A wise investment for aspiring powderhounds

Subject: Invest in a First Tracks Private it will yield a good result  

It isn't the quantity it is the quality of the snow-covered terrain that entices skiers and boarders back to Niseko. Whilst some well-known North American ski areas offer vast amounts of skiable (boardable) terrain the four interlinked ski areas which are known as Niseko offer incredible, consistent, top quality powder snow. 

Whilst there has been more than 12 metres (actually 1,230cms)  of snow to-date at this popular resort the one comment heard more than any other is just how good the snow is. Mother Nature is the key to the dry powder. A combination of moisture from the Sea of Japan and cold airflow from Siberia produce regular falls of bone-dry powder snow.  

This natural phenomenon is why Niseko gains world-wide accolades. And an enthusiastic response from anyone who's experienced the thrill of floating down ski runs covered in light powder snow. 

It is surprisingly easy to grasp the technique (of how to turn in powder snow) if you hire a local ski or boarding instructor. There's a swag of Australian instructors working with Niseko Base Snowsports School who are very familiar with the snow conditions and they enjoy showing newcomers how to master the art of skiing the snow Niseko is renowned for. 

A two hour First Tracks Private starting at 8.30am, with four skiers or boarders of equal ability, with a Niseko Base Snowsports School instructor, is about $95 each. That two hours could be a wise investment  if you aspire to ski or board untracked powder. Another sensible investment (about $130) for any snow rider who hasn't been to Niseko before, is a day-long guided tour of four resorts (including some off-piste skiing or boarding) with SkiJapan.com's  Rod White. 

White is a back country guide who knows where and when it is safe to take small groups off-piste. While he's spent a number of seasons exploring the terrain which offers the challenge more adventurous Australians are seeking, it is his knowledge of the weather and the impact it has on the snow pack (both on and off-piste) that's quite astonishing. He also stresses it is absolutely out of the question to 'poach' boundary ropes set by the ski patrol and skiers and boarders must take extra caution if they venture away from the ski trails serviced by numerous ski lifts.  

Very few snow riders encounter problems in this part of Japan if they follow common sense proceedures when they pass through the designated 'gates' to the backcountry. The majority of skiers and boarders who use the groomed terrain will be blown away by the regular top-ups of what the North Americans would call champagne powder. This is as good as it gets for anyone who is able to link turns!  

The four ski areas of Niseko offer a mixture of cable cars, chairlifts (including several quirky one-seaters) and moving carpets. Plus if you haven't had enough schussing the slopes throughout each day there is floodlight night skiing until 9pm 

A must-do for anyone travelling to Niseko is to spend a day at Rusutsu which has a reputation for being uncrowded and untracked powder. This quintessential Japanese resort has a free monorail linking Rusutsu's Resort Hotel (north and south wings) to the Rusutsu Tower. SkiJapan.com operate guided tours to Rusutsu from Niseko throughout the winter season.  

For more information contact Niseko Base Snowsports School info@nisekobase.com

Website: http://www.nisekobase.com/


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