• Ryan Taylor

Tokachi Mountains Ski Touring

The Tokachi Mountains are the most famous ski touring destination near Furano. Tokachi is famous for its dry, deep powder.

Tokachidake alpine powder skiing
Looking south from Mt Tokachi.

The Tokachi Mountains and Daisetsuzan National Park is a volcanically active wilderness area. You can stay at an onsen hotel and ski powder by day. Or make the short, 45 minute trip from Furano and enjoy the natural hotsprings after a day out on the mountain.

Tokachidake natural onsen, hotpools.
One of many natural onsens in the area.

There are no lifts here, just the peaceful atmosphere of the forest... and the occasional fighter jet fly-over and the occasional, distant sound of explosives from the nearby military base.


There are options for epic tree skiing, both steep and mellow. On a clear day, when the conditions allow, It is possible to ski near active smoking craters in the alpine.


Mt Tokachi volcano skiing
Tokachidake summit plateau/ crater. Powerful winds create sastrugi patterns in the snow.


Playing in the volcanic wilderness.

In recent years, Tokachidake has become increasingly busy. During the busiest period of the previous winter, the carparks were often overflowing. During this busy time, I look to guide elsewhere or venture to the remaining pockets that are still largely unknown to the majority of the guiding operations.


Regardless of the popularity, the Tokachi mountains are still worth the visit. For those booking multi-day backcountry guiding, I would suggest we make at least one day here or make a trip to visit the hot springs.


Maefuanodake backcountry skiing
Tokachi Mountains terrain.

maetokachidake powder skiing
Maetokachidake W gully and smoking summit on a powder day.

Hokkaido volcano in Daisetuszan National Park.
Maetokachi, Tokachi and Sandanyama viewed from Furanodake


deep powder on Furanodake
Enjoying high-speed turns in an alpine meadow.

Deep powder skiing, Furanodake
Typical conditions, trying to stay afloat.

Oputateshikeyama
Oputateshikeyama north face and couloirs.

maefuranodake ski toruing
A line I skied on Maefuranodake in 2017.


There is plenty of steep terrain in Hokkaido. Below is a topo of Furanodake's steep north face:

Japan ski mountaineering.
Who said Hokkaido was flat? - Some fun lines on Furanodake.

A video showing the establishment of the 2 lines on the far lookers right of the image above. Thanks to Jacob Fisher for the idea.


For backcountry guiding steep or mellow, for total beginners or experts, the popular routes or a different take. - Get in touch.

64 views