Once you have mastered your technique on the groomed slope, you might start testing yourself in the soft snow at the side of the run. One of the joys of skiing and snowboarding in Japan is the huge amount of snow the resorts receive every year. Powder skiing or powder boarding are the holy grail of snowsports, with riders going to great lengths to access fresh snow that no one else has ridden.
Hiking up to untouched powder is one option, or if you are lucky enough, jumping in a helicopter to get dropped at the top of a difficult to reach peak. Out the back of Naeba Ski Resort is an abandoned ski area called Mikuni, and this year there will be a cat skiing operation using it for backcountry tours – Mikuni Cat Skiing. Climb in the back of a snowcat and let it drive you to the top of some of the unused runs. From there you will get the chance to carve your own lines into the untracked snow. It is a great way to get some experience in a backcountry environment accompanied by trained professionals and is suitable for upper level skiers and snowboarders who are looking to take their first turns in the deep snow of Japan. Or if you are an expert rider looking for a fun experience up at Naeba and of course, a great day out.
If you are not sure whether you are ready for cat skiing we’d be happy to take you out for a powder lesson and fine tune your technique in the soft snow. We can also book the Mikuni Cat skiing for you too if you require.
The cat skiing tours will run this winter from December 27th 2017 until March 4th 2018. The tour fee is 35,000 yen per person, with a limited number of spots per day. Full details can be found on the Mikuni Cat Skiing page