Aomori Spring Ski 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)
    300 – 1,309 (1,009)
  • Average Snow Fall
    unknown
  • Lifts (4)
    1 Gondola
    2 High Speed Quads with hoods
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am to 9:00pm
    mid Dec to early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 14
    Longest run – 3.5 km
    Beginner - 50%
    Intermediate - 30%
    Advanced - 20%

Aomori Spring Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Aomori Spring Resort is mostly a flattish hill. As is common in Japan, the lower slopes are mellow, and it's only the upper reaches of the lift serviced terrain where the terrain gets a bit of pitch. And then just above the lifts, it gets steeper and the tree skiing becomes even more delicious.

So it's no great surprise that one of the amazing strengths of the Aomori Spring Resort is the beginner terrain. Most of the courses (as the Japanese like to call the cut trails) are for beginners, whilst there is very little on offer for intermediate and advanced riders on-piste.

The other strengths of the Aomori Spring ski and snowboard terrain include the lift-accessed tree skiing, the sidecountry tree skiing, the backcountry, and the amazing terrain parks and half pipes. The night skiing at Aomori Spring is also pretty impressive and covers a good proportion of the terrain.

The lack of competition for fresh tracks is another major forte of Aomori Spring Ski Resort. This may start to change somewhat as more freestyle camps hit the resort and use the powder as a rest from the park and pipe. Nevertheless, those willing to hike/skin just 5-10 minutes are likely to have no problems whatsoever in securing virgin powder.

Aomori Spring Resort Lifts

The lift infrastructure at Aomori Spring Resort is very good. A gondola covers almost the full vertical of the ski area, and there are two hooded quad detachable chair lifts. The Diamond Pair Lift is a fixed grip double chair that services nice tree skiing, but like the other Aomori Spring chair lifts (and many other chair lifts in Japan), you're left wishing that they went just a little bit higher where the terrain gets a bit pitchier. If only we had a magic wand!

There is also the Aspen double lift that's just used for park and pipe events.

The lift system is OK when the storms hit in full force. The gondola may need to go on wind hold, but the lifts seem to keep working (albeit very slowly) when it's very windy, and the hooded chairs on the quad lifts are an absolute godsend on brutal weather days.

Lift Tickets

Lift ticket prices are a fraction higher than the average for a Japanese ski resort, but you get great value considering the good lift infrastructure and the amazing park and pipe features.

In addition to the usual day tickets, other pass configurations on offer include 4 hour, 6 hour, and night skiing, or gondola or quad lift single ride tickets. Day trippers have to pay cash for lift ticket purchases (such a technologically advanced society - ha!!).

Aomori Spring Snow & Weather

Aomori Spring receives copious amounts of snow, but the resort doesn't report a stat for snow quantity yet, so who knows exactly how much snowfall there is. If the nearby city of Aomori is anything to go by, then it must be huge! The city of Aomori is reputedly the snowiest city in the world, receiving 8 metres per year, and in winter it's a snowy day 75% of the time.

Being only 12km from the coast, the snow is very coastal but it doesn't feel like it due to the usual cold winds that accompany the snowfall. It's probably not quite the same snow quality that you find in Central Hokkaido, but still very impressive, and the ski slopes of Aomori Spring are mostly north facing which also keeps the snow in pristine condition. The downside of the northerly aspect is that the resort faces the ocean, so it's a bit exposed and the weather can hit in full force (but it's not as bad as Hakkoda which can be very weather plagued).

The top of Aomori Spring Resort is about 400 metres lower than the Hakkoda Ropeway so the snow quality isn't quite as dry or voluminous, but the upside is that it's not as wind affected as the top of Hakkoda, and you don't have to contend with snow ghost tree wells.

Beginner Skiing Aomori Spring

Aomori Spring Resort has excellent terrain for beginner skiers and snowboarders. It's so mellow that there are quite a few flat spots that could be troublesome for boarders on a powder day.

The Family Course which runs past the Rockwood Hotel and the Family Connector would be good spots to start, and then you could progress onto other trails including Main Line and Sunshine.

For the Intermediate

Aomori Spring Resort has only 4 intermediate courses, which would get a bit repetitive for most intermediate skiers and snowboarders. And none of the "pink" runs (who rates intermediate runs as pink?!!) are top to bottom without terminating on a green run, so there are no long fall line trails with a good gradient. The supposed "advanced" runs would also be appropriate for strong intermediates because usually half of the width of the trail is groomed, and they are rather mellow.

For intermediates wanting to progress onto powder riding and tree skiing, some of the trees between the two "advanced runs" off the Diamond Lift would be a good place to start.

Aomori Spring Terrain Parks & Pipes

It's no surprise that international teams come to Aomori Spring and that the resort is used for slopestyle and halfpipe camps considering the quality of the terrain park facilities. These include high level terrain park features including lots of large jump lines and rail and box hits.

Halfpipes include a 22 foot (6.7m) 135m long halfpipe maintained daily and a 22 foot (6.7m) 60m long training halfpipe with bag jump landing. As with all pipes, it's generally not formed until a little way into the season, although each season it seems to be a little earlier than the last.

Advanced Skiing On-Piste

This aint why you'd come to Aomori Spring, but then there are also plenty of other Japanese ski resorts in the same boat! Aomori Spring Resort has 3 short "advanced" runs that would be more aptly rated as intermediate. Perhaps that why the "advanced" runs are brown instead of black as they are in most parts of the world!

The Corkscrew has a maximum gradient of only 30 degrees, and the 30 degrees is only for a moment (the average pitch is a mere 13 degrees!). The Twister and Diamond courses only reach 26 and 29 degrees respectively, and they too flatten out pretty quickly.

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

Aomori Spring has some fantastic lift accessed tree skiing (both off-piste and sidecountry), and there is a good range of low hanging fruit that doesn't require too much skill or creativity to find. There are also zones that require a little route-finding knack. Some of the huge pros of the tree skiing at Aomori Spring are that the tree spacing is often wide, the tree trunks are long, and a lot of snow cover isn't required to lay down the sassa and shrubbery. The largely northerly aspect is also a big bonus, yet there are different aspects off the ridges so depending on the wind direction you'll be able to find the primo snow.

As the terrain flattens out fairly quickly, snowboarders should be aware that the egress from many lines on a powder day may require a skier to first go in and set the trail. And no, skiers you can't giggle at snowboarders when they get bogged!

Sidecountry

Very short walks/skins can get you to steeper pitches that feed back into the resort very nicely, or may require just a short walk to get back to the resort (e.g. skiers' left of the ski area). The tree skiing is spectacular!

The Aomori Spring Resort offers a guiding service if you want some support to explore the sidecountry (and/or backcountry).

Backcountry

The summit of Mount Iwaki is 700 vertical metres above the gondola, so there's plenty of backcountry terrain on offer for those willing to put in some serious work to earn their turns. And the pitch of the terrain is certainly more impressive than what you'd find in-resort (or at Hakkoda!). The terrain includes naturally gladed slopes, snow monsters, and alpine bowls and chutes.

Summiting Mt Iwaki is often only considered in March when the weather is nicer, and you're less likely to need your ice axe and crampons.