HAKUBA MOUNTAINLIFE | Backcountry Guides, Avalanche Courses and Magazine

Hakuba Backcountry Private Guiding

We are a one-guide operation and book out very fast. Most of our customers book several months in advance for peak season. They come with the intention of skiing with a guide in the backcountry regardless of powder conditions in resorts. Please understand that we do not offer lift-accessed powder laps, that is not our thing. We like to tour at least a little bit, perhaps 40-120 minutes per run.

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.

We do not offer guiding services for film crews, pros and media representatives except in the rare cases where the people match us and our ways.

2018 Availability & Price

Please enquire about pricing. Minimum of 3 days bookings. Mountain rescue insurance is compulsory and needs to be arranged in advance via your own provider.

I have some very limited availability in early January, otherwise my private guiding availability is pretty much gone for 2018. Contact me and I'll refer you to a trusted alternate guiding service. Or check for availability on my scheduled group tours and packages, you might get lucky:

Affordable 4-day tour

Skiers-only Hakuba Classic Backcountry Week

Ryokan Roadtrip

Explorer Week

Beginner Backcountry Week

Group Size

We prefer no more than 4-5 people.

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

AT, telemark or splitboard with skins. You can not use snowshoes
Backcountry-specific backpack. Minimum 35L is strongly recommended
Avalanche transceiver (digital 3-antenna is mandatory)
Avalanche probe
Avalanche shovel
Backcountry ski wear, warm hat, warm gloves, light gloves, goggles
Sunglasses for hiking (goggles get very sweaty when hiking)
Warm puffy jacket (important for first aid and also cold days when we are stationary)
Sunscreen and sunhat
Personal blister kit and repair kit
Spare transceiver batteries

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.

Private Guiding Booking & Enquiries

Please leave blank if you are unsure.
Please ask any question, we are happy to help out. If you would like to book, please indicate your preferred dates, equipment needs, skill level and fitness limitations along with any other information.

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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