If you’re a keen skier or snowboarder in chase of the ultimate powder experience, a trip to Japan is a must and Niseko should be at the very top of your list of destinations. The amount of snow that inundates this Japanese resort each year is unparalleled and if you have grown up skiing the mountains of Australia or New Zealand than your concept of a ‘powder day’ is likely to be somewhat flawed.
Below are 5 simple tips that will allow you to take advantage of a powder day in Niseko.
- Prepare for all weather conditions
Niseko is notorious for its micro-climate and unpredictable weather patterns. This can mean waking up to an unexpected 40cm on the top of the car or a beautiful sunny day when clouds were predicted. Within 10 minutes on the hill the clouds can close in on a beautiful day, the winds can shift and the mountain can become a very unpredictable place. Make sure you are prepared for swift changes in the weather so that you can still enjoy your day no matter the conditions.
- Choose a ski/snowboard that suits the conditions
There is nothing worse than riding with your friends and finding that while they are charging effortlessly above the powder you are working twice as hard and barely staying afloat. Invest in a decent set-up, whether it be a rental or a new purchase make sure that you opt for a powder board/ skis to really make the most of the deep, dry powder that Niseko is famous for.
- Choose the right lens
With constant and heavy snowfall in Niseko you can expect that the visibility will on most days be low to flat and a good set of goggles are pivotal to surviving a full day on the mountain. You will be amazed at how quickly a poor quality goggle can destroy your spirit on an otherwise ideal powder day.
- Stay warm
The temperatures on most days are sub-zero and can drop as low as negative 20 degrees. It can be deceivingly chilly on a beautiful sunny morning and bitterly cold with a bit of wind in the air. Protect yourself with quality base layers, face warmer, gloves and invest in some disposable hand/toe warmers for those particularly chilly mornings.
- Know the mountain and explore safely
Whether you’re an avid skier or a first-timer you will find the space available on the hill is extremely generous compared to many southern hemisphere slopes. Whilst this means you will often be able to find fresh lines with little competition from other skiers it also means you’ll need to take more care when exploring the mountain. Make sure you know where you are at all times, have the correct equipment on hand and if you are going into the backcountry always be aware of the avalanche risks and adhere to local resort advice.
These simple tips can make a big difference to your experience in Japan. For more advice on accommodation, transfers, lift passes, rental and much more talk to the friendly, knowledgeable and experienced staff at Japan Ski Experience.