Weiss Cat Skiing
Niseko WEISS Powder Cats
Niseko cat skiing with Niseko Weiss Powder Cats is the perfect combination of two key elements for a powder hound – “Niseko” + “cat skiing”. Niseko is up there as having some of the best, if not THE best powder in the world, whilst snowcat skiing
is one of the finest ways to ride untracked powder.
If you want to master the technique of riding powder, Niseko seems like the ideal place to do it because it’s a snow factory with an average of about 16 metres of powder per season. However learning to ski powder at the Niseko ski resort
can be somewhat challenging because it gets tracked out quickly and there’s a good chance there’ll be many other greedy powder hounds breathing down your neck to charge at the powder, foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs!
Conversely with Niseko Weiss Powder Cats it’s purrrr…fect – lots of fresh lines and no rush to ride it. Niseko Weiss (owned by Niseko Hanazono Resort) has a dedicated area at the former Weiss ski resort, so you only have to share all that powder with a dozen people.
Where is Weiss Cat Skiing Located?
The cat skiing occurs at the former Weisshorn Ski Resort, which is situated next to Hanazono, one of the four ski areas of Niseko
. Niseko Weiss Powder Cats provide transport between Hanazono and the snowcat staging area at Weiss. It’s easy to use the regular bus services between other parts of Niseko and Hanazono.
Niseko Cat Skiing Package
Cat skiing is available as either a group tour where you join others and pay per person (minimum 4 people to operate), or a private tour where you pay for the snowcat and have your own group of up to 12 people.
The package includes a full day (8:30am-3pm) of cat skiing, guiding, transport, and use of an avalanche beacon. Backpacks with other avalanche safety equipment will be available for the group. An amazing lunch is provided in the comfort of the hotel at the base of Weiss as well as hot beverages, after which you can go back outside to feast on some more powder.
The face shots can be captured by a photographer who is on hand to take photos and video, and secure lots of memories of your awesome day out!
There are lots of deep days where you’ll want to have powder skis (and ski poles with powder baskets) or a powder snowboard. If you don’t have your own, there are various Niseko ski hire
A day of cat skiing needs to be pre-booked. You can make a booking enquiry here for Niseko Weiss Cat Skiing.
Snowcat Skiing Terrain
The cat skiing terrain consists of mellow bowls above the tree line, whilst below the timberline there are old “piste” runs that are the equivalent of easy blue runs where you can rip it up, some nicely spaced trees, and the odd steep pitch thrown in for good measure. The average pitch of the runs is about 20 degrees, and the maximum about 30 degrees.
The terrain elevations range from 450 to about 950 metres, although the maximum of vertical covered each run is 450 metres. A day generally consists of an average of 6-7 runs and about 2,400 metres of vertical, although the vertical tally for the day is dependent on the ability of the group and the conditions.
As is somewhat common with Japan cat skiing
, the terrain size is rather small relative to other cat skiing operations around the world. That being said, it’s not a problem because snowfalls to reset the freshies are very frequent.
The Weiss cat skiing is well suited to strong and athletic intermediate riders and up, and those with only minimal powder riding experience because most of the terrain consists of wide slopes with plenty of room to manoeuvre.
For the group tours this is the minimum ability definition: “you are confident on black slopes and are often heading out onto the off-piste. In good snow you can link some turns together. On steeper sections or in difficult snow, you make wider turns and aren't familiar with riding in deep snow without a base. You have 1 to 10 days experience off-piste deep powder and trees”.
For the private tours, the minimum ability level doesn’t matter quite so much as it’s up to your own group. Previous off-piste experience isn’t necessarily required, although skiers and snowboarders should feel comfortable on intermediate runs.
Why Go Cat Skiing with Niseko Weiss Powder Cats?
A day or more of cat skiing with Niseko Weiss Powder Cats is the perfect addition to a Niseko ski
holiday and a chance to get fresh tracks away from the crowds at the resort. You can enjoy all that Niseko has to offer and its energetic vibe and also revel in the deep fresh powder.
This Niseko cat skiing is great for all riders of intermediate ability and up, but it’s particularly well suited to up and coming powder hounds and first time cat skiers, or those looking for a relaxed day of powder skiing.
Niseko gets huge amounts of snow that’s of superb quality, and generally it’s not long between snowfalls.
The schedule of tour day would be as follows:
- 8:30-8:45am: arrive at Hanazono 308, register and safety briefing
- 8:45-9am: depart Hanazono to Weiss snowcat base
- 9am-noon: morning session of 3-5 runs
- 12-1pm: lunch at Weiss Hotel
- 1-3pm: afternoon session of 2-3 runs
- 3-3:15pm: depart Weiss snowcat base for Hanazono
- 3:30 arrive Hanazono