MountainLife is a very small and very focused backcountry operation providing AST 1 & 2 avalanche courses as well as safe and simple backcountry guiding for the small number of visitors to Hakuba who want an emphasis on multiple-day ski touring provided by a dedicated Hakuba local. Please understand that we do not offer resort side country guiding. We also produce a free high quality Hakuba MountainLife magazine in Japanese and English.

Our Facebook page is a valuable Hakuba backcountry resource.

Damian - owner/instructor/guide/editor

Hakuba Backcountry

Hi, I live year-round in Hakuba, farming in summer and skiing our extended backcountry here for the other 6 months a year (over 100 days every season).

Professional Memberships:
Japan Avalanche Network
Canadian Avalanche Association

CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2
80 hour Wilderness First Responder

Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Level 1 and Level 2 Instructor

It isn't about me, it is about you and the terrain.

Mountain Safety

Mountains are inherently dangerous, and they change day to day and sometimes hour to hour. MountainLife is more conservative than most. Please do not book us hoping exclusively for a day in Hakuba's big steep terrain. We play it extra safe, some might say boring.

Zero Hyperbole Marketing

Hype and fluff in marketing is designed to manipulate your emotions, so too are unbalanced representations of reality: only focusing on the glowing positives and neglecting to mention anything not so wonderful. We operate in the mountains, so I want customers to book with MountainLife based on reason, not emotion. So you wont see us using any hype or misrepresentations common in the so called "snow industry". If you do see any hyperbole coming from then let us know as it only leads to loss for you in the short term, and eventual loss for me in the long term.

- damian


"Excellent well run course. Would recommended it to anyone interested in learning more about avalanches and staying safe in the backcountry."

"You won't realise how valuable this course is until you have done it."

"The course structure exceeded my expectations and we covered more subject matter than I anticipated. This was largely due to Damian's time management and ability to deliver the material in a way that was both efficient and engaging. Highly recommended to anyone looking to improve or start their knowledge base on this topic."

"Damian is a wealth of knowledge about how to ski safely in the backcountry. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport combined with a sensible, rational awareness of its risks make him the perfect person to learn this important information from. Thank you Damian for giving me confidence (but certainly not over-confidence) to understand avalanche risks!"

Read more testimonials here