HAKUBA MOUNTAINLIFE | Backcountry Guides, Avalanche Courses and Magazine

Skiers Only Backcountry Explorer Week

This 5-day all inclusive tour is the real thing! We will do long tours, possibly starting at dawn. We will aim to ski less known places outside of Hakuba. We will work hard for some special days. As for all our tours, we will not do lift-laps. For the explorer tour you should expect 4-5 hours of skinning time every day.

This tour is for skiers only as it allows us to move much faster through a wider variety of terrain, which is the intention of the week. However, a group of friends including splitboarders are more than welcome to book this week privately and we will all happily do the best we can as a team.

Special note on experience and fitness: please do not sign up unless you are genuinely fit and fast with your gear. This tour specifically demands high athletic fitness.

Please understand that during this week of backcountry skiing we will sometimes ignore easy access local powder to explore more remote places, possibly with less powder.

Private Groups

If you would like to book this week exclusively for your private group of friends or family please ask about this premium service. A private booking opens up the opportunity to customise the week of backcountry skiing and snowboarding to suit your group.

More fun & Greater Safety

This makes our backcountry guiding better than others:

  1. Massive local backcountry knowledge, and far more professional guide training, advanced avalanche, and first aid certification, than most other foreign guides operating in Japan.
  2. Very small group sizes limited to only 4 people, which is highly desirable in the backcountry for enhanced fun and safety.
  3. We always use a tail guide to ensure your well-being in any eventuality. Imagine if your guide had an accident, leaving you stranded and alone in the unfamiliar Japanese backcountry? It isn't good enough, and we won't expose you to that risk.


February 4-10, 2018.


80,000 yen for your place in a very small group of 4 people with 5 days of professionally guided backcountry. Lunches are complimentary.


Subject to accommodation availability: 162,000 yen for guiding plus 6 nights accommodation and most meals. All you have to do is get to Hakuba. Please note that solo travellers will likely share a room in the lodge with each other.

Not Included

Accommodation, breakfast or evening meals. Travel to and from Hakuba. Rescue insurance (but it is compulsory, please see below). Special dietary requirements for lunches. Any lift tickets and onsens.

Group Size

Strictly limited to 4 people. A minimum of 3 is required to run the tour. We welcome bookings from solo travelers.

Skill and Fitness Level

Advanced skills allowing you to confidently control changes in speed and direction in any off-piste snow type on challenging terrain with trees and other obstacles. Please do not overestimate your ability level, particularly if you have limited tree and powder experience. You will also have to be fit enough to take part in 5 days of genuine backcountry touring with daily climbs of 1500m or more being manageable if the opportunity presents itself. This usually means that you already have an athletic backcountry lifestyle.

Rescue Insurance

All customers MUST have their own mountain rescue insurance which covers mountain helicopter rescue, hospitalization and repatriation to their home country. This is your responsibility. You will be required to provide proof of insurance before attending this tour.

Required Equipment

If you are booking on this tour, you probably already own all the required backcountry touring equipment. No snowshoes. Splitboarders must be familiar with their gear. It is strongly recommended that skiers have skis 100mm or wider underfoot. Narrow light touring skis are not recommended. All group members must carry avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. These can be rented in Hakuba if required. Your backpack must be at least 30 liters and properly designed for backcountry skiing/boarding. A more detailed gear list will be provided to tour participants.

Other Info

On some days you will need to buy a one-ride lift ticket to access backcountry terrain from high in resort areas. These tickets typically cost 1,500 yen.

We can not accommodate dietary requirements with the free packed lunch. Please arrange your own lunches if you can not eat bread, tuna, mayo or corn.

As noted above, mountain rescue insurance is compulsory.

Explorer Backcountry Week Bookings & Enquiries

Booking and Cancellation

To secure a booking you will need to pay in full in advance. We fill availability on a first-to-pay basis.

We will give a 100% refund if cancellation is made with notice of 12 weeks or more. Cancellation within 12 weeks will receive a 45% refund. If we are able to find a replacement booking for your cancellation we will provide a 100% refund (all refunds are minus transaction costs).

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Backcountry Guiding

The highest quality professional backcountry guiding in Hakuba. Group sizes limited to 4 people. Our valued customers come to Japan for the backcountry, and book months in advance.

Private Guiding

4 and 5 day backcountry experiences for as little as 65,000 yen:

Affordable 4-day tour, Jan 7-10

Skiers Only Classic Week, Jan 14-20

Ryokan Roadtrip, Jan 21-27

Explorer Week, Feb 4-10

Beginners Week, Feb 11-17

Avalanche Courses

Well known as the best value and highest quality in town.

2018 AST1 Courses...

AST2 Jan 1-5, 2018


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


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