OTARI

ADVANCED / EXPERTHAKUBA NORIKURA

Haku Nori's most iconic run is certainly the steep, deep and ungroomed Sky View Slope, which hits a knee-shaking 38° at its steepest point. This 250 meter wide-open face is a must-visit for epic GoPro selfie face shots after a fresh snowfall, but can occasionally be closed in the mornings just after an exceptionally heavy dump due to elevated avalanche risk. Yet have no fear, this just means that the possibility of cutting fresh tracks gets extended by a few hours to a day until things settle down. And trust us, the delayed gratification will more than make up for the wait. Additionally, Norikura features a well-maintained mogul course that can challenge even advanced skiers. The other advanced runs can feel less intense than advertised depending on the conditions, but when you're struggling to stay afloat on post-storm, knee-deep ungroomed powder perhaps you'll start to understand why assigning course levels sometimes suffers from subjectivity.

Off-piste opportunities exist in the form of designated "self-responsibility" terrain. Essentially these are sanctioned portions of the tree stands within the resort boundaries that offer natural conditions and potentially deep powder pockets for expert skiers. As these areas are not managed for safety, and the boundary between off-limit and self-responsibility areas may not always be clearly marked, it is imperative to have the requisite knowledge and skills to ensure your own safety when entering. Some excellent sidecountry and backcountry can be found above and around the resort if you are properly experienced and equipped (think: shovel, beacon, probe). We recommend endeavoring into those areas with a qualified local guide who can help you find the best untouched lines and avoid unnecessary risks.