There will be 8 days skiing in total in Japan. The Powder Ski Camp will run on 5 full days in Niseko with 3 free ski days. The Camp is designed to build and develop skill and confidence, to enable people to ski all terrains with a specific emphasis on Powder skiing. Skills are developed during the coaching by practicing specific exercises that benefit the main topic of skiing powder. Progressively, the new levels of skill are tested in powder to build confidence.

The powder ski camp caters for skiers from Level 3 to Level 6 on the Academy system.  If you are unsure of your level, please contact us directly through the contact page of the Academy website to arrange a telephone interview to decide your level.

Please note the Japan course dates change from year to year as do some of the other information. The info below will give you a good idea on the course but certain things may change.

INFO ON THE JAPAN POWDER COURSE

Ski independence are our official travel partner and for any travel or accommodation needs you may have please get in touch with them. If you’d prefer to arrange travel/accom yourself this is of course fine.

Day 1 – Free ski day on Niseko Mountain. If you’ve pre-paid for a lift ticket through Ski Independence, we will hand these out at 9am at the Hirafu Welcome Centre. Please don’t be late as if you aren’t there for 9am we can’t wait around! If you have not organized lift tickets through Ski Independence please make sure by the first day of the course you already have your lift ticket for the entire area bought and ready to get skiing straight away. (Certain hotels will have the liftpasses waiting for you on arrival, Ski-I will let you know if this applies to you!)

5pm – for anyone interested in meeting up for a small social gathering and a few drinks the coaches will be at Tamishii from around 5 for a few hours.

Day 2 – Powder Academy with the WSSA instructors on Niseko Mountain. 10am Meet the coaches outside the King Bell on the first day the coaching begins and the course officially kicks off. The course will then run continuously for 5 days. The King Bell is very near the top of the Hirafu Gondola for anyone unfamiliar with Niseko

Day 3  – Powder Academy with the WSSA instructors on Niseko Mountain

Day 4 – Powder Academy with the WSSA instructors on Niseko Mountain

Day 5 – Powder Academy with the WSSA instructors on Niseko Mountain

Day 6 – Powder Academy with the WSSA instructors on Niseko Mountain

Day 7 – Free time to ski and practice what you’ve learnt on Niseko Mountain.

Day 8 – Free time to ski and practice what you’ve learnt on Niseko Mountain. Optional trip to Rusutsu.

Day 9– Transfers booked as per your itinerary. Flights back to UK as per your itinerary.

GROUP + SKIER LEVELS

On the Sunday morning you will be placed into groups that are appropriate for your skiing level and experience.  Please take the time to have a look at our skier levels on the Academy website by clicking here.

FITNESS

The course is a powder course and the physicality of skiing powder all week is a lot. In addition to this to access some of the areas there will be small hikes in or out (2-20 minutes depending on areas). The fitter you are the better time you’ll have and the easier it will be to take in the technical side of the coaching that will go on. Please be sure to turn up to the course as fit and flexible as possible. If you want any advice on things to do please contact us via theteam@warrensmith-skiacadey.com Year after year course participants regret not having done enough work on their fitness and flexibility, please make a truly concerted effort to get in as good shape as possible to make the most of the powder out there!

SKI-PASS

If you’ve pre-paid for a lift ticket through Ski Independence, these will either be waiting at your hotel or we will hand these out at 9am at the Hirafu Welcome Centre on Day 1. Please don’t be late as if you aren’t there for 9am we can’t wait around! If you have not organized lift tickets through Ski Independence please make sure by the first day of the course you already have your lift ticket for the entire area bought and ready to get skiing straight away.

SKI RECOMMENDATIONS/HIRE

We highly recommend bringing your own skis with you if possible as we have had problems in the past with insufficient stock in some of the rental shops out there. If this is impossible there are numerous shops in Hirafu that stock good equipment. Rhythm is one of these which is on the main road in Hirafu.

Good skis for japan would be between 100mm-120mm underfoot (so, fat) and not crazily long; someone 6ft would probably look to ski something around 180cm long. Feel free to email us to check skis if you are unsure.

Poles: Same size as you normally ski with but powder baskets (bigger baskets) are great!

OTHER IMPORTANT KIT

Avalanche kit is mandatory – you need at minimum a transceiver and ideally a probe and shovel as well in case of avalanches. And of course a bag to put these in! Helmets are mandatory as well.

Other useful kit for japan:

  1. face mask of some sort – it get’s very cold and if the snow contacts your face and it’s cold this can be very dangerous. It can also be hard to breathe if your mouth isn’t covered due to the amount of snow!
  2. Spare goggles – again with the amount of snow, sometimes goggles fog up (especially if you fall!) so a spare pair is very useful.
  3. Glove liners and good gloves (again for cold and snow)
  4. Layers – so you can warm up/cool down relatively easily.
  5. General winter outer kit.

FLYING INFO – TRANSCIEVERS AND ABS/AVALANCHE AIRBAGS

Make sure you take the batteries out of your transceivers, the Japanese internal flights will definitely want you to do this and it’s much easier not searching through your bags in Tokyo!

If you choose to take an Airbag we highly recommend not taking the compressed air canister on the plane and instead buying a new one when in resort. Airlines are exceptionally difficult with regard to compressed air-canisters and we have had numerous problems in the past with taking them on board (even with all the correct documentation and advance warning!). It generally works out much easier to buy a new one in resort. These are not necessary for the course.

MONEY

Japan is still very much a cash based society and there aren’t cash machines readily available (and a lot of the one’s there are don’t accept European cards). It is advisable, if possible, to exchange as much money as you intend on spending in your home country so you have Japanese Yen readily available without having to source a cash machine that works!