0263-93-1688 | 〒390-1513 長野県松本市安曇4306(乗鞍高原)
Backcountry Tours

Backcountry Tours

We often hear that people wants to try backcountry but they don’t always have a clear image of what backcountry riding is or how to start. When you hear the word backcountry, what do you imagine? You might imagine spraying deep powder where nobody has ridden or dropping into a steep shoot. The number of people who wants to try backcountry is increasing and media and guides like us are working hard to show people how fun backcountry riding is. But there are few things you must know about it before you head out.

First, you have to know about avalanches. Japan Avalanche Network that our lead guide YMKN is a member of runs avalanche classes and training programs. They also publish books that talk about avalanches and safety in the mountains. We suggest that you learn more about avalanches through those resources first.

ピット(縦穴)を掘って雪質のチェック
Digging pit and checking snow pack.

Tools
You will need a few pieces of equipment to safely go into the backcountry. You need an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel. These tools are useless if you don’t know how to use them so please practice using them and get conformable with your beacon and probe. You also want to have a backpack that you can carry your board, snowshoes and other things you need. You will also want some good winter outerwear that is easy to layer and pack. You can use your snowboard but you might want to set the binding a little bit back for powder riding.

Beacon training.

Next is hiking and riding. For a beginner tour, you will hike about 2 hours. Of course the guide will set the pace for you but you might want to start getting ready by doing some basic exercise like cycling or jogging.

ピークを目指してハイク
Hike up to the peak!

We always get asked, “How good of a rider do I need to be to ride in the backcountry?”. The anser is “You don’t have to be an expert level. If you can ride down a 30° steep, non-groomed advanced course without falling, you can do it.”

We have our riding levels at NORTHSTAR Outdoor Adventures to help people find their level. Riding level for backcountry tour is above R8. If you want to skill up your riding level, please try our freeride lesson to get you ready for backcountry.

パウダーゲットを目指しましょう!
Let’s spray powder like this!

So if you think you are ready to challenge Mt. Norikura’s backcountry, we suggest you to try our Beginner Backcountry tour where you can learn about avalanches, how to use beacon and other skills you need for backcountry. If you want to improve your riding level before going out for backcountry, take a freeride lesson and get yourself ready for a spring backcountry tour. There are backcountry tours in many other areas in Japan but NORTHSTAR Outdoor Adventure’s tours are combined with our snowboard school so you can experience backcountry and improve your overall riding level.

For experienced riders.  
We offer 1 day backcountry tours to the peak of Mt. Norikura. And from mid February we have 1 night 2 day custom tour package with lodging at Kuraigahara mountain hut. Not only you can ride 2 days but you can watch stars and sun rise from 2,350m.

位ヶ原山荘からの美しい日の出
Beautiful sun rise from Kuraigahara hut.

We want all our guest to enjoy riding and have a safe season in the backcountry. Hiking up to ride in the backcountry is part of the roots of snowboarding today. And the best part of being in the mountain is riding the natural terrain. Come ride with us on Beautiful Mt.Norikura.

Spring Backcountry

Spring Backcountry

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Mt. Norikura Spring Backcountry Tours

In Spring the weather is more mellow and you can enjoy some good corn snow. Or you might even have fresh powder seeing how it’s not uncommon to get new snow in April and May. Trying backcountry in the spring is a great way to get ready for winter backcountry next season. We will run tours until the first weekend of June. For those who stay at the NORTHSTAR Lodge, we are offering discounted tour packages. Also if you stay with us, you can try a backcountry tour on day one and a mountain bike tour on day two!

Please check out the Spring Backcountry Page for more info.

BURTON Family Tree Demo Center

BURTON Family Tree Demo Center

BURTON focused on free ride, “Family Tree” is available to test ride at NORTHSTAR Outdoor Adventures.

Rider: Stephan Maurer / Photo: ©BURTON

Rider: Stephan Maurer / Photo: ©BURTON

Burton’s “Family Tree” is their line focused on freeride which is the origin of snowboarding. Season for 2013/14, we will have test boards and be running as a demo center. We are hoping to have a lot of riders come experience these new board in powder, free ride and backcountry.  Rental time will be half days or full days so you’ll have plenty time to enjoy them. You can also try the new binding, GENESIS and ESCAPADE EST.

We will have lodging packages, lesson/mini tours, Backcountry Tours and events this winter as we run the demo center. Come try out some Family Tree boards and enjoy the new world of powder with us.

More Information

Fall in Norikura

Fall in Norikura

Norikura is famous for beautiful autumn colors. We have some great activities to help you enjoy the autumn atmosphere even more here at NORTHSTAR.

Autumn colors are starting gradually from the top of the mountain. Of course we would like to recommend a mountain bike tour but we also offer our MTB fun ride to go around to some famous autumn color spots. You can also go for a hike or a trail run through the beautiful  trails covered with golden leaves. There are so many ways to enjoy autumn colors in Norikura.

These are the weekend schedules.

Tokyo Okachi machi,  ART SPORTS ANNEX’s tour. Anybody is welcome to join.

  • 10/12-14:peter☆pan MTB Tour(We have empty spot for MTB Tour and Fun RIde.)

Osaka, peter☆pan’ s tour. Anybody is welcome to join.

This is ePerformance‘s road bike camp that we had good reputation last time. Fix the riding form with theory and practice.

Our sponsor Transition Bikes’ fan meeting. You can try on 2014’s new model, riding with DH elite rider, and more.

  • 11/2-3:Thank You Tour(We have empty spot for MTB Tour and Fun RIde.)

We will up date the details later. You can enjoy the end of the season with great deal.

We will have the peak of Fall season. Come and lets enjoy this beautiful autumn together.

Hill Climb Revenge

Hill Climb Revenge

We’ve been having some rain during the weekend cycling events and because of the rain, the goal to Kuraigahara for the annual Norikura Hill Climb. We also had to cancel some MTB tours. But we are planning an exciting tour to help you take revenge on your road bike or mountain bike.

Road Bike

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Hill Climb Revenge

We only could ride to Kuraigahara because of rain. So lets challenge to ride all the way to the top this time. 

Date

2013/9/28 (Sat)

Price

¥1,000*

*The fee for luggage transportation by microbus and supply support.

Schedule

9:00 Gather/Registration
9:30 Start

Please time on your own. Microbus will be station at Kuraigahara Sansou.

13:00 Start the last descending
14:00 Dissolution

Revenge Tour

Mt.Norikura – Hirayu – Abo Touge – Sawando – Shirahone – Norikura Kogen.

Date

2013/9/29 (Sun)

Price

¥1,000*

*The fee for luggage transportation by microbus and supply support.

Schedule

7:30 Gather/Register
8:00 Start
11:30 Abo-Touge
13:00 Shirahone Onsen
14:30 Goal

Route

Total Distance: 72km / Total Climb: 2,720m

3 Hills

Course Map:http://yahoo.jp/VTKIMh

Rider Limit

20 Riders

Caution

This tour will be a full-scale tour with riding on the local Norikura trails. Only well experienced riders are allowed to participate. Basically the riding will be self support. Equipment needed for the long ride: back and front lights, clothes to keep you warm, tire tube, tools, food supply, etc.

MTB Tour

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Hard riding course for fast riders in beautiful Norikura. Clinic course for riders who want to skill up. NORTHSTAR guides have IMBA mountain bike instructor / guide license. 

Date

2013/9/28 (Sat)−29 (Sun)

Price

¥17,500

  • The price is for a shared room. (Private room will be plus ¥3,000). Two people room will be plus ¥1,500 per parson.
  • Fee include 1 night 2 meal (BBQ Dinner!) , guide fee, accident insurance.

Riding Level

Hard riding course :Riders who can enjoy riding on the trail with under 50cm width, steep hill, able to ride smooth with drops and bumps of 30cm-1m of rocks and tree roots, can up and down hill.

Clinic course:Skill up for beginners and intermediates.

Rider Limit

8 Riders per group

Reservations

Please visit our Reservations Page to start your reservation.