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! This descent is different than the Kita Shamen runs from the start.
Follow the ridge running directly N, working the NW aspect (riders left).
This ridge is not as bad as the SW ridge running towards Kita Shamen, however it is important to exercise caution around ridges regardless, for the same reasons as Kita Shamen: scouring, geothermal holes, and cornices.
Follow this ridge for 300m until beginning to reach the tree line.
If snow is good in the guts of the bowl, don't hesitate to give in to temptation and ride through that.
Interesting features remain along the ridge the whole way down.
As you begin to hit tree line, the best of snow will start to present itself.
Look for protected areas.
This zone gets hit hard by uphill blasts from the ocean, though it is protected from the sun, and can be a great stash for powder many days after a storm.
Many guides use this as their stash for when it hasn't snowed in several days.
If you have stayed along the ridge towards the bottom, after approximately 400m, there are several small shots to the riders left that can be quite fun.
The disadvantage to staying along the ridge for too long is skiers can traverse in from Gate 5 once you get too low.
Tracks are usually visible if this is the case.
This run puts one out at a point nearly equidistant between the Goshikionsen and Weiss parking lots.
In deep snow, it might still be easier to walk back towards Goshikionsen if there are snowboarders without skins or poles in your party even though, generally speaking, the Weiss is all downhill from this point.
Even if it means slogging through deep snow, it will be easier to ride downhill towards the Weiss lot.
Note there are no amenities at the Weiss lot.
It is important to bring a working cell phone or drop a car there ahead of time. http://niseko.nadare.info/