Great value lessons, priceless memories.

Gate 3 - Hirafu Peak Gate

Gate 3 - Hirafu Peak Gate

Access: Accessed from the top of King 4 chair after a short 20-minute hike directly up.

Pitch: Varied depending on the slope chosen

Aspect: North, South, East & Westerly aspects are accessible from the peak depending on where you drop.

Safety Considerations: Varied. See sections below on each area.

The Hirafu Peak on a Bluebird
The wide-open Mt Niseko Annupuri Peak.

The East Ridge - Jackson's - Higashi-One

Access: From the top of the Peak & looking back towards Hanazono is the start of the East Ridge drop point.

Aspect: Easterly, North Easterly

Safety Considerations: Jackson's Cornice is known to break and cause slides directly under its path.  Some of the trees in skiers left of the East Ridge/Jackson's area can be really tight. These areas are suited to advanced level riders only.

Tree skiing and powder bowls off the peak
The East Ridge, on the Hanazono side of the peak.

Hands down the longest fall line riding you can access from the Peak.

Drop into the sun for wide open turns on an even 20-degree pitch of 300m vert. Easily the best option for those looking for the most user-friendly way down with a wide-open face, low angle pitch and barely a tree in sight. Save yourself the hike out and head back in to the bottom of Gate 5 and back into Hanazono 3.

For those who like the road slightly less travelled, head a little left towards the famous Jackson’s Cornice and watch the snow get deeper and lighter as you pick your way through one of the many valleys that feed onto the summer access trail. From here either take a leisurely stroll back up the road to the groomers below Hanazono 3 or ski down through the bottom of Lower Jackson’s and the pump track back to Hanazono 1.

Or take the North East ridge line behind Jackson’s Cornice and beyond for some epic open, wind loaded, steep pitches that will have you hooting all the way to the summer access road. Head straight across the track into Lower Jackson's for some steep, advanced pillow lines before taking the pump track back to the base of Hanazono.

The North Face - Kita Shamen

Access: From the peak, walk around the hut, looking towards Weiss Mountain and Mt Io to your left & there you have the North Face bowl.  

Aspect: Northerly

Pitch: 28-30 degrees

Safety Considerations: The top of the North Face is often wind affected. Beware of hard snow, creek crossings & pump tracks at the end which can be fatiguing. The North Face is one of the only bowls which doesn’t lead back to the resort via an obvious path. Recommend using a guide if you do not know the area.

The North Face
The North Face is the over the mountain peak, on the opposite side of the mountain to the chairlifts and the village.

From the peak, walk around the hut, and with the sun at your back and you will see the epic concave bowl of the North Face with its powder bowl beckoning you to enjoy one of its many lines.

For the more advanced rider, drop in either flank or straight down the middle to enjoy some relatively mellow pitch, deep, wind-blown pow. Enjoy the view out past Mt Io and Weisshorn to the seaside town of Iwanai and the Sea of Japan.

Don’t leave your exit point too late as the turns run into the deep snow of the flats towards the summer road of Route 58. Instead head skier’s right through the trees and hug the fall line back around to the top of Lower Jackson's. From there, drop into Lower Jackson's, negotiate the sometimes-tricky creek crossing and traverse back through the trees to Hanazono Base 308.

THE BACK BOWL - KOZAN NO SAWA

Access: From the top of the peak, look towards the Annupuri & Moiwa area resort. A long ridge line will flank your right, which gives multiple drop point options.

Aspect: South to South Westerly

Safety Considerations: Steep, concave bowl with convex rollers & overhanging cornices can frequently cause concern for avalanches. Exit points are in an avalanche run out. Visibility can change quickly and at the top steep drop points,visibility is often low.

Niseko Annupuri Back Bowl
A west-facing view of the NIseko back bowl which heads out to Annupuri and Moiwa.

Walk back towards the hiking track up and the jaw dropping bowl that caught your eye on the hike up is the legendary Back Bowl.

Three, steep almond-shaped aspects stretch across the West ridge of Mt Niseko Annupuri hoarding snow from all directions to make freshies in the Back Bowl a life changing experience.

With convex rollovers, rocks and steep gully runouts, the Back Bowl is definitely for the advanced rider.

Drop in to the closest bowl for super steep, surfable, wind-loaded face that will leave you in a multi-turn pow cloud.

Traverse a little further along the ridge and arc back and forth across the wide convex ridge or go a little further west for some short and sweet gullies to the valley floor.

Re-group and surf the wind-loaded gully walls back past neighboring Moiwa to the base of Annupuri for a coffee or lunch.

Nishi One - West Ridge

Access: From the top of the peak you will need to hike along the ridge line, with the North Face on your right, back bowl on your left. Follow right all the way to the end where a wide-open face will open up looking towards Mt Io and Goshiki onsen.

Aspect: Westerly

Safety Considerations: North-westerly winds can leave the snow quite wind affected. The slope lands right on the summer trail of Route 56 and hiking is required to get back into the resort.

West Ridge Nishi One Gate 3 Lr
The West Ridge requires skins or snowshoes to make the trip out. Worth it for the bowls and gullies though!

The Western Face is certainly the road less traveled. Requiring riders to have skins or snowshoes to make the trip back along Route 56 towards Lower Jackson's or across the traverse skirting neighboring Moiwa & Annupuri resort. The fact that riders need to be prepared with this gear & and willing to make a hike back to the resort is enough to leave this face virtually untouched by the regular Niseko gate user. The top of the West Face also gives the impression that the run is scolded & stripped of fresh snow by the prevailing North Westerly winds. But for the avid powder hound interested in exploring all the Niseko terrain on offer, the West Face of Nishi-one has a lot to offer, with multiple mini bowls and gullies, dotted with spaced tree runs & untouched powder often days after the last storm, the term 'earn your turns' is certainly well rewarded here.

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