15 Jan Blog post: Where to ski on a powder day in Niseko (Part I) In recent years Nis…
Blog post: Where to ski on a powder day in Niseko (Part I)
In recent years Niseko has become a Mecca for skiers and snowboarders from across the globe searching for deep, untracked powder turns. This increased popularity means you have to know the mountain well if you want to ski fresh lines all day. For all you people who haven’t skied the mountain before, here’s a quick guide on the best places to go on a powder day in Niseko.
First thing’s first: wake up early! On a day when at least 15cm of snowfall is recorded overnight, you can be certain most of the town know about it and are heading up to get the first lift.
So you’ve stuck to the fundamental law ‘no friends on powder day’ and ditched the straggler in your group who was fiddling with their google lens, and you’ve made it for first lift. You’re heading up the mountain salivating as you look down at all the untouched snow that glistens below you, and you suddenly have a mental blank as you try to decide where you’re going to ski first.
The general rule is the higher you go, the deeper the snow is – that explains the rat race unfolding before your eyes as people desperately try to be the first one to the top. A better alternative to this mad dash to the top is to head for some mid-mountain tree skiing. This is a particularly good option if it’s windy as the trees give you more protection, and also ensure the snow won’t be windswept.
The ridge to the skier’s right of the Ace Quad Lift #2 in Hirafu (next to the run ‘Super’) is a good first run, but my favourite run to start the day is ‘Strawberry Fields’ in Hanazono. The run, which starts at the top of the Hanazono Hooded Quad Lift #1, has a gated entrance and is only suitable for advanced and expert skiers. The area is really big, and provides a good challenge as the further right you head the steeper and more densely packed the trees on the run become. For people looking for a slightly less challenging first run, the trees underneath the King Hooded Quad Lift #3 (also in Hirafu) is also a good bet.