Chisenupuri Cat Skiing with Hokkaido Backcountry Club
under the banner of the House of Powder is a new offering for the 2016-17 season on Mondays, Thursdays and the weekends. Chisenupuri is a former ski resort that had to close down because it sat in the shadow of Niseko, its very high profile neighbour. Now snowcat skiing at Chisenupuri offers all the amazing powder snow that Niseko
is famous for, but minus the big Niseko crowds. You’ll only have to share the powder with a small group of people which equates to more fresh tracks. The lack of hordes plus the reasonably mellow terrain makes Chisenupuri Cat Skiing the perfect place for those just learning to ski or snowboard in powder.
Cat Skiing at Chisenupuri really stinks! OK just joking! The skiing or snowboarding is great fun, but the odour from the onsen at the ski area base can be a little hideous at times. Thankfully you won’t notice the sulphur smell after 5 minutes because you’ll be too busy inhaling the powder! And at the end of the day when you get to soak in the onsen, you’ll think it’s pretty fabulous!
Where is Chisenupuri?
Chisenupuri (sometimes written as "Chisenupurri") is close to the town of Rankoshi, and is the next ski area over from Moiwa
which is next door to Annupuri Niseko. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Hirafu (the main hub of Niseko
) to Chisenupuri. Transport to Chisenupuri is included as part of the cat skiing package.
Snowcat Skiing Terrain
For the 2016-17 season, the Chisenupuri snowcat skiing and snowboard terrain is on the former piste and off-piste of the ski resort. The ski resort is below the treeline and has 281 metres of vertical drop. The 4 slopes are mostly low angle and the runs could be categorised as dark green to dark blue (with a maximum gradient of 30 degrees); perfect for powder hounds on their “Learner” plates. There are also plenty of trees of varying spaces for some tree skiing fun; ideal for advanced riders.
Depending on the ability level and speed of the group, you can expect to score 7 to 15 runs during the day.
Unlike typical cat skiing (such as Canada cat skiing
) that’s conducted in the backcountry where there is significant avalanche risk, Chisenupuri is mellow and controlled enough such that you won’t need to stress about avalanches.
In the future, there is the potential for the snowcat terrain to expand to include the highly coveted alpine terrain above the ski resort.
The snowcat skiing is ideally suited to strong intermediate skiers and snowboarders, and those new to riding powder. As a minimum, you should be able to easily link turns on a steep intermediate run and have some experience in amongst the trees.
Riders should be reasonably fit because if you fall over in powder it can take a fair bit of energy to get back up. Upper advanced and expert riders should check out the Shimamaki Snowcat Skiing
The snow quality can vary from pretty good to sublime, and whilst no one has bothered to measure the amount of snow fall per season, it’s likely to be in the vicinity of that of Niseko United (16-18 metres). In other words Chisenupuri is one of the snowiest resorts in the world and frequently gets big dumps. The snow is sometimes so deep that you’ll eat a bowl of powder for breakfast.
The top elevation of Chisenupuri ski resort at 831 metres is a little higher than Moiwa. The top elevation is significantly lower than Niseko (at 1,300 metres), but considering Niseko has a vertical drop of one thousand metres, all of Chisenupuri is higher than the lower parts of Niseko United. Using this logic you could probably make reasonable assumptions about the typical snow quality at Chisenupuri – awesome!
More Reasons To Go Cat Skiing at Chisenupuri Hokkaido
Think of this as going skiing or snowboarding at your own private ski resort. Unlike at Niseko Ski Resort, freshies last much longer, and you won’t have the pressure of knowing that there are 100s of other riders behind you charging down the hill to beat you to the fresh powder.
Chisenupuri cat skiing makes a great adjunct to a Niseko ski holiday.
You can choose your own lodging in Niseko and search for information, rates and availability on our Niseko accommodation
Price & Inclusions (2017-18)
- 33,150 yen per person for a group trip
- private trip: 760,500 yen for up to 2 groups of 13 guests
- Guided snowcat skiing
- Transport between Niseko and Chisenupuri
- Ticket for Yukichichibu Onsen (hot spring)
HBC Terms & Conditions
HBC requires all fees at the time of booking for all trips if booking within 60 days of the trip. If booking in advance of 60 days we will take a 25% deposit. We will require the full amount if you are getting an early bird discount.
Full payment for Shimamaki Snowcats is due by October 15th.
HBC does not offer refunds on snowcat tours for weather related problems (extreme avalanche condition, torrential rain etc)
If HBC is asked to find a replacement for the cancelling guest, payments will be refunded once the seat is filled with another guest less an administration fee of 25,000yen
You may sell your seat to another guest, but in order for HBC not to charge you the 25,000yen administration fee, you must collect the money directly from the replacement guest. HBC will not be involved in the transaction.
For non-mechanized tours, cancellation between 60 and 30 days before the trip will result in a 50% cancellation fee. Cancellation within 30 days of the trip for any reason, including injury, will result in a 100% cancellation fee.
Heli bookings cancelled on our part for reasons of weather or safety qualify for a backup lift assisted tour at Rusutsu for 35,000yen. The remainder will be refunded. If you decide not to join this program, you will be refunded 20% of the total.
Runs not skied in our helicopter program qualify for a refund of 13,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.
Additional heli runs will be billed at 16,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.
Heli guests not flying or delayed due to weather will be offered a backcountry / resort / or slackcountry tour with the prospect of flying if the weather changes. Guests can also re-book for the following days if there is availability.
Minimum group numbers apply for all tours. In the case of low numbers, we will attempt to reschedule.
Included in all ski packages is the use of backpack, avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel, as well as avalanche and helicopter safety briefings.
A set menu lunch and apres ski appetizers are included in all heli programs.
We recommend you purchase your own trip cancellation insurance in case you need to cancel for injury or any other unforseen circumstances.
You will receive an invoice email with payment instructions via international bank transfer or PayPal credit card. You do not need a PayPal membership to use this credit card service.
Due to service fees, our preferred method for larger transactions is international bank transfer. All bank transfer details are available on your electronic invoice.
If you choose to complete a bank transfer, please ignore any service charge listed on your invoice and only transfer the amount owing on the balance line of your invoice.
All customers are required to read a release of liability waiver and medical information form before departing. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the tour without refund.
All participants under the age of 19 must also have a parent or legal guardian sign their release of liability. All minors must be at least 13 years of age and accompanied by a guardian or parent while on the tour.
All tour pricing listed on this website is based on a minimum group size of 3 people, unless otherwise stated. If your group is smaller or larger than 3, please ask about availability.
HBC reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time, typically due to inclement weather or unsafe backcountry travel conditions.
We ask members to be honest about their skill levels. If you have booked and paid for a trip with HBC, but your skills are insufficient for the trip you have booked, we will try to accommodate you with another program if possible but we will not issue refunds.