Cat Skiing Tour
Cat skiing is a guided backcountry experience which is perfect for those wanting to escape the inbound ski resort area and have access to the addictive charms of untouched lines of fresh powder! Instead of using chairlifts or helicopters to access the snow, you are taken up in a snowcat. From there simply enjoy having the mountain all to yourself.
There are many options from the fun, mellow and open terrain, to the technical lines and exhilarating drops that powder junkies crave. Each mountain offers a different experience and our cat ski guides do their best to help cater to your experience level and point you in the right direction of the best runs for the day.
- Bookings must be made at least 3 days in advance.
- Maximum 12 participants for private and group tours.
- Group tours will run with 7 or more participants.
- Guests ages 12 to 15 years need an accompanying guardian.
- Guests ages 16 to 19 years need a written waiver from a guardian.
- Mixed discipline (both ski and snowboard) is available.
Weiss Powder Cat Tour Schedule
|7:20 - 7:50||Pick up from Setsu Niseko|
|8:00 - 8:30||Registration and safety briefing at Hanazono 308 |
*Provide safety gear, and beacon training, explain backcountry awareness, transport to Mt. Weisshorn
|9:00 - 13:15||Riding session |
*6 to 7 runs depending on the conditions
|13:30 - 14:30||Lunch at Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono|
|15:00||Tour finish and drop off at Setsu Niseko|
|20th Dec 2023 to mid Mar 2024||Age||Ability Level||Price|
|Private Tour||12 years and above||Off Piste L1 to L5||¥770,000 per group|
|Group Tour||12 years and above||Off Piste L3 and above||¥110,000 per person|
Off Piste Ability Level
The steepest run would be 30 degrees and an average would be 20 degrees. The maximum vertical descent is 450 meters. Please refer to our off-piste ability below to check your riding skills.
This service is exclusive to Setsu Niseko guests.
Cancellation prior to booking commencement will incur cancellation fees as below:
- 5 to 15 days: a 20% cancellation fee
- 4 days or less: 100% cancellation fee
- 4 days or less: Amendments to the start time or transferring the booking to another guest is not possible.
- Refunds will be applicable only in the event of illness or injury whereby the guest must present a valid medical certificate from a local hospital or local physiotherapist stating the guest was incapacitated prior to the tour date.
- In the case of a tour booked for more than one person, a refund or rescheduling will not be offered if one participant is ill or injured. A local medical certificate or local physiotherapist certificate for each person in the product would be required to receive a refund or rescheduling.
- Cancellation includes changes that reduce the overall value of the booking and no-shows.
We strongly advise you to purchase travel insurance to cover any cancellation fees.
For the full Niseko Weiss Powder Cats Terms and Conditions, please visit here.
What do I need to bring?
- Facemask & neck warmer - We recommend that you wear or carry a facemask and neck warmer
- Gloves - Please choose warm and well-fitting gloves
- Ski poles - Poles with powder baskets are recommended
- Skiwear - We recommend guests bring an extra pair of inner layers as the temperature may change suddenly
- Helmet - Helmets save lives. Helmets prevent injury when falling or crashing and even protect from wayward tree branches. We strongly recommend all guests wear helmets.
- Goggles & sunglasses - There will be no hike-up on our CAT tour so a pair of sunglasses is not necessary. It's recommended you bring along a spare set of goggles.
- Action Camera - You are more than welcome to bring these along with you. Share your powder day with friends and family!
All safety equipment is provided. Bags and/or backpacks with snacks, drinks, cameras etc can be kept in the snow CAT during the tour.
Do I need powder specific skis or snowboard?
We strongly recommend a pair of powder skis or powder snowboard for Niseko Weiss Powder Cat Tour.
- Skiers: An 80mm waist and over all-around ski is fine, but we highly recommend trying a set of rocker skis. Rocker skis provide improved flotation on Niseko's deep powder, they turn quickly (handy when in trees) and stop swiftly.
- Snowboarders: We strongly recommend a powder board. You will struggle if your snowboard has a regular camber and freestyle stance setup.
When is the best time for powder in Niseko?
Niseko's winter season usually runs from late November to Early May, the peak powder period is typically from late December through February, although this varies every season. An annual average 4-meter snow base ensures great Spring conditions from March onwards.
- Start of Season: The first snowfalls of the year in Niseko are usually from late October through to early November. As temperatures drop and storm cells intensify throughout November, the snow begins to fall to lower elevations, blanketing the entire mountain white with snow. As snowfalls increase, and a base is formed the upper part of the resort becomes skiable - the beginning of the ski season. Winter storms pushing out of Siberia become more frequent from early December, covering small bushes and Sasa grass, this is a surprisingly good time to visit Niseko; with relatively few skiers/riders you will find powder stashes almost everywhere within the resort boundary.
- High Season: Most backcountry gates open around the Christmas period. This time through to mid-February is the absolute best time of the season for light & dry powder. If you wish to ski/snowboard deep and dry powder like you see in magazines or DVDs, we assure you, this is the best time of year. Family visitors leave Niseko around mid-January and in their place, powder enthusiasts from all over the world flood into Niseko. This time of year, although snow quality is particularly good, the lifts can be frequently affected by the weather. When upper mountain areas are closed due to weather conditions, you still can enjoy Niseko's powder line riding lower lifts. After February, bottomless dry powder gradually changes to creamy, slightly heavier powder snow.
- Spring Season: The weather usually starts to become stable in March, offering good conditions for the backcountry, with more sunny days and better visibility, hiking up to the peak is a joy. In April, snowfall decreases but the snow base is still very high. Skiing or riding down through corn snow on a warm spring day is exceptional. Gates will close if there is a high risk of a slab avalanche.
What are the runs like?
You will be able to ski an average of 5 to 6 runs in one tour. The steepest run would be 30 degrees and an average would be 20 degrees. The maximum vertical descent is 450 meters.
Though the amount and quality of snow here is magnificent, the altitude is not high so there are no worries of thin air. The CAT base, where the tour would begin, is located 450 meters above sea level and the peak drop-off is 930 meters above sea level.