Untracked celebrates the places you may, or may not, be aware of. The places where snow falls in abundance and crowds are rare. Want to ride pow? Here’s where to go.
Moiwa lies in the shadow of one of the world’s most famous powder destinations – Niseko – on Hokkaido, the north Island of Japan. Everybody knows the mountains around Niseko receive prodigious amounts of snow. A reliable 14 or 15+ metres every winter, without fail. Maybe more than anywhere else on Earth at that altitude.
However, the ‘regular’ Niseko resorts of Grand Hirafu and An’nupuri have become pretty busy in the past decade or so and despite the huge quantities of snow, the mountains become tracked out pretty quickly. Moiwa, on the other hand, is a quiet gem just down the road that the crowds are yet to flock to.
Moiwa has just 3 lifts, a handful of marked trails and a vertical drop of less than 500m. However, with the lack of crowds and abundance of powder days, you can score deep fresh tracks all day long. Plus there are many excellent off piste routes through the trees and access to the endless insanely deep backcountry is easy.
Moiwa is very close to An’nupuri, so accommodation can easily be found there. However, Moiwa Lodge is situated close to the base of the lifts at Moiwa and is a great option for anyone wanting to get away from the crowds.
The Lodge offers a variety of room options, including affordable dorms, private rooms and even a couple of cottages that can be rented. Breakfast comes as part of your stay plus they have a bar and restaurant and can hook guests up with local guiding companies who will show you the goods. The local onsen is only a short distance away where you can soak after a day riding powder.
Moiwa offers as close to guaranteed powder that you can get at a resort. For more info check out:
Images – Tom Berridge