Overall Rating

Hakuba Weekend Warrior

Hakuba Weekend Warrior3.5/51
Hakuba Weekend Warrior3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Hakuba Weekend Warrior - Reviews

Hakuba Weekend Warrior - Reviews

Good guide, poor organization

Cyndi
15/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    US
  • Month:
    January

Good guide, poor organization

Cyndi
15/02/2018
Was with Good Guides for 6 days of skiing (8 day itinerary) in Hakuba. I know that joining a group for BC skiing inherently has some uncertainty and wildcards so this review does take that into account. The rating of 3 for professionalism is an "average" of guide's professionalism (high) and the organizational professionalism (low).

Guide (Mark) was very good (professional, safe, friendly, and did as good a job as could be expected to find good snow and create routes that met group members' interest and fitness/ability levels). We also had a Japanese "tail guide" most days to help with communications, the days' logistics (car shuttles), and providing us with some information on Japanese culture and the surroundings.

Pre-trip communication and logistics planning could definitely be improved. Jerry was quite responsive to specific email inquiries, but the lack of a common "spec sheet" of relatively basic information led to multiple emails and different expectations for the other group member(s).
- No info on general itinerary (i.e. how many hours/day, how much skinning vs lift-access, whether we'd primarily be in the backcountry or have access to resort lodges/restaurants, etc; of course this is always subject to change based on conditions, but what is the "target"?) or equipment/packing list (which would have given me some indication of how long the days would be/how much hiking would be involved)
- It was clear that at least some information on the invoice was incorrect (e.g. said that transportation to Myoko was included but tour was only in Hakuba) so couldn't even rely on that
- No address/directions/contact info for lodging was provided (only upon request was the name even provided and then the pension could not be found on google maps by the English name)
- I ended up arranging my own arrival transfer and was only partially reimbursed even though in email communication on this specific topic we agreed on full reimbursement
- No contact info for guide or arrival day info provided; was told that guide would meet me at my lodging in the evening (no specific time was provided), but he never showed up (only after going to sleep did I receive an email that he wasn't going to show up and that someone would pick me up the next morning)
- Based on the information I did receive, I was under the impression that I was joining an advanced/experienced group tour that was primarily focused on accessing BC terrain via skinning (vs. "slackcountry" access from lifts with just a short hike) and would be with the same group of clients all week. There was only 1 other client in this "group" and he was under the impression it was more a of a slackcountry tour. The rest of the group varied almost daily with some participants having no prior skinning experience.
- Group had 6 clients on 2 of the 6 days, despite statement of 5:1 client:guide ratio

Based on the guiding experience (also had the opportunity to meet/observe 2 of the other guides who also seemed to be quite good), I would recommend/revisit Good Guides with the caveat that you need to be willing to take the time to be very proactive to get comprehensive and specific communications so you know what to expect.

(did not use any of their equipment, but was forced to give a rating, so the "3" is really an "I don't know")