by the guided walks followed by great glade skiing (even though we had to put up with (a) boarder....{making reference to the guide} Simon: Ha, ha, ha...)
Difficult area to get around without a guide until you learn the mountain & with the prevailing visibility that could take a long time.
Off Hill
Loved the food, the locals, the hospitality, the culture. All up: hard to beat for value (could have done with longer than 2 weeks although the body may not have lasted that long.

Rolly, 2/2005
Austrailian Ski Patrol

P.S. Big HI to the Bandit!

     

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