Hakuba MountainLife is a small family business in Hakuba, Japan. We strive for unsurpassed professionalism and quality in the three things we do.

Backcountry Guiding

Our valued customers come to Hakuba for the backcountry, and book months in advance. More>>

Avalanche Courses

AST 1 & 2 avalanche courses over longer duration and with smaller classes to maximize your learning and enjoyment. More>>


This is the best backcountry resource in all of Japan and is a reflection of our passion and focus on quality.More>>

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About Hakuba MountainLife

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

Guiding in New Zealand

One of the big benefits of pursuing professional guide qualifications under the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) is that it has opened up new working opportunities that before were just not possible. For example, I have been very very fortunate in New Zealand, where I am working for Alpine Guides Limited. They run a number of guiding operations which I thought I'd describe briefly in this blog post.