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Nozawa Backcountry Tours 2017

Nozawa's ONLY English backcountry guide service!

Make the most of your powder time at Nozawa by hiring a professional mountain guide to safely guide you around Nozawa's backcountry. BC tours are the best way to learn about Nozawa's stashes and our crew of highly experienced international guides will ensure you have an amazing day!

We keep the group sizes small to maximize the riding time and maximize the freshies! It is best if you have a group with ability levels that are relatively close so we can customize the terrain for you.

backcountry tour-Nozawa 0nsen/Myoko

If you are planning on multiple days in the backcountry, we also offer guided tours of the nearby resorts:

Myoko Backcountry  - Just 45 mins drive from Nozawa, Myoko offers some great terrain options from well spaced beech trees to alpine bliss.

Madarao Backcountry - 30 mins from Nozawa is this great little resort with some hidden gems.

Yuzawa Backcountry - Try out one of the biggest local BC areas. Easy access to 2000m mountains with great snow conditions and plenty of terrain options.


Japan Backcountry tour guide

LEAD GUIDE 
Tsunehisa Teshima (Tessy)

Nationality: Japan
Guide Experience: 10 years
Qualifications: JMGA ski guide, Japan Avalanche Network Level 1, WMAJ Wilderness First Responder, CIC A. guide

Tessy is our Japanese mountain man. Everyday throughout the winter he is either out exploring new mountains and routes or teaching mountain safety and avalanche courses.
He loves splitboarding and is a keen mountain photographer. He is a bit of a gear freak so if you want a review about gear Tessy has probably used it before.

Private BC tour

Tour
Private BC tours (English speaking guides)
Price

20,000JPY p/p

Full Day 3-6 people

30,000JPY p/p

Full Day 2 people
(2 person minimum)

Meet time 8:00 @ Nagasaka Gondola Base Ski School
Includes Guide fee, beacon, shovel, probe
Additional costs Lift ticket, BC rental equipment (snowshoes, poles, pack), lunch
Participation requirements Age 16 or older, intermediate level or above
Participants under 20 must have a signature from a parent or guardian
Fitness A moderate level of fitness is required. The fitter the group the more extensive the touring options.
Bring Ski/Board, Boots, Ski clothing, Gloves, Helmet,Goggles, ski poles with BIG baskets, drink, snacks, sandwich/food
Season

Mid January to Mid March (Snow dependent, options for touring in spring but less powder)

BC rental equipment Backpack 1000yen
Snowshoe & Poles 1000yen
Note:
Boarders use snowshoes unless they have splitboard and skins. Skiers need wide skis. Skiers can use snowshoes or rent touring skis and skins
Explanation Nozawa's ONLY English backcountry guide service!
Make the most of your powder time at Nozawa by hiring a professional mountain guide to safely guide you around Nozawa's backcountry. BC tours are the best way to learn about Nozawa's stashes and our crew of highly experienced international guides will ensure you have an amazing day!
We keep the group sizes small to maximize the riding time and maximize the freshies! It is best if you have a group with ability levels that are relatively close so we can customize the terrain for you.

Contact us by email Nozawa Onsen Ski school.

[email protected]

*Please also read our FAQ before contacting us with questions.

backcountry tour-Nozawa Onsen/Myoko

Questions

  1. I've never done backcountry before. Can I still go on a tour?
  2. Isn't backcountry dangerous?
  3. What should I bring with me?
  4. Do I need to bring lunch or snacks?
  5. Do I need to book in advance? And if so, how long in advance is recommended?
  6. What about cancellations?
  7. Do you offer pick ups from the station?
  8. What happens if the weather is bad?
  9. Is it possible to choose the course?
  10. Is there a course you recommend?
  11. Do you offer a package with accommodation?

Answers

1. I've never done backcountry before. Can I still go on a tour?

Yes you can. However, if you are new to skiing and snowboarding this is not the tour for you. The difficulty level for each course varies but as a general rule you should be at an intermediate level (i.e.. be able to control your speed by making turns on a 25 degree slope.)

2. Isn't backcountry dangerous?

There is a certain element of risk involved. Backcountry areas (areas not controlled by patrollers) involves dangers that are difficult to predict. Canyons are operating various outdoor adventure sports, all of which take place in what could be called high risk areas. They are not managed like amusement parks but are at the mercy of nature, and, being in the high mountains are futher complicated by avalanches, weather patterns and snow conditions. It is the guides job to ensure that the customer can enjoy the tour in a safe manner. and obeying the guide is going to make this a likely outcome. By taking in part in the tour we hope that you realise that there are risks involved but the utmost has been done to manage these risks and complete safety in nature can never be guaranteed.

3. What should I bring with me?

You should wear the appropriate clothing for a day on the mountain and be prepared for unpredictable changes. Hat, gloves, goggles and sunglasses are all important. You should also bring your ski or snowboard equipment. Other equipment that you will have to carry on the day will be backpack, snowshoes (or skins and  maybe trekkers for skiers), stocks, beacon, probe and a shovel. If you do not have your own, they are available to rent (along with specialist powder boards/skis, if required.)

4. Do I need to bring lunch or snacks?

For lunch please bring something that will not freeze such as sandwiches. Rice can freeze at low temperatures so is not recommended. A favourite is cup noodles with a hot water flask
It is also a good idea to bring snacks to grab some quick energy in between runs. A cold drink is also advised.

5. Do I need to book in advance? And if so, how long before is recommended?

A booking is required, and as far advance as possible is preferable. Preparations need to be made for staff, equipment and lunch so on the day bookings are generally not possible. Weekends and holidays are the most popular slots so can fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment please book well in advance for these dates.

6. What about cancellations?

Cancellation fees to apply if you cancel within 15 days of your date and are on a sliding scale. If you miss the start time on the day a full cancellation fee is charged. Winter road (and rail) conditions can be bad with long delays so please take special care with your transport arrangements.

7. Can you meet us at our accommodation?

We may be able to organise this, however, we prefer you come to the ski school base so we can organise BC rental gear more efficeintly.

8. What happens if the weather is bad?

Generally bad weather is not a problem, and even with wind and snow, the tour can go ahead. In extreme weather, or if snow conditions are judged to be dangerous, postponing or calling off the tour is a possibility.

9. Is it possible to choose the course?

The guides will choose the course on the day after considering conditions and your groups ability. 

Tour flow

Meet at Hikage Ski School All participants sign up, organise BC rental equipment and guides check everyones gear.
Lifts to BC area The group takes the gondolas and lift to the top if the mountain, stopping to pick up a packed lunch along the way.
Morning session The guide(s) assess everyones ability and choose appropriate routes, maximizing POW time.
Lunch Time to refuel for the PM session
Afternoon session More BC bliss!
Back to Ski School Everyone returns rental gear, then off to the pub for a beer and to look at the days photos.

Booking form

Booking Mail