WITH GUEST HOSTS CHERYL MAAS & SARKA PANCOCHOVA
This once in a lifetime trip is an all-inclusive & guided, 8 day powder and progression adventure with some of the biggest names in snowboarding including Cheryl Maas & Sarka Pancochova.
- Explore remote areas & new cultures with like-minded women
- Learn from qualified coaches, and progress with riders of similar skill
- Laugh with new friends and create lifetime memories
- Conquer challenges with support and guidance
- Get your iconic Japan powder shot with our photographer on hand
- You’re guaranteed to ride the best snow every day with our flexible itinerary
- Testing out the latest powder shapes from Nitro Snowboards
Ride with Winter Olympians Cheryl Maas & Sarka Pancochova
For 2019, we’re excited to announce that we will have two of our favourite female professional athletes (and snowboarding legends!) are joining us for Mint Chicks Japan. Cheryl Maas and Sarka Pancochova. These ladies are X Games medalists and 3 times Winter Olympians. They will be joining us in Japan to ride, share stories and throw a high five once you’ve scored your first powder turn or stomped a landing into deep Japanese pow! They will also be filming for their web series Shark Tales & Maas Attacks!
About the area
Our home base for Mint Chicks Japan is magnificently located in Aizu, on the main island in Japan. This area is blessed with lots of snowfall, no crowds and very little western influence. From the moment you arrive and see the towering snow banks lining the roads, you will know you’re in for an amazing powder-filled adventure.
This area is well and truly off the radar for most international skiers and snowboarders who head to Japan. Unlike the high profile Japanese ski resorts that are busy and over-commercialised, you can find an authentic experience here. It’s also easy to access from Tokyo. Jump on the bullet train and within 1.5 hours you’ll be in Aizu, the gateway to our secret powder paradise.
Our location gives us easy access to the best resorts in the region. We have access to 22 resorts to be exact! Each day we can look at the weather and snowfall and drive to the best location on the day. We have our 4WD vehicles on standby to shuttle you to the resorts. Wherever we decide to ride, what you can expect is empty runs, and powder turns until the lifts close.
Daily Snowboard Coaching
As part of the tour, all guests receive daily professional snowboard coaching with our qualified Mint Chicks coaches. Our coaches are on-hand to make the progression fun and to provide individual feedback. We will ride to the conditions, and change the plan and pace to suit. We typically keep our group size to 6 ladies per coach, so you can get the most out of the sessions. All our coaching sessions are conducted on terrain suitable for progression. Each guest will receive a minimum of 3 hours of group coaching per day. This allows guests to focus on the technical side of snowboarding in the coaching sessions, then put it into practice during our daily freeriding and guiding sessions. Our freeriding and guiding sessions are conducted every afternoon and are hosted by our qualified coaches and guides.
Is this tour for you?
If you are looking to progress your snowboarding then yes, this tour is for you! Our coaching and freeride sessions are perfect for novice to advanced riders, and you will always ride with like-level snowboarders. Our women’s tours have been designed by women who ride, for women who ride (or want to!). If you’re new to snowboarding, we know you need guidance, practice, time and encouragement in the company of like-level riders. As a seasoned rider, with years of experience under your belt, we also know that ride time is progress time, and we’ll make sure that you’ll cover more terrain and explore more unique destinations daily, under the guidance of our qualified coaches. We will have group coaching sessions available for the following ability levels.
Level 1: Perfect for ladies who have been snowboarding a few times. You are able to ride the lifts, and you’re beginning to link turns (with or without success!). Our coaches will get you back to basics, and start you off riding the wide-open green (beginner) trails. They will teach you the skills and give you the confidence to nail your linked turns, and then work towards riding blue (intermediate) runs.
Level 2: You can link your turns on intermediate terrain (blue & red runs). It’s now time to take your riding to the next level and try some steeper and varied terrain. You may want to start venturing off-piste and in to the park to take on boxes and jumps.
Level 3: You are able to link turns with rhythm and flow on most black runs, including off-piste. Time to get adventurous and try drops, steeper off-piste terrain, trees and deep powder.
We have 22 resorts that can be reached from our hotel. All of these areas are medium sized resorts by Japanese standards. There are numerous marked runs, but there are plenty more lines to be found just of the pistes and in the trees. They all have great lift systems with gondolas and hooded chairs which are handy when it’s dumping snow. The terrain at the resorts is perfect for progression. The resorts all have long, wide-open, rolling groomed runs that caters to intermediate to advanced snowboarders. If you’re not ready to tackle the trees, there are lots of easy to reach powder stashes just off to the sides of the runs. Once you’re used to riding in powder, there are perfectly spaced trees where you can practice your powder turns. There are plenty of tree runs and no competition for the plentiful fresh powder. They also maintain an impressive park setup, complete with features from novice to advanced riders. Some resorts also have a ‘nighta’ session from 4 – 9pm, where you can ride under the floodlights.
Snow & Conditions
This tour is running at the peak of Aizu’s snow season. At this time of year, the Aizu region sees consistent storms that bring massive quantities of light, dry powder snow. Many of the resorts have north facing slopes which keeps the snow in pristine condition. 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. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep.
Professional Photographer on Hand
Throughout the tour we’ll have our professional snowboard photographer on hand to capture all the action. At the end of the tour we’ll have a photo night where we’ll sit around and see the highlights from the tour, plus you’ll be able to download all the images.
During our coaching sessions we typically keep our group size to a maximum of 6 people for a more personal experience between our guests and guides. 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!
Optional Cat Ski Day
For any guests wanting to experience the thrill of cat skiing in Japan, we will have an optional cat ski adventure. You don’t have to compete for fresh lines here, we have the an entire part of a resort to ourselves, with the exclusive use of a snowcat to shuttle us to the top after each run. We have the cat ski operation at our disposal for a half day so we can access the amazing terrain in this area.
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Throughout the tour you’ll stay in luxury accommodation at the Urabandai Lake Resort. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds and offer glimpses of the beautiful frozen Lake Hibara. Our comfortable rooms will have you feeling zen in no time. Each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi. Buffet breakfasts and dinners are included. We also have access to the indoor and outdoor hot springs, drying room, coffee shop, bar, convenience store, karaoke room and games room.
Access to Powder Boards from Nitro
To help you float in the deep Japanese powder, all our Mint Chicks guests receive access to our fleet of powder boards from Nitro Snowboards. You’ll get to ride the latest powder shapes from the Nitro 2018/19 range, including their female specific boards, the Drop and Treehugger.