Niseko Freeride Progression Tour
7 Nights I 6 Days Coaching
February 01, 2018 to February 08, 2018
$2499 PER PERSON
NISEKO HANAZONO I HIRAFU I NISEKO VILLAGE I ANNUPURI I RUSUTSU
- Improve your freeriding with 6 days of coaching and guiding
- You’re guaranteed to ride the best snow every day with our flexible itinerary
- Expect to ride deep, untracked snow every day
- Beat the crowds as your coach takes you to the best zones each day
- Ride with a small group of 6 people
Improve your riding with 6 days of coaching and guiding. This tour is aimed at intermediate snowboarders who want to improve their freeriding. While you are exploring the Niseko United Resort area and the nearby resort of Rusutsu, your qualified coach will give you tips and feedback along the way. Our coaching sessions are structured so that you’ll learn the skills to confidently ride off-piste, in the trees, in deep powder and variable conditions. At the end of the tour, you will gain the confidence to ride Japans’ powder stashes, even on the deepest days.
We keep the itinerary flexible so your coach can hunt down the best conditions all day, every day. Each day your coach will assess the conditions and decide which is the best place to ride based on weather and snowfall. Each day we’ll load up the van’s and drive to our chosen area. This flexibility ensures that we will find you the best snow and conditions all day, every day!
RIDE THE BEST RESORTS IN HOKKAIDO
We keep the itinerary flexible so you can ride at the best resort on the day. Our base for this tour is Kabayama in Niseko, which gives us easy access to Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village, Annupuri and Rusutsu.
For our coaching sessions we keep our group size to a maximum of 6 people for a more personalised experience. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder!
SNOW & CONDITIONS
Hokkaido scores it’s biggest storms during the months of January and early February. What you can expect on this tour is cold temperatures and deep powder. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride light dry snow days after a storm.
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay at one of Niseko’s newest hotels, Always Niseko. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and offer glimpses of Mt Yotei that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi. Every morning you’ve got a hot buffet breakfast to enjoy in the restaurant and each night you’ve got access to the in-house bar which has great craft beers on tap.
We keep the itinerary flexible so we can ride at the best resort on the day. Here is a sample itinerary:
Day 1 Arrival Day
You’ll be met at Sapporo Chitose Airport and transferred by bus to your hotel in Niseko. After checking into your hotel, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the surrounding area. That night we’ll host you in the Always Niseko bar where you’ll meet our guide and coach who will run you through the tour, weather, equipment and answer any questions you have.
Day 2 to 6 – Niseko United Resorts
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll aim to be on the mountain by 8:30am. Each day will follow a similar format. We’ll load up the van and make the short drive to either the Annupuri resort base or the Hanazono resort base. Your coach will run a thorough safety briefing in the morning and run you through the plan for the day. You’ll spend a full day on mountain with your coach. If time allows, after riding we’ll stop off at one of the local onsen (natural hot springs) so you can rest the legs. After an awesome day, we’ll catch up at our hotel bar for après and then visit one of our favourite local restaurants.
Day 7 – Rusutsu
After breakfast we’ll set out for our final day riding. We’ll load the vans and then make the 40 minute drive to Rusutsu. While some of the more popular resorts in the region might become tracked out by lunch time, great lines can still be found here even a day or two after snow, making it perfect for days without fresh snowfall. We will spend the day guiding you through the trees and gullies of Rusustu. So many natural hits here and so few people which makes it one of our favourites. If we have time in the afternoon we’ll check out one of the secret local onsen. For our final night we’ll head into the local town of Kutchan for dinner at one of the best Izakaya’s around. Followed by some drinks and karaoke at one of the great local bars.
Day 8 Departure Day
All good things must come to come to an end, and after an epic week riding deep, Japanese powder we will transfer you back to the airport and say goodbye.
Your tour includes:
- 6 full days of snowboard coaching and guiding
- 7 nights twin share accommodation with ensuite, Always Niseko
- Buffet breakfast daily
- 5 day Niseko All Mountain lift ticket
- 1 day Rusutsu lift ticket
- Return airport transfers, New Chitose Airport to Hirafu Welcome Centre
- Return transfers from Hirafu Welcome Centre to Always Niseko (arrival & departure day)
- 6 days of private transfers to / from selected resort
- Mint Tours guides on hand throughout the tour
- Safety briefings
- Visits to local onsens
- Visits to local restaurants
- Welcome pack with resort info
- Powder boards are available to rent.
Each morning your coach will explain the weather and snow conditions and what to expect for the day. Each day we’ll load up the van and drive to our chosen resort. Your coaching sessions run all day, with a break for lunch. Your coach is on hand to make sure you get the most out of your time on snow. He will assist in showing you around the resort and selecting terrain that is suitable for progression and giving you tips and feedback along the way.
If time allows in the afternoon we may stop at an onsen on the trip home. These unique natural hot springs use geothermal water from the ground, which contain minerals that are said to be great for sore muscles and the skin. In the evenings we will set out to explore the local area and get some delicious local food.
The great thing about this tour is each day will be unique and exciting. Our flexible itinerary means your tour with us will feel less like a concrete tour schedule and more like an adventure!
Throughout the tour we will spend 6 days riding the resorts around the area. These range from big resorts with world-class infrastructure to smaller local resorts where we will have the slopes to ourselves. Some of the resorts we have to choose from are:
Niseko United is made up of 4 interconnected resorts, Hanazono, Hirafu, Niseko Village & Annupuri. It’s located on the western side of Hokkaido, on Japan’s north island. It’s proximity to the ocean means that cold wind blows down from Siberia over the warm currents in the Sea of Japan, forming storms that hit Hokkaido and drop huge amounts of cold blower powder snow. These storms can hang around for days or weeks on end, hence how Niseko earns its powder factory reputation. The surrounding mountains also score huge amounts of snow and are usually much quieter on a powder day, meaning more opportunities for untracked turns.
Rusutsu Resort is already on the radar for many powder enthusiasts, but as it’s remained relatively quiet, you can be sure that on a powder day the trees will stay untouched for long enough to tire you out! Your guide will be with you all day to get you the best turns. A local favourite.
We stay at the brand new boutique hotel, Always Niseko. Throughout the tour guests stay in twin share accommodation with a great buffet breakfast included. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and can offer glimpses of Mt Yotei that will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has great heating, a private bathroom with shower and bath tub, TV, storage and free high speed WiFi. The hotel also has a large drying room, laundry facilities, and most importantly a great restaurant and bar which serves up all our favourite Japanese food and great local craft beers. Join us each afternoon for Happy Hour in the bar.
Your Snowboard Coach
Your coach is not only a full cert instructor, he also has an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Small Group Numbers
Our guest to coach ratio is 6 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us. There’s nothing worse than riding with a large group, especially on a powder day! We have our coach on-snow every day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area. With our small groups, you’ll feel like part of the Mint Crew and not just another face in the crowd.
If you’d like to test a powder board, your coach will have boards available to rent and be able to help you select suitable equipment.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our tour is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. Not only are our guides with you on-mountain during the day, they keep the stoke going well into the night, so you’ll always have people to socialise with and places to go.
Our tours can be tailored to suit any level of rider, however to get the most out of the coaching sessions we recommend that you can comfortably ride intermediate terrain. If you are unsure about your ability level or if this tour is suitable please contact us.
If you’d like to extend the tour, just ask one of our consultants about options. We can arrange for you to arrive earlier, or stay on after the tour. Many guests will choose to travel to other resorts before or after the tour. We can arrange transfers to other resorts as well as accommodation and lift tickets.