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Hanazono Powder Guides

HANAZONO POWDER GUIDES

Welcome to HPG

For those who are looking for powder in Niseko, we recommend the guided tour.

HPG, an initiative started in the 2011-12 season at Hanazono Resort, wants to safely guide riders who ski/snowboard outside the gate. A guide company led by a local guide team with a long history of living in Niseko, specializing in services that can only be provided because it is directly managed by the resort.

ONLY WITH HPG

We will guide you with absolute confidence not only to the hidden powder spots in the ski area, but also in the backcountry area accessible from the 11 gates listed by Niseko Rules. Experience HPG's proud "First Track" world where you can get on a lift and enjoy an empty ski resort before the general business hour. A feature that can be provided because it is directly managed by the resort.

The tour also includes the necessary BC gear rental and transportation within the Niseko area. We ask our customers to "take care of their physical condition and get up early" in order to enjoy the best powder.


HANAZONO POWDER GUIDES PARTNERS

Hanazono Powder Guide is supported by top brands that lead the world snow sports industry. Please feel free to ask the guide about what gears are they using.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE HPG

Resort Operated

Hanazono Powder Guides (HPG) is the only official resort-operated backcountry guiding company in Niseko. Working alongside ski patrol, lift operators, and groomers give us a unique advantage to provide the best equipped and safest tour to the best spots of the day.

First Tracks… Guaranteed!

Our guides don't make light promises of first tracks on untracked slopes, we GUARANTEE them! Our “First Tracks" service opens the lifts exclusively before the public, letting you be first on the untracked powder slopes of Hanazono. Getting up early, is a must do.

True Local Guides

Hanazono Powder Guides all have experience living in Niseko, unlike many other guiding companies' staff in the area. Who better to show you the secrets of the mountain than a true local that has been living here? Choose HPG for an authentic Japanese powder experience.

JOIN THE HPG!

Private 1/2 Day: ¥62,000
Private Full Day: ¥68,000
Powder 3 Dayz: ¥192,000

Hanazono Powder Guides (HPG) private tours cater for first both time backcountry skiers/riders as well as backcountry experts. Our experienced guides will set a tour schedule and pace based on your experience and skill level.

Pick up and drop off service included. The start time can be customized between 7:40 am and 9:30 am. (Full day until 8:30 am)

PRIVATE TOUR DETAILS

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each item below to learn more.

  • Backpack - We supply backpacks free of charge for every guest.  If you bring your own backpack, please ensure you are familiar with strapping on and off your skis/snowboard before the tour.
  • Avalanche Beacon - We ask all participants to carry a digital avalanche beacon. If you do not have one we will provide you with one free of charge. If you have one, please ensure that your battery is fully charged. If your beacon is analog, please use one of our newer models.
  • Snow Probe & Shovel - We ask all our guests to carry a probe and shovel. If you don’t have them, we will provide them free of charge.
  • Ski Poles - For skiers, ski poles with powder baskets are recommended. For advanced snowboarders, telescopic or fold down poles will be useful. We have poles available to rent free of charge.
  • Skiwear - Regular ski/snowboard wear and spare inner-layers are recommended. Temperatures can drop to below minus 15C in midwinter. Windchill can see these temperatures drop even further, beyond minus 20C. We strongly recommend that you bring extra inner-layers of clothing.
  • Facemask & Neckwarmer - We recommend that you wear or carry a facemask and neck warmer.
  • Gloves - Please choose warm and well fitting gloves.
  • Helmet - Use of a helmet is required. With so many accessible free runs, helmets are highly recommended in Niseko. They can prevent injury from falling, crashing, or even a wayward tree branch.
  • Goggles & Sunglasses - Outside of spring season, a bright colored lens is recommended as we have very few sunny days during high season. Goggles must be good condition, especially the ventilation cover. Niseko is very snowy! We have a variety of goggles and spare lens choices suitable for Niseko at Niseko Sports shops in Hirafu and Hanazono.

If you have come exclusively for the backcountry in Niseko, we recommend a powder ski/snowboard. You will struggle if your snowboard has a regular camber and a freestyle stance setup. If you wish to be guided within the resort boundaries, then regular skis/boards are fine.

  • SKIERS: Around 100 cm recommended for male skiers. It of course depends on individual's preference, but our guides are using skis of center 100 cm, with the length about 180 cm.
  • SNOWBOARDERS: We recommend powder specific snowboard here in Niseko. If you are here for powder snow, why not try powder board?
  • NISEKO SPORTS EQUIPMENT HIRE: Talk to our friendly staff at Niseko Sports Equipment Hire at Hanazono 308, Hirafu or The Vale Snowsports for advice and more information on powder skis/snowboards. Niseko Sports has a wide variety of skis/snowboards with a range of popular powder skis/snowboards. Niseko Sports offers the convenient option to switch your ski/snowboards, or even skis to snowboard or vice versa as many times as you like.

Niseko's winter season runs from late November to Early May, the peak powder period is typically from late December through February, although this varies every season. An annual average 4 meter snow base ensures great Spring conditions from March onwards.

  • Start of Season: The first snowfalls of the year in Niseko are usually in late October through to early November. As temperatures drop and storm cells intensify throughout November, the snow begins to fall to lower elevations, blanketing the entire mountain white with snow. As snowfalls increase, and a base is formed the upper part of the resort becomes skiable - the beginning of the ski season. Winter storms pushing out of Siberia become more frequent from early December, covering small bushes and Sasa grass, this is a surprisingly good time to visit Niseko; with relatively few skiers/riders you will find powder stashes almost everywhere within the resort boundary.
  • High Season: Most backcountry gates open around the Christmas period. This time though February is the absolute best time of the season for light & dry powder. If you wish to ski/snowboard deep and dry powder like you see in magazines or DVDs, we assure you, this is the best time of year. Family visitors leave Niseko around mid-January and in their place, powder enthusiasts from all over the world flood into Niseko. This time of year, although snow quality is particularly good, the lifts can be frequently affected by the weather. When upper mountain areas are closed due to weather conditions, you still can enjoy Niseko's powder line riding lower lifts. After mid-February, bottomless dry powder gradually changes to creamy, slightly heavier powder snow.
  • Spring Season: The weather usually starts to become stable in March, offering good conditions for the backcountry, with more sunny days and better visibility, hiking up to the peak is a joy. In April, snow fall decreases but the snow base is still very high. Skiing / riding down through corn snow on a warm spring day is exceptional. Gates will close if there is a high risk of a slab avalanche.

We do not recommend HPG for beginners, you should at least be confident on black slopes & have experience in deep powder and trees. For more information check our off-piste ability chart below.

Many people equate HANAZONO with epic backcountry runs and they're right; the backcountry that surrounds the ski area is some of the best you'll find. Please join in this tour with understandings that it can be also potentially dangerous. Please let us know of any specific illness. We may ask you to cancel the tour if you are under alcoholic effect or if you are not feeling well. In case of incidents, we are able to co-operate with the ski patrols.
We guide in accordance with the Niseko Rules and avalanche information, and we will not guide the tour outside when the gates are closed.

Off-piste and backcountry areas are outside the jurisdiction of the ski area, it is prohibited to enter such areas by passing ropes, nets or bamboo poles.In the event of an accident, parties concerned are liable to cover expenses relating to search and rescue activities.

Current avalanche information is available every day at lift stations and ticketing counters in all ski areas as well as the Avalanche Information website.

GUEST REVIEWS

Brad, United States

This is my second year with HPG and I wouldn't go anywhere else. The guides are great (I always use Teru) and the operation first rate. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get in the backcountry and bump up their skills.

Judy, Hong Kong

Our guide was so knowledgeable about the area and took us to some amazing spots. We will definitely come back!

Ti

We joined an HPG tour after one morning after a big storm in Niseko. The snow was incredible, truly bottomless. We rode the lifts for one hour before the public was allowed to join. I felt like a VIP at the resort. It was THE BEST DAY OF SKIING IN MY LIFE!