Moiwa Lifts & Terrain

Moiwa Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    330 – 800 (470)
  • Average Snow Fall
    10-14  metres
  • Lifts (3)
    1 fast quad
    2 doubles
  • Ski Hours
    8:30am - 4:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 8
    Longest run – 2.8 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 30%

Moiwa Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Moiwa skiing terrain is rather small with only 3 chair lifts and 8 piste runs. The size of Moiwa increases significantly when you also consider the lift accessed backcountry, although size doesn’t matter when you’re riding in powder up to your pits!

Inter-Connection With Niseko United

Of course, when you add in the terrain of the four interconnected Niseko United ski resorts, the total ski area is huge.

If you’re staying in Moiwa accommodation and want to ski at Niseko United for most of the day, advanced riders can purchase a 2-point lift pass to ride the quad chair, head through the backcountry gate (if it’s open), and then across to Annupuri. To head in the other direction, there is an intermediate trail from Annupuri to Moiwa that doesn’t require backcountry access. Intermediate riders will need to catch a shuttle bus to get from Moiwa to Hirafu.


Moiwa has three 3 chair lifts. A double chair (Pair Lift #1) services a couple of intermediate runs and the Expert Run, whilst Pair Lift #2 services a couple of beginner runs. A hooded high-speed quad chair is the gateway to powder heaven and it runs almost the full vertical of the ski resort. An initial trudge is required because it starts a little way up the hill from the day lodge, and if you’re returning to the ski resort from skiers’ right, it requires a bit of skating or walking to get to the lift. The quad lift opens half an hour later than the double chairs.

Moiwa also has a covered magic carpet for novices.

Lift Tickets

Moiwa is not included on the Niseko United lift pass (thanks to some interesting politics) so you’ll need to purchase a separate ticket. The lift tickets are much cheaper than Niseko United, yet they seem expensive considering the limited number of lifts and the small size of the inbounds terrain.

In addition to day passes and one time passes, there are 30 hour passes which are handy if you’re staying a while. Moiwa accepts credit cards for lift ticket purchases.

Moiwa Snow

Mother Nature provides all the snow at Moiwa so snowmaking is not required. Like elsewhere in the Niseko region, it snows a lot. The quantity of the annual snowfall at Moiwa is slightly lower than at Niseko United, but the dumps of snow are big enough to keep powder hounds very happy.

Moiwa sits at a lower elevation than Niseko proper (330 to 800 metres at Moiwa versus 300 to 1,309 metres at Niseko United), and the aspect is more southerly, so the quality of powder might be a fraction inferior at Moiwa when the sun comes out, but it’s still generally very impressive.

Moiwa Skiing - Beginners

First timers have a very mellow zone out the front of the day lodge that’s serviced by a covered magic carpet. The next progression is to hit the #1 lift where there are a couple of easy runs that are well protected from the elements.

Whilst there isn’t a lot of beginner terrain at Moiwa, the size of Moiwa is almost a plus for many beginners because it’s not intimidating, and the day lodge is never far away.

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Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding

The Main Course is a wide groomed run down the middle of the ski resort, so parents can keep a close eye on the kids as they hoon down. The Sky Slope is a little more challenging, as is the Forest Run.

Considering there are only a few red courses, upper intermediates will probably want to experiment on the black runs which aren’t very steep. The degree of challenge may depend on the size of any moguls.

Advanced Skiing Moiwa – On-Piste

The Shirakaba Slope and Giant Run tend to be either powder bumps or every-day moguls. The latter funnels into the Expert Run, but you definitely don’t have to be an expert to ride it.

Considering the lack of challenging piste terrain, advanced riders will want to head off-piste or into the sidecountry.

Terrain Park

You might need to find some natural terrain park features out in the sidecountry.

Off Piste Skiing Moiwa

The in-bounds area of Moiwa provides lots of great lines through widely spaced trees. The patrollers are completely cool with riders heading off-piste, so you can pretty much go for it. From the top of the quad chair head to skiers’ left and hit the steep glades near the Sky Slope and the Shirakaba Slope. If you head skiers’ right instead, there are also lots of off-piste lines of reasonable pitch, but these mellow out further down the hill.

Backcountry Riding – Moiwa Slackcountry

The sidecountry is one of the highlights of Moiwa skiing and riding, but it’s not for backcountry newbies because it requires some nous with respect to terrain choice. Having a Niseko ski guide can be highly beneficial.

The backcountry gates at the top of the quad chair have a beacon checker and in addition to an avalanche beacon you’ll need a backpack with shovel and probe, and helmet. There are a couple of “off-limits” areas in the sidecountry. These are not marked but you’ll know it if you accidentally head there!

Gate 6 offers access to Annupuri if you walk up about 100 metres, or in closer is the sidecountry that’s skiers’ left of the Moiwa Ski Resort. This zone has steep pitches at the top that includes cornices, cliffs, open bowls, and tree skiing. Unfortunately the steeps are short lived before you’re riding on camber, or cutting right to head back into the resort. Or head further down into the valley and stay right of the creek. If you’re not the first in, there should be a long trail that heads back into the ski resort. There are two exits that are marked. The sign with the beer indicates that a short trek will take you to a nice traverse that’s delightfully easy but flat. The sign with the skull and bones indicates the lower exit. With really steep drop offs into the creek, the traverse or track can be really harrowing.

Head out Gate 10 and the sidecountry out to the skiers’ right of the ski resort seems infinite. There are awesome powder stashes but take care with stability on the open faces. You can push across a long way right, but don’t drop too low because there is a massive ravine with cliffs. Depending on how far you venture, the traverse back in can be really long, and getting to the quad chair may require a bit of poling/skating.