Top 5 Tips for Skiing Mount Yotei
Coming to Niseko and planning to ski or snowboard Mt Yotei? An active stratovolcano ‘Ezo Fuji ‘ is the ultimate backcountry quest for advanced skiers and requires local knowledge and proper planning to take it on.
Niseko Real Estate’s Ken Shimizu is one of the most respected Telemark Skiers in Niseko, and has skied Mount Yotei over 50 times. Widely regarded as one the foremost experts on conquering this backcountry beauty, Ken offered his top 5 tips for a successful Mt Yotei tour.
1. Dress Appropriately
It goes without saying that the higher you go, the colder it gets. The peak of Yotei is over 1800m in elevation so the differences in temperature can be extreme. Layer with warm, sweat-wicking clothing. Always include a jacket with a high wind proof rating, warm gloves, and a balaclava or face cover.
2. Never Go Solo
Hiking Mt. Yotei is much more fun, and safe, in a group. Never attempt the climb alone, and always have at least one member of the group who has experience climbing this mountain, and knows the route. If you get into avalanche trouble, rescue helicopters are not able to access the mountain, so always buddy up. There are several experienced guiding companies in Niseko that offer Yotei tours.
3. Hike smart
The hike up requires just as much sound judgement and knowledge as the ski down. Always stick to ridge lines, and stay within the trees as you gain elevation. Don’t ever hike or stop to rest in gullies or open snow fields. These can look safe but be avalanches waiting to happen.
4. Safety First
Always carry a working avalanche beacon, probe and shovel – and be educated in the proper use of all equipment. Test it before you go, preferably in some Niseko backcountry. Do not underestimate the dangers of Mt Yotei. Accidents happen. You want to get down safely if things go awry.
5. Early start
Leave early to allow plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views from the 1,898m summit once you get there. Cloud cover is common at the peak, and the best time is early morning to get the best views.
Enjoy the most incredible run of your life as you descend the mountain!