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Niseko crowd question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Is Niseko generally crowded (long lift lines) in January? The specific week is January 4 to 11. I'm considering a trip but have no idea what to expect.  The other option is the Alps where I have plenty of experience and know what to expect.

post #2 of 8
It is not too busy in January. We were there around those same dates in Jan this year. The lift lines are not really the problem; it is the lifts themselves...they are just so slow and poorly layed out. You have to herringbone it off the lifts when going to each of the four different areas (lots give up and take their skis off and hoof it as it's a fair distance too). I would pick the alps....Niseko is a baby mountain only 1300 metres high. There are only a few runs off each chair. My hubby and sons did all runs in 3.5 hours doing three of the 4 ski zones (missed An'nupuri). We have skied in Zermatt and I can highly recommend there. Our regular mountain is Big White in Canada. That is a magical place to ski too if you want to travel a bit further. Lots of powder in Niseko, but have skied in awesome stuff in Canada too. Hope this helps :-)
post #3 of 8
Skibilly, you realize that most of the good stuff is out of bounds and on the non-lift served peaks around the area, no? Particularly on that nice peak across the way.smile.gif
post #4 of 8
Hi markojp,

Yes, that's true, but forgot to mention before I hit submit...sorry about that. There is awesome powder skiing...but it is out of bounds...or you have to trek aways. I also believe you can do a course and get certified to go out of bounds?? With a guide too? I am strictly a groomed run skier, though will press on if I haven't read the grooming report properly...haha. I love courdoroy!!! And it is lovely with a covering of fresh pow (no more than a foot for me though).

Our friends we were skiing with in Japan are addicted powder hounds and have no problem with skiing out of bounds. I wouldn't let my sons go out of bounds even though they are great skiers and one is an adult...I do worry about their safety. Where we ski in Canada you don't have to go out of bounds to get in some incredible skiing. I was disappointed in Niseko because I'm not into powder. The runs on the mountain, the lifts and the terrain that was available to me was a little less than I was expecting. I still had a great time because I got to ski in Japan. I am never unhappy when I have my skis clipped on :-)
post #5 of 8
Yep, Niseko isn't the place that'd be on my 'best of' list for groomers, but that's not why you go to Niseko. smile.gif. You'd have been better of elsewhere. Honestly though, while living there and having 70-80 days a season, I'd spent less than a handful of those days on piste, and about 20-25 of that touring. Lovely lovely stuff.
post #6 of 8

No problem at all finding good powder in Niseko in January...maybe not untracked if you don't hit the lifts early, but plenty of fine snow.

Even the groomed runs will often have powder by afternoon, especially in January when it snows almost every day.

(That's why I play to be there at least 18 days in January).

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post
 

No problem at all finding good powder in Niseko in January...maybe not untracked if you don't hit the lifts early, but plenty of fine snow.

Even the groomed runs will often have powder by afternoon, especially in January when it snows almost every day.

(That's why I play to be there at least 18 days in January).

 

Heck I have dreams sometimes of that powder - the photos/video/film I have seen can only  be rated at deep and very smokey.  It is on my bucket list-if I live oong enough.

post #8 of 8
Not really hissing cold smoke, but still, very very nice. It was great to be there before it was on the map. It was also great to see old vids of some friends skiing the lower Hanazono area at Hirafu before the lifts were built. smile.gif
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