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  • Writer's pictureRyan Taylor

Furano Backcountry - Off the beaten track

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

Furano is home to world-class ski touring. After a day of skiing the best powder on Earth you can experience Japanese food, culture and onsens (hotpools) . It makes for an unbeatable experience.

The demand for Japanese powder is rapidly increasing to the point that, without a guide with local knowledge, you will often end up racing crowds or crossing tracks. Due to several operations guiding the same locations year after year (such as Tokachidake), the secret is out!

Here at Furano Adventure Tours we still visit Tochachidake but aim to be different by focusing on adventures to more intrepid destinations. In these other locations we expect to see no one at all, and certainly don't cross any tracks!

This tour started at a shrine where we gave thanks to mother nature and the plentiful powder that was on offer.

Ski touring to a shrine
We started the tour with a quick detour to the mountain's shrine.

Much of Hokkaido has been forested in the past, so it is often a game of searching for faces where the spacious old growth remains. Initially, the climb from the foot to the summit of the mountain was made easier by a network of forestry roads.

As we climbed, the snow got deeper so we opted for taking a more direct line up through the forest. Nearing the ridge, it stopped snowing. The sky revealed summits of remote ranges like islands in a turbulent ocean of clouds. It was so cold that the moisture was freezing out of the air to create the 'diamond dust' phenomenon.

We kept our lunch break short as we wanted to stand on the summit before the weather decided to change again. I quickly destroyed my backcountry bento box and shared some hot tea with Take. A colorful bird flew close, chirping and following us for a while. - It was probably curious as it rarely saw humans.

backcountry camping Japan
My super tasty, home-made backcountry bento!

The trees grew wider and more spacious as the powder got deeper. We arrived on the summit to find our mountain in a hole of sunlight. Take got ready to ski while I got my drone out to film his descent which you can watch in the video below.

Due to the cold, early season temperatures the conditions were just incredible, even though it was still December the slope wasn't too bushy. If we started earlier, we could have got a second lap in.

All up, car to car, the tour took about 5 hours and was 500m vertical.

If you would like to be guided in this location, or others like this, please get in touch!



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