Lifts & Terrain
Geto Ski and Snowboard Terrain
As a powder chasing destination, the Geto Ski Resort is one of our favourite little ski hills in Japan. It doesn’t get any better than Geto Kogen when you only have to pay for a lift ticket and not a helicopter ride, and can access such deep powder and fun tree skiing without having to hike for it.
Usually on these lifts and terrain pages we cover detail on the skiing and snowboarding for all ability levels, but we can’t imagine too many foreign beginners and intermediates visiting the Geto Ski Resort so we’ll keep those parts short and sweet!
For a ski area situated out in the middle of nowhere, it has surprisingly good lift infrastructure. The main lifts are 2 gondolas that generally run at a good speed, except when the wind is howling! Whilst the powder is often deep enough to warrant wearing powder ribbons, you won’t want to wear them considering the main lifts you’ll be riding are gondolas.
Out to skiers’ left is a quad chair lift that accesses a lot of terrain, and there are also 2 little pair lifts for beginners.
Supposedly there’s a connecting shuttle between the quad chair lift and the main base area (gondola 1) but I haven’t seen it operational.
Night skiing is available across a reasonably large area and it’s not just for beginners because it includes the main gondola.
Geto Kogen Snow and Weather
Geto Kogen is renowned for receiving massive amounts of snow and obviously all that snow doesn’t fall from blue skies so it’s no great surprise that the weather can be foul with blizzards and limited visibility. The ski resort sits in a bowl that is somewhat protected from the howling winds, but there are times when the gondolas have to close or operate at a snail’s pace.
When it’s blizzarding the snow quality is generally excellent. Thankfully bluebird days are not all that common during winter at Geto Kogen because the slopes are mostly east facing. If the sun’s out, the snow on the runs off the quad chair can turn a bit sour. Meanwhile some of the ridges that drop from Gondola 1 have an almost northerly aspect, so the snow is generally delicious!
Geto Skiing for the Beginner
There are a few short runs serviced by the two double chairs for beginners. Geto also rates other terrain as “beginner” but they require a trip down blue and even black terrain, so it might be green but it aint for beginners!
For the Intermediate
Geto Kogen has 4-5 ripper intermediate runs that are groomed to perfection. A couple of them have got some decent pitch so they’re good for racing, until they mellow out towards the base and you have to tuck.
There’s a small crappy terrain park in the beginners’ area for newbies.
Advanced Skiing On-Piste
Geto has a few black piste trails, although they call them “off-piste” because they’re not groomed. When we’ve visited on a couple of occasions, at least one of these has been closed due to glide cracks and inadequate avalanche control work.
Off Piste Skiing and Riding
The resort is somewhat progressive and has opened some “advanced-plus” off-piste terrain. Boards at the top of the gondolas will let you know if ski patrol have deemed them as safe, and if they are open it’s only for certain hours during the day. You have to wear a helmet and the patrollers highly recommend snowboarders take snowshoes.
Off-piste skiing elsewhere is probably taboo so you’ll want to be somewhat discrete. We don’t need to tell you where all the good spots are because it’s pretty obvious and very easy to explore (unless it’s a white out blizzard day!). We probably also recommend that snowboarders take snowshoes on deep days (unless you’re super fast and you never fall over!) because if you stop in one of the gullies you’ll be swimming for a long time to get out.
Geto Kogen has some nice sidecountry to skiers’ right of the resort that cuts back into the ski area and is pretty easy to navigate.