Hakuba MountainLife is a small backcountry guiding business in Hakuba, Japan. We strive for unsurpassed professionalism and quality in everything we do.

Backcountry Guiding

We offer the highest quality professional backcountry guiding in Hakuba. Our valued customers come to Hakuba for the backcountry, and book months in advance.

Weekly all-inclusive backcountry tours for 2018.
Classic Week, Jan 7-13
Skiers Only Classic Week, Jan 14-20
Ryokan Road Trip, Jan 21-27
Explorer Week, Feb 4-10
Beginners Week, Feb 11-17
Full details coming soon!

In the meantime...
Private Guiding - BOOK NOW!

Avalanche Courses

Well known as the best value and highest quality in town

2018 AST2 Courses
January 1-6. Full details coming soon

2018 AST1 Courses
Dates coming soon!


There is nothing like a helicopter to enhance your backcountry experiences. Join us outside Japan for that.

New Zealand
Heli-assisted avalanche courses

Backcountry Lodges

More info...

Our Magazine

Hakuba MountainLife magazine is a reflection of our passion and focus on quality.

Read past issues online

And like our Facebook page

About Hakuba MountainLife

10 years in Hakuba! We strive for unsurpassed professionalism and quality. To achieve this goal, we do certain things: we remain a well organized and thoughtful small family business - we do not grow for the sake of growth, and we put customer experience before profit. We pursue continued training and professional development every year, no matter the expense or inconvenience. We work with people who are better than us and learn from them. We seek and act on customer feedback. We recognize our limitations and act within them. We keep things simple. If it isn't fun, we don't do it. We forget our ego, pride and greed and we never use fluff and hype in our marketing. Most of all, we love backcountry skiing, but safety comes first.


Hi, I'm damian. I guide backcountry tours, instruct avalanche courses, and am the editor of Hakuba MountainLife Magazine. I am an Apprentice Ski Guide member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). I have completed the CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2 and am a Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association and also the Japan Avalanche Network. I'm licensed by Avalanche Canada to instruct their AST Level 1 and 2 avalanche courses. Every 3 years I re-certify my 80 hour Wilderness First Aid training. I also have postgraduate education in Economics, along with previous work experience in a competitive professional industry, and was once a commissioned officer in the military. In the Japan off-season I am employed in the New Zealand guiding industry.


Mio arranges logistics for the courses, and works on layout, design and translation of our own Hakuba MountainLife Magazine. The magazine would be impossible without her enormous effort, energy and enthusiasm. She skis every weekend during the season, and enjoys backcountry skiing in spring. Mio also has extensive graduate and postgraduate education in science and business, and professional work experience with highly demanding technologies.

Latest MountainLife Blog Post

Thoughts on Guided Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding in Hakuba

As the local Hakuba backcountry ski season approaches I like to review past experiences and training. This gets my brain back into professional guide mode after being out of the game for the last 2 months in between north/south winters. A great place to start is to remind myself of what is expected of a professional guide, and think about times in the past when I hit the nail on the head, and more importantly, where I did not do well. Don't trust any guide who claims to never do a poor job! Guiding is a fun job with many nuances and challenges.