Sapporo Teine Skiing Terrain

Sapporo Teine Skiing 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)
    550 – 1,000 (450)
  • Average Snow Fall
    ?  metres
  • Lifts (10)
    1 gondola
    1 fast quad
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am - 9:00pm
    late Nov - late March
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 15
    Longest run – 6 km
    Beginner - 35%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 25%

Sapporo Teine Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Sapporo Teine ski and snowboard terrain is divided into two parts; the lower mellow Teine Olympia which is great for beginners; and the upper Teine Highlands that has steep on-piste runs, top notch tree skiing, and some good lift accessed backcountry. The two ski zones are interconnected via a very modern gondola and a long meandering run that is so gentle that it’s almost completely flat in spots.

Both areas are reasonably small. There is enough terrain to entertain novices for numerous days, and adequate runs to keep intermediates interested for a couple of hours. For advanced and expert riders there’s plenty of fun for at least a day, and if the pow is flying, then many days.

Due to its proximity to Sapporo, Sapporo Teine can get crowded, particularly down in the Olympia area. Yet in the off piste areas it’s relatively untrafficked and freshies can last at least until lunch time.


The Highland area has only four lifts. The old Olympic cable car is no longer operational, and unfortunately the fast new hooded quad chair doesn’t go as high as the cable car, but a short hike will get you up to the goods. The other chairs consist of a super slow double chair, and two double chairs of moderate speed.

The Olympia area has five chair lifts, a couple of which are complete relics. In complete contrast is the shiny fast gondola between the Olympia and Highland ski areas. The covered magic carpet in the Olympia area is also very fancy.

Night skiing is available on a couple of runs at Olympia, which offers a surreal experience overlooking the lights of Sapporo.

As is often the case in Japan, there are a few defunct chair lifts that they just leave there to rot.

Sapporo Teine Snow and Weather

The average snowfall per season at Sapporo Teine is unknown but it’s likely to be at least 10 metres considering the abundant snowfall at the neighbouring ski resorts. Even though Sapporo is right on the coast, the powder is pretty dry because of the cold temperatures, but there can be icy conditions in the early and late parts of the season.

Sapporo Teine can suffer from very foggy conditions but thankfully the whole resort is below the treeline so visibility is generally OK.

Sapporo Teine Skiing for the Beginner

The Olympia area is fantastic for beginners so it can get invaded by school kids during the week and become busy on the weekends. Sapporo Teine Highland is much quieter, but the green runs are somewhat challenging. One narrow trail winds down the mountain, whilst the other beginner course is rather steep for a green run.

Intermediate Ski and Board Terrain

Sapporo Teine doesn’t offer enough variety for intermediates. Olympia has two very mellow intermediate runs, whilst at Highland the two intermediate runs are accessed via slow lifts, or a long boring beginner trail is required to use the fast quad chair lift.

Strong intermediates progressing onto advanced runs might have some fun in the new “permitted” off-piste area which is located to the far right of the Highland area. They have four sets of ropes to indicate the resort boundary – they mustn’t think that powder hounds will get the message with only one rope! The trees are widely spaced and the pitch reasonably mellow, but the powder gets tracked out pretty quickly.

Advanced Skiing

Sapporo Teine only has four black runs, one of which is at Olympia and is so short you’d miss it if you blinked. Kitakabe under the quad chair lift is a bumps run with a maximum gradient of 36 degrees. About half way down it travels through widely spaced trees. The other two advanced courses have a maximum of 34 degrees and at least one of them is usually groomed, so you can put the after-burners on big time!

Sapporo Teine Off-Piste Skiing & Boarding

Sapporo Teine Highland has a couple of mellow areas where it is “permitted” to go off-piste, although the zones still have all the usual warnings and disclaimers that you ride at your own risk, and any rescue required will be undertaken at the rider’s expense.

Otherwise off-piste skiing is officially banned, but the patrollers are incredibly lenient.

The off-piste areas to the skiers’ right of the Highland quad chair offer some of the steepest in-bounds terrain in Japan. These slopes are north facing and have beautifully spaced trees – not too wide, not too tight, but just right! The consistent fall-line is fantastic and unfortunately (or fortunately) there’s just not enough vertical to really get the legs really pumping.

Sapporo Teine Side-country

The resort boundaries are roped off and as with all ski resorts, if you go outside the resort boundaries you do so at your own risk, and only go backcountry with an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe, and know-how.

The side-country to the skiers’ left of the resort is rather tasty. The area under the old cable car is like a rite of passage for expert riders, and this is the first out of bounds area to become tracked.

To get to the best goods you’ll need to go a fraction further afield. Head past the patrollers’ hut and walk beyond the kooky rocket ship type towers to the old cable car station. Some traversing and the odd bit of side-stepping will provide access to multiple bowls (one is more like a wide chute), some with steep tree skiing. There are some nasty cliffs in this area too if you fancy a huck. After a few hundred metres of vertical, some subtle pink ribbons will signify that it’s unfortunately time to head back towards the quad lift, or you can head down further if you’re awesome at traversing.

Alternatively head out to the right of the Highland resort boundary. Haven’t done it personally, but apparently if you walk to the right and up a little, there are lots of lines that head down to the road not far from the bridge on the ski trail between Highland and Olympia.