Niseko is famous world-wide for its easy to access side-country and as part of a semi regular news item we are going to have a look at two of the side country gates you should have on the bucket list.
Gate 7 Annupuri.
This gate is a Niseko Classic and perfectly suited to a skier or boarder who has had some experience riding powder to the side of the groomed runs and is ready for the next level.
After entry through the marked gate riders left is a small silver birch grove that leads to a steep face that is heavily tree'd and then opens up into a wide open powder field that feeds into a small valley with all sorts of features on both sides. This valley then feeds back to the Annupuri Gondola. It's crucial not to drift too far left though or duck any ropes once you are in this area as the terrain to the riders left is a strictly out of bounds area with many dangers.
Riders right once you enter the gate is a natural half pipe that is great fun. This also leads to the same valley mentioned above and feeds riders to an exit at the Annupuri Gondola. As this line is clearly visible from the resort the smart move is to ride this line first to get your bearings before heading for the slightly harder riders right line.
Gate 8 Annupuri
This gate is the lowest gated access to the Annupuri bowl and a treat beyond everything if you are one of the first 20 through it after a decent dump.
After exiting the gate on the riders right side of the resort things kick off with evenly spaced tree glades and various open areas that all lead into a giant natural half pipe considered by many to be one of Niseko's best runs. This all feeds into the same trail and pops rider back onto the Annupuri groomer right at the junction of the snowcat trail to Moiwa (stick left or you will end up at Moiwa which requires a separate ticket) from there it a quick slide to the Gondola and a repeat till the legs give out. This gate gets tracked really quickly on a good day so making sure you are one of the first few to exit is a smart plan.
Don't forget that once you step through a gate you are on you're on your own and exposed to the risk that come part and parcel of the areas out side the resort. The areas outside the gates are not patrolled so before venturing out make sure you have a clear understanding of where you are headed (head here for a Niseko United trail map with the gates clearly marked) and have all the relevant safety equipment. Even better have a chat to our concierge team and arrange a guide to show you around this amazing part of Niseko
If you are interested to come to Niseko for a Winter Ski Holiday, please see our Niseko Accommodation Page to reserve your luxury accommodation.
You can also choose to reserve your Niseko accommodation and winter activities at the same time.