FATMAP difficulty grade
A classic hike to line in the legendary Niseko back bowls.
Perfect after a storm day.
Be sure to check the Nadare forecast (linked below) for avalanche conditions and gate openings. Access is via the Niseko-Annupuri Summit Hike, through Gate 3.
From the King Lift 4, the gate is just above the summit station.
From the Ace Pair Lift 4, traverse hard to the riders left to reach the King Lift 4 summit station.
This line is also accessible from Gate 2, by continuing down from the Annupuri summit, to the right along the col above Gate 3, though most skiers access this line via Gate 3 so they don't have to walk downhill. After exiting Gate 3, follow the Niseko-Annupuri Summit Hike, a bootpack along a cat track, until reaching the col.
Continue to the right while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding peaks including Io, Konbu, and Yotei.
The ocean is also visible from here on particularly clear days.
You will know you are at the correct summit because there is a small hut at the top of Niseko-Annupuri, as well as a weather station.
It is usually windy here, and this is a great place to take shelter while grabbing a drink and a snack before your descent.
Treat the hut with respect by carrying out your own trash and trying to keep snow out please! Now for the fun part.
This line outlines the straightforward descent down the guts to the SW.
Though south facing, the terrain allows for the wind to fill in the riders right hand side of the bowl better than the left.
Take advantage of this but be wary a cornice forms along the ridge that can get big late in the season.
After about 300m of exciting skiing, the main gully bends to the riders left and benches out a little bit.
One can follow the gully which dog legs back to the right, or go over the bench and into a stand of trees that continue in the drainage.
These trees tend to hold great snow and are full of small features that are fun to play around on.
This will continue for another 400 metres until the terrain levels off into the return to the resort. One of the nicest things about this line is how there is a ridge that wraps around to the riders right all the way down.
Once in this bowl, it is very difficult to miss the return track to the piste.
Simply continue down and to the riders left once in the main drainage.
If you think you have gotten too far to the right, simply cut hard left and you will eventually find yourself at the hairpin of the Junior Piste that will bring you back to the Annupuri Base Area.
If you are apprehensive about the return, start out with a run out of Gate 1 first to get familiar with the terrain of the lowers.
And remember the lower terrain is full of creek beds that may be exposed in early season.
Exercise caution when navigating concavities. http://niseko.nadare.info/