Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Have skins, will find a hot spring

Sometimes skiing isn't just about the skiing. I can also be about hot springs in the middle of the backcountry skinning trip. We climbed Mt. Niseko Annupuri (1308m), skied the backside of the mountain and found an onsen, a Japanese hot spring.

Onsens are of course popular in Japan. But this one was special, being in the middle of the mountains and hard to reach. In the summer, a road leads through the mountains. In the winter, the road is closed. You can still reach the Goshiki Onsen via the tunnel side of the road, but not continue further. But most people visit the Goshiki on skis. We started this journey from the Annupuri ski area's high point, at 1152 meters, and proceeded to climb 150 meters higher to the top of Mt. Niseko Annupuri. In Niseko, you can only access the backcountry via special gates, and to get to the top you should use either gate G2 or G3. The former requires slightly more climbing, but much nicer views and mountain environment.

Once at the top of the mountain, we proceeded to ski down the backside, going the easy route that took us to the closed road. There is also a steeper route more direct to the onsen. The route that we chose is a wide open bowl, but not particularly steep. The snow high up was hard, lower down among the trees it started to be more powdery.

Once we reached the road, we skied on it, going slightly uphill for a kilometer and half, to reach the onsen.

From the onsen one can either take a taxi back to the village (half an hour drive, cost about 40€) or skin up to a ridge 65 meter higher than the onsen, and then ski down to the ski area through forests and bushes.

Skins are useful but not absolutely required on this trip. The initial climb to the mountain is too steep for skins, the road is so level that I didn't even free my heels from the bindings, and the way back to the ridge can also be walked.

The onsen visit costs 1000-1300 Yen (10-13€) depending on how many towels one wants.

The climb up Niseko Annupuri from gate G2:

Zach's skis have a message:

This is at the top of the Niseko Annupuri, starting our descent:

On our way towards the Onsen after the ski run down:

Speed limit on the skinning towards the Onsen. This is on top of a road that is only open for the summer:

Reached the onsen:

Skiing down from the ridge between the Onsen and the ski area, we encountered some bushes:

Sunset back in the Niseko Annupuri ski area:

Photos and videos (c) 2017 by Jari Arkko, Tero Kivinen, and Ari Keränen. This blog is also available on the Blogspot site. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta.

Play
READ THE STORY
They’re Skiing Ten Feet of Fresh Powder in AK
Up Next Ski

They’re Skiing Ten Feet of Fresh Powder in AK

They’re Skiing Ten Feet of Fresh Powder in AK

There aren’t too many places in North America where you can ski in October, and if you are skiing it’s likely on a man-made strip of snow. Clearly nobody told the folks up at Silverton Mountain Guides in Seward, AK, because they’ve been skiing fresh pow since September. Over the past week a low pressure system moving over SW Alaska dropped several inches of rain at sea level -- and roughly 10 feet of snow at elevation. Yes, you read that right: 10 feet. NOAA can predict whatever

Play
READ THE STORY
Video: Jimmy Chin and Kit DesLauriers Go Skiing in Greenland
Up Next Ski

Video: Jimmy Chin and Kit DesLauriers Go Skiing in Greenland

Video: Jimmy Chin and Kit DesLauriers Go Skiing in Greenland

In the new Roam Original “AVANI NUNA,” Jimmy Chin and Kit DesLauriers explore Greenland’s ski mountaineering potential. From whales breaching to couloirs leading straight into the frigid North Atlantic, this visual splendor highlights the area’s unique character and natural beauty. As usual, Jimmy provides some philosophical musings in addition to his rad skiing. Taking advantage of lightweight drone technology, Jimmy and Kit manage to capture overhead shots that wouldn’t be possible

Play
READ THE STORY
Guided By Curiosity: Ep 2  Ft. Jasmin Caton
Up Next Ski

Guided By Curiosity: Ep 2 Ft. Jasmin Caton

Guided By Curiosity: Ep 2 Ft. Jasmin Caton

Guided By Curiosity  They say curiosity killed the cat,But we skiers know that satisfaction brought her back.Satisfaction from poking her head around the next tree, Across the next creek, Around the next ridge,To tap new wells of fun in her backyard. Skier: Jasmin CatonLocation: Valhalla Mountain TouringVideographer: Nick WaggonerStory & Edit: Jamie Bond Skis = G3 SEEKr 110Bindings = G3 ZED 12 Skins = G3 ALPINIST+ Glide