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Backcountry Gates & Mizuno no Sawa open!

Christmas has come early for Niseko powder hounds this year – literally! Thanks to our bumper early season, Niseko's famous back/side country terrain is scheduled to open earlier than usual from today, December 23.

Hiking the peak at Hirafu and Annupuri and exiting the the designated gates is an iconic Niseko ritual. From here you can experience some of the longest and steepest fallline skiing in the resort.

Niseko Village's Mizuno no Sawa also opens today. Mizuno no Sawa is Niseko's only avalanche controlled area and offers some of the most exciting terrain on the whole mountain.

Avalanche controls are employed daily including ski cutting and bombing to trigger any avalanches before skiers and snowboarders enter.

Mizuno no Sawa lies beneath the Niseko Gondola and should only be attempted by advanced level riders. As per the peak gates, skiers and boarders must enter via a specially marked gate – Gate 11. 

Opening/closing of the gate is controlled based on the weather conditions, snowfall and snow conditions at all time. Please make sure your safety equipment/gear is prepared in advance and to read and observe the Niseko Rules. 

Gate 11 opens 09:00 to 14:00 daily. There is no advance notice of its daily opening. Please follow the patrol staffs’ instruction at the gate when you enter the area. Please note there will be no staff at the gate when it closes and your entry to the area shall be strictly prohibited. 

Note: The Hirafu side of the gondola (Haru no Taki) is not avalanche controlled and STRICTLY off limits.

Anyone planning to exit and of the gates to unpatrolled areas must read the daily Niseko avalanche report and strictly observe the Niseko Rules.  

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