Freeriding weeks in Japan

The first year of the freeriding weeks in Japan was a staggering success.

Freeriding weeks in Japan

 

The first two years of the freeriding weeks in Japan have been a staggering success. All tours were sold out and feedback from the tours has been tremendously positive. This means there will be more! The freeriding weeks of winter 2015 will be even better: the program has been further honed, the number of spots has been increased without expanding the group sizes, and freeriders get offered an even bigger powder treat.

During the freeriding weeks you ski with experienced mountain guides along with extremely proficient Finnish ski instructors and resort guides.

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And since the after-ski is an essential part of skiing, Elämysmatkat guides, and local guides familiar with the local customs and foods, will ensure our clients get familiarized with the different world of Japanese after-ski, onsen spas and local culture. In the photo competition and speed contest at the snow safety party, participants will naturally be rewarded with fabulous prizes. The participants also get a couple of days off, giving them the opportunity to ride the slopes and explore the off-piste independently.

In freeriding, knowledge of the region and safety are of utmost importance. During all freeriding weeks, your guides will be trained professionals who know the local conditions extremely well, and under whose guidance you’ll get down to business during ski days, in a safe and quick manner. Before the trip, everyone participating in the freeriding weeks can also take a snow safety course without additional charge. This course is held in Helsinki in connection with the Ski Expo. The course covers the basics of snow safety and the use of necessary snow safety equipment.

There are limited spots for the freeriding weeks. Group sizes are of 6-7 persons per week. Only clients who book a tour package to the relevant resorts during the freeriding weeks through Elämysmatkat can register for the freeriding week events. There are separate groups for snowboarders, skiers, men and women on Niseko and Hakuba freeride weeks, but also mixed groups. Please specify which group you prefer at time of booking.

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Vapaalaskuviikot 2014

Freeriding weeks in Hakuba

Dates: 9.-18.1.2015 // 16.-25.1.2015 // 23.1.-1.2. – please inform your preffered dates via booking inquiry
On this freeride week we also have a special group for ladies: 9.-18.1.2015
On this freeride week we also have a special group for snowboarders: 16.-25.1.2015
Place: Hakuba, Japan
Price: 330€ / person
Price includes: guidance and activities for the freeriding week (slope introduction day + three guided days of skiing + competitions and after ski) as well as a snow safety course in Finland.  

Freeriding weeks programme

The three freeriding weeks arranged in Hakuba take place between the beginning of January to early February, when the winter in Hakuba is at its snowiest and the mountains have a good base. There are 7-9 ski days in each of the tours (you find details of the dates below).  You will ride off-piste with an experienced mountain guide for two days during your week. The mountain guide for the first week is Elämsymatkat founder and the first UIAGM mountain guide in Finland, Mr. Pette Halme and for the two latter weeks, one of the most experienced Swedish mountain guides in Japan, Krister Jonson. In addition to the mountain guide days, our Hakuba resort guide Jussi “Kossu” Koskinen will give a presentation of the ski area, and lead the first lift-accessed off-piste day. Besides being an experienced freerider and a Hakuba expert, Kossu is also an internationally certified ski instructor. During his day spent guiding, Kossu puts the emphasis on the basic techniques of off-piste riding. This works as a good introduction for the mountain guide days, where the focus is on riding the best powder possible. Riding locations for Kossu’s days are mainly easy to reach lift-accessed off-piste, while mountain guides will take you further into backcountry, as required. It’s definitely worth packing along your [climbing] skins, in order to get the most out of the mountain guide days.

During the week there’s plenty also programmed off the slopes. An intense snow safety party is held one evening, repeating important information about snow safety. Attention will be intensified by a stop watch: a surprise prize awaits the fastest person to find a beeper. The open photo competition that runs the entire week reaches its climax in the last evening, when the best shots of the week are viewed by all freeriding week participants, and the winner is rewarded with handsome prizes. Dinner for the whole group is arranged twice during the week. Taking part in the dinners is at your own expense and naturally voluntary.

Introducing Myoko

The freeriding weeks move to the resort of Myoko, Elämysmatkat’ latest discovery, for one trip. The programme for the Myoko week follows the Hakuba framework, but in entirely new scenery. The mountain guide in charge is Pette Halme. The Myoko lift-riding and technique day is led by an experienced Finnish ski instructor and resort guide.

Example of a freeriding week programme

(Each week’s program will be adjusted in function of the weather conditions, together with the wishes and experience level of the group)

Day 1: Friday

Departure from Europe to Tokyo. Direct flights available from Paris, London and Frankfurt. Flights via Helsinki available from most European capitals.

Day 2: Saturday

Arrival in Tokyo at 10:05 am and transfer to Hakuba/Myoko (approx. 5-6 hours). Accommodation, arrival info, review of the week’s program and marveling at the snow banks.

Day 3: Sunday

Slopes presentation and a guide-led familiarization of the ski area. Introduction to 1 or 2 of the biggest resorts in the Hakuba or Myoko area. The recommended program for the evening is a Japanese after-ski: a natural hot spring [i.e. onsen spa] visit before dinner.

Day 4: Monday

Lift-riding day with a resort guide. Ski area will be picked based on conditions for the day. The day of skiing is concluded with a snow safety party, where use of the beeper and other snow safety equipment is revised and the team’s skills are tested in a speed contest. Prizes in store for the best! In the evening the whole group enjoys dinner with the resort guide and mountain guide.

Day 5: Tuesday

Free powder ski day. Our guides and technique experts help you choose the best ski resort.

Day 6: Wednesday

Skiing with the Elämysmatkat mountain guide. Depending on the conditions you ride either deep or even deeper powder lines at the best resort, taking into account your physical shape and the conditions (both Hakuba and Myoko have several small resorts within short distances).

Day 7: Thursday

Second day of riding in the care of the mountain guide at secret spots, with the aim of skiing as much untracked powder as possible The  After the day’s riding, a dinner around a long table is planned for the whole group at a nice restaurant. Reminisce about the best turns of the week over sake and Sapporo.

Day 8: Friday

Free powder ski day. Last evening’s emotion-filled after-ski with the whole group. Presentation of pictures taken in the photo competition, with the selection of, and prizes awarded for the best shot.

Day 9: Saturday

Last free powder session of the trip before heading home. Start off for Tokyo in the afternoon after a day of skiing. The last night is at the airport hotel before a morning flight back home.

Day 10: Sunday

Coming home tired but well skied-out and happy.

Freeriding week one includes one more day, and freeriding week four, two extra days of free skiing than in the above-mentioned program. Elämysmatkat reserves the right to make changes in the program. Please let us know at the time of booking if you do not intend to take your own snow safety equipment (beeper, shovel and probe) with you. Kindly also inform us if you will not be taking your [climbing] skins.

There are limited spots for these tours. People travelling in groups of 4-7 persons in particular should act fast.

Freeriding weeks in Niseko

Dates: 24.1.-2.2. // 31.1.-9.2. // 7.2.-16.2. – please inform your preffered dates via booking inquiry
On this freeride week we also have a special group for ladies: 24.1.-2.2.
On this freeride week we also have a special group for snowboarders: 31.1.-9.2.
Place: Niseko, Japan
Price: 330€ / person
Price includes: guidance and activities for the freeriding week (two skiing days with Finnish pro Skier Blumi + two guided days of skiing + competitions and after ski) as well as a snow safety course in Finland.