An'nupuri Ski Resort Terrain

An'nupuri Ski Resort 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)
    400 – 1,156 (756)
  • Average Snow Fall
    16  metres
  • Lifts (6)
    1 gondola
    2 quad chairs
  • Ski Season
    late Nov - early May
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 13
    Longest run – 4 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 50%
    Advanced - 20%

The An’nupuri Ski Resort is a reasonably long narrow ski area with 756 metres of vertical and only 13 courses and 6 lifts. Annupuri is interconnected with the rest of Niseko United (Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono) at the top of the ski area, and as long as high winds haven’t closed the top lift, Annupuri provides access to lots of terrain.

The ratings provided are for An’nupuri Ski Resort only, with higher ratings provided for Niseko overall considering that the whole area has more on offer.

Lifts

The An’nupuri Ski Resort has 6 lifts: 1 gondola that runs most of the vertical of the ski area; the new Dream quad lift for beginners; a hooded quad (also for beginners); and 3 crappy old double chair lifts.

Queues can sometimes develop at the Annupuri Gondola but these typically aren’t as bad as at Hirafu, and many North Americans and Europeans will think nothing of the lift lines.

Lift Tickets

Beginners may choose to buy a lift pass just for An’nupuri Ski Resort which will save a few yen, but most people are likely to buy a combined lift pass and make the most of all four Niseko ski areas. There is no financial incentive to pre-purchase lift passes as part of a package and keep in mind that some of the Annupuri lodgings can provide discounted lift tickets for Annupuri or Niseko United.

In addition to single day tickets, there is an array of different duration tickets and point pass systems which can be overwhelming!

NB Moiwa Ski Resort is not on the Niseko United lift pass.

Annupuri Snow and Weather

Niseko is up there as one of the best powder machines in the world, pumping out lots of big powder days. And despite receiving large snow volumes and being close to the coast, the Niseko powder is absolutely nothing like what you’d experience in Tahoe or the PNW thanks to cold air streams. The only downside of the light dry powder at Niseko is that big dumps are required for a full reset.

During dry spells (which are typically short lived) the aspect of Annupuri can sometimes come into effect, with mostly southwest facing slopes. Warm sunny days can make the afternoon snow a bit heavy.

Annupuri commonly scores the storms first in Niseko, and with that can come some disgusting weather which can close the old top lift so that lift connections to the rest of Niseko United are shut off. The upside is that you can go country clubbing in Annupuri, and so long as some of the gates are open, the competition for the powder is not fierce.

Annupuri Skiing for the Beginner

The Dream Quad Lift provides a lovely wide slope for beginners to learn, and from there the comfortable hooded quad chair provides the next progression on slopes that are still very gentle. For night skiing, there are 4 courses on offer, 3 of which are beginner runs.

Intermediate Skiing Annupuri

Annupuri only has handful of short red runs, and if you don’t want to return to the base and ride on beginner runs, you have to sit on two slow double chairs which gets a bit tedious after a while. Luckily, Niseko United has plenty of other intermediate terrain on offer.

Advanced Skiing On-Piste

Like a lot of Japanese ski resorts, the advanced piste skiing and snowboarding is rather rubbish with a small number of short little runs that aren’t very steep.

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

The sub-alpine area offers a little bit of off-piste terrain. Further down there is a small amount of in-bounds off-piste and tree skiing which is ideal for those learning the art of powder skiing and riding. Otherwise you’ll need to don your avalanche kit and head out of bounds.

Annupuri Sidecountry

Annupuri has some fabulous lift accessed backcountry (sidecountry) with gates that are opened/closed by ski patrol depending on the snowpack, weather, and general whim.

Gate 7 takes you under the Annupuri gondola into some fun tree skiing. Further skiers’ left is Yu no sawa which is permanently out-of-bounds considering its propensity to avalanche.

Skiers’ right of Annupuri Ski Resort are the famous Annupuri bowls which are accessed via 3 gates. The terrain includes the open bowls as well as sub-alpine terrain and lots of tree skiing. It all funnels into a gully (a lovely terrain trap) which is a bit of pain to ride all the way to the bottom. Some years ago when I learnt to ski powder, the Annupuri bowls provided awesome freshies, but these days they feel like they get tracked out very quickly.

Skiers’ right of Annupuri also provides BC access to Moiwa Ski Resort.

Backcountry

The Niseko area has lots of great backcountry options over the back of the ski resort near Goshiki Onsen or further afield. You can obtain the services of a Niseko backcountry ski guide to show you some of the great spots.