ADVANCED / EXPERTTSUGAIKE KOGEN
Looking at a trail map, Tsugaike seems to have little to offer advanced skiers and riders, with only a few black lines traced amongst the sea of greens and reds. And while there may not be an abundance of advanced on-piste options, powderhounds will love Tsugaike's semi-patrolled powder area, known as "TSUGAPOW DBD", which offers excellent lift-accessed tree skiing through any of the four gates located at the top of the resort, just off of the Tsuga No. 2 Pair Lift. The area is considered a member's zone, and those looking to ride there will first need to apply for a pass by sitting through a short one-time safety lecture currently held three times each morning at the JACKY's Kitchen restaurant just below the Gondola's top station. Once you receive your member's armband, you're free to drop into the DBD area for deep powder runs for the remainder of the season. Gates 3 and 4 of the "TSUGAPOW DBD" area will be of particular interest to expert riders, as they offer steeper lines and thicker vegetation.TSUGAPOW DBD
Going beyond the DBD area, there is also a sidecountry gate along the "Uma-no-se" course that leads out of the resort and into north-facing unpatrolled territory, as well as a multitude of full-on backcountry options that can be accessed above Tsugaike by hikes or skins of varying duration and difficulty. However, be aware that unpatrolled areas lying outside of resort boundaries expose you to the very real risk of avalanches and other serious hazards, and should never be ridden without proper backcountry knowledge, experience and equipment.
From early March until the closing of the ski season each year, the Tsugaike Panorama Way ropeway, located above the gondola, commences its springtime operation, whisking customers an additional 1,200m (250m vertically) above the top of the gondola to the Tsugaike Nature Park, eliminating a good portion of the hike up to the backcountry areas.