FATMAP difficulty grade
Access to the Gate 5 far traverse begins at the top of the Hanozano Hooded Quad Lift 3.
For skiers this is a short sidestep but most snowboarders take their boards off and walk the first several metres into the gate.
After exiting the gate, stay high and to the left.
The traverse contours the main gully, and continues around to the left.
Resist the temptation to drop in to the right and keep traversing.
As one continues around the corner, the slope gets steeper and more difficult to traverse.
Keep going, it will be worth it.
The traverse eventually reaches a bench, and the ideal location to drop in.
Due to prevailing winds in Niseko, the top of this run has a tendency to develop a cornice.
When small this can be fun to jump off off, though caution should be exercised in late January, February, and March, when cornice fall is a greater hazard.
The run starts out rather steep and open, though enters tighter trees rather quickly, after only about 100 metres.
Many of these patches of tight trees are open on the far side, and are protecting good skiing.
It is usually worth the effort to manoeuvre through these tighter trees as they will yield open and untracked skiing on the far side.
Because it is surrounded by many trees, and is more difficult to get to, this area usually holds good snow several days after a storm.
The terrain will continue to playfully roll in and out of the trees, with features to jump off and plenty of stashes that will hold good snow for a long time.
Unlike the standard Gate 5 traverse, the lower terrain is less defined by ridges.
It is important to be wary of water hazards through here early in the season, as creeks are less defined, though may still be open.
As with the gate 5 run, be wary when nearing the road as the terrain will get steeper just before it, then flatten out abruptly, with a water drainage in between the run and the road.
Skiing below the road is not advised, as the return is difficult.
Riders should be wary of this, and approach the road with caution, as it will be firm.
Niseko United Resort grooms the road from time to time to make return access easier, which means the road will not be as soft and fluffy as the rest of their run.
Once on the road, follow the track to the right.
The road bends through the main drainage of Gate 5 before gently climbing back to the piste.
This is not a particularly difficult hike, but on a deep powder day this hike can get very hot as it is at the bottom of the run, out of the wind and cold.
Once back on the piste, it is a straightforward return to the Hanozano Hooded Quad Lift 1.