As we arrived in Niseko it had started to snow after a dry period by Japan standards. It didn’t really stop snowing for a week. It was cold and in the main the snow was blower powder.
An early rise and an extremely large breakfast, courtesy of Black Diamond Lodge, led us to first lift at Niseko Village Gondola. We then lapped Wonderland chair – single seat/no safety- 3 times in pretty perfect snow before searching out our first gate. This was Gate 1 accessed via the Jumbo chair at the top of Annapuri. One lap showed that it was pretty skied out so we headed for Gate 2 accessed the same chair but demanding a very small hike. By crossing a couple of ridges we enjoyed or first real tree skiing in Japan. Pretty sublime. We then explored the pistes to Hirafu and skied another side Gate, this time number 8. Again bit tracked out but still good. Home for dinner and the first of many early nights.
30 cms overnight and our first guided day in the backcountry with Mattias from Black Diamond Tours. We drove to an area called Nito about 30 mins away and had 6 laps(maybe 1300/1400 vertical metres in total) in the trees in the highest quality snow I have ever skied. Back to BDL. Beer, dinner and early bed . A brief video and a couple 0f shots of Nito tree skiing.