Hokkaido Backcountry Club

Overall Rating

Hokkaido Backcountry Club

Hokkaido Backcountry Club4.7/53
Hokkaido Backcountry Club4.7 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Wagner Custom Skis
Want to ski Hokkaido POW like this?
Hokkaido Backcountry Club: Shiribetsu Heli Skiing near Rusutsu
It snows a lot at Shimamaki, the cat skiing location
The heli skiing is located near Niseko and Rusutsu
Hokkaido Backcountry Club: Shiribetsu Heli Skiing
Shiribetsu heli skiing terrain
The heli skiing terrain overlooks Mt Yotei
HBC Heli Skiing
The heli ski terrain includes sub alpine terrain
Shimamaki Cat Skiing
The cat skiing lodge is located right on the coast
Shimamaki Snowcat Skiing
It dumps a lot of snow at Shimamaki
Staying at the cat skiing lodge provides a great Japanese experience
The cat skiing tenure will continue to expand
Shimamaki Snowcat Skiing
Comprehensive safety briefings are included
HBC Heli Skiing
Fantastic Hokkaido powder!
Heli skiing terrain

Hokkaido Backcountry Club

Overall Rating

Hokkaido Backcountry Club4.7/53
Hokkaido Backcountry Club4.7 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
The Hokkaido Backcountry Club is Japan's first modern, helicopter, snowcat, and snowmobile adventure company. The Hokkaido Backcountry Club is unique in that they offer helicopter, snowcat, snowmobile, and backcountry touring under the supervision of professionally-certified mountain guides (ACMG, IFMGA, AMGA). HBC is the only Hokkaido heli skiing club, and the only club in Japan to combine both helicopter and cat skiing for members.

With the combination of highly qualified and experienced guides, thorough safety protocols, and impressive terrain, Hokkaido Backcountry Club offers Canadian-style heli skiing and cat skiing - something very unique for Japan.

The Hokkaido Backcountry Club is a spin off company of the very reputable guiding company, Black Diamond Tours

Niseko Heli Skiing

After searching for suitable Niseko heli skiing terrain, HBC selected the main peak of  Shiribetsu-Dake (1,107 m / 3,632 ft) as a location for its new helicopter skiing program. Adjacent to the Rusutsu Ski Resort, Shiribetsu is a dormant volcano that offers runs varying in length from 550 to 850 vertical metres, and with some pitches between 40 and 50 degrees.

Niseko Heli Skiing can be fabulous because it offers the perfect combination of the best powder in the world and the ultimate lift, a helicopter! Unlike a couple of other Japan heli skiing outfits that offer very lame helicopter accessed skiing, Hokkaido Backcountry Club offers “real” heli skiing that includes qualified backcountry guides and some fabulously steep terrain and long runs.

Cat Skiing

Hokkaido Backcountry Club also offers Japan cat skiing at its finest from the tiny town of Shimamaki in southeast Hokkaido, which is about a 2 hour drive from Niseko. With a population of less than 2,000, Shimamaki is a sleepy, seaside fishing village that is vastly different from the bustling Niseko. The cat skiing area is flanked by the beautiful and impressive Kariba mountain range, shooting up 1,489 m / 4,885 ft to the main peak of Kariba-yama from the nearby Sea of Japan. The area is also home to world-class offshore salmon fishing along with traditional Japanese hot springs.

The Shimamaki Cat Skiing is an amazing opportunity to ride some of the deepest untracked powder away from the ski resort masses!

HBC also work in partnership with The House of Powder for the Chisenupuri Cat Skiing near Niseko.

HBC Terms & Conditions

HBC requires all fees at the time of booking for all trips if booking within 60 days of the trip. If booking in advance of 60 days we will take a 25% deposit. We will require the full amount if you are getting an early bird discount.

Full payment for Shimamaki Snowcats is due by October 15th.

HBC does not offer refunds on snowcat tours for weather related problems (extreme avalanche condition, torrential rain etc)

If HBC is asked to find a replacement for the cancelling guest, payments will be refunded once the seat is filled with another guest less an administration fee of 25,000yen You may sell your seat to another guest, but in order for HBC not to charge you the 25,000yen administration fee, you must collect the money directly from the replacement guest. HBC will not be involved in the transaction.

For non-mechanized tours, cancellation between 60 and 30 days before the trip will result in a 50% cancellation fee. Cancellation within 30 days of the trip for any reason, including injury, will result in a 100% cancellation fee.

Heli bookings cancelled on our part for reasons of weather or safety qualify for a backup lift assisted tour at Rusutsu for 35,000yen. The remainder will be refunded. If you decide not to join this program, you will be refunded 20% of the total.

Runs not skied in our helicopter program qualify for a refund of 13,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.

Additional heli runs will be billed at 16,000 yen per run for 6-run guests and 8,580yen/ min for private charter guests.

Heli guests not flying or delayed due to weather will be offered a backcountry / resort / or slackcountry tour with the prospect of flying if the weather changes. Guests can also re-book for the following days if there is availability.

Minimum group numbers apply for all tours. In the case of low numbers, we will attempt to reschedule.

Included in all ski packages is the use of backpack, avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel, as well as avalanche and helicopter safety briefings.

A set menu lunch and apres ski appetizers are included in all heli programs.

We recommend you purchase your own trip cancellation insurance in case you need to cancel for injury or any other unforseen circumstances.

PAYMENTS

You will receive an invoice email with payment instructions via international bank transfer or PayPal credit card. You do not need a PayPal membership to use this credit card service.

Due to service fees, our preferred method for larger transactions is international bank transfer. All bank transfer details are available on your electronic invoice.

If you choose to complete a bank transfer, please ignore any service charge listed on your invoice and only transfer the amount owing on the balance line of your invoice.

All customers are required to read a release of liability waiver and medical information form before departing. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the tour without refund.

All participants under the age of 19 must also have a parent or legal guardian sign their release of liability. All minors must be at least 13 years of age and accompanied by a guardian or parent while on the tour.

All tour pricing listed on this website is based on a minimum group size of 3 people, unless otherwise stated. If your group is smaller or larger than 3, please ask about availability.

HBC reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time, typically due to inclement weather or unsafe backcountry travel conditions.

We ask members to be honest about their skill levels. If you have booked and paid for a trip with HBC, but your skills are insufficient for the trip you have booked, we will try to accommodate you with another program if possible but we will not issue refunds.

Phenomenal

POWDERHOUNDS.COM06/04/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Phenomenal

POWDERHOUNDS.COM06/04/2016
Cold powder
Our lift
We had an absolutely phenomenal day out heli skiing with Hokkaido Backcountry Club. It was the last day of our 2 month Japan skiing research odyssey, and what an amazing finale!!

See our comprehensive HBC heli skiing review for more information. Keep in mind with our ratings, that we are comparing the operation on a global scale, and 5/5 equates to absolutely outstanding.

The fun factor wasn't a 5/5 - it was off the Richter scale!

1st experience in Heliskiing

Max22/03/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Rider Country
    France
  • Month Visited:
    March
  • Admin Rating
    3

1st experience in Heliskiing

Max22/03/2016
First ride March 15 2016
Shiribetsu March 15 2016_A nice group
Shiribetsu March 15 2016_A sunny day
Finally, I did it. Moreover with a very good friend, and the day of my birthday (63)! First Heliskiing in my life, first time in Hokkaido ... Great time, good weather conditions. Sure, I would like to do it again. Hopefully next winter.

Thank you to Shin, and the HBC Team.

Best day of my life

Andrew Snelleksz09/03/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Rider Country
    Australia
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Best day of my life

Andrew Snelleksz09/03/2016
Easily the best day snowboarding in my life.

Not only was the snow and mountain incredible but we pulled a perfect bluebird day in a fortnight full of overcast snow storms. Unbelievable!

We got picked up from our hotel by Keith and Shin and headed off. At the heli zone and were kitted out with transceiver and backpack with a shovel and probe. After some Av training we were on our way.

Groups were split up into twos and threes according to weight and friends. My group went first and loaded into the chopper.

Our guide Sandy was a champion and seeing someone that does it for a living being stoked sealed the deal that we were on a winner.

The mountain was amazing. The terrain varied from open runs to small gullies and amazing tree runs.
The powder was boot to knee deep and magic to board on. Although we were lucky to go first a few times it didn't matter. You could go last and never cross someone else's line. It was an epic free-for-all.

Some pickups were by heli but the majority were pickup by van that took us straight back to the heli. There were nine guests that made four groups. And how the HBC team made the pickups work like clockwork is beyond me. We did the six runs that was included and bought one extra for 12000 in the afternoon once we knew it was on. Five runs in the sun and two in the shade all up.

Did I mention it was Bluebird!!

Lunch was provided at the restaurant back at the Heli zone and was good. I could easily have skipped the meal for an extra line in the sun. But no complaints. This was a well planned day that was run efficiently and professionally and was just awesome.

Everyone was peaking. And we all had a beer together at the end on Greg. The Top Dog here at Powderhounds who was on the same Heli trip as us with the unforgettable Lyndell.

I'll be chasing another perfect day like that for years I think................ or I could just book in again next season.
HBC Skiing/Snowboarding Tours
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