Southern Lakes


Mt. Ichankoppe (イチャンコッペ山, 828m), with its north-to-south ridge-line approach, has some of the best and most sustained views of Lake Shikotsu and surrounds of any hill on the lake's volcanic caldera rim. Ichankoppe means "salmon spawning ground river" in Ainu, and Mt. Ichankoppe takes its name from the Ichankoppe River nearby. In clear, still weather, the long ridge can be an incredible place for an overnight camp, with glorious views across the lake. It's hard to believe it's only 30km from Sapporo City.

Mt. Ichankoppe spring ski touring and camping (Hokkaido, Japan)


Mt. Okotanpe (オコタンペ山 – 968m) is classed as a beginner’s mountain in the guidebook. This is probably a reasonable description if you are on snowshoes. If on skis, you’ll want to be confident of your steep uphill zigzagging and steep downhill tree-dodging skills, such that I’d class it more as […]

Mt. Okotanpe Ski Tour (Hokkaido, Japan)




Mt. Tokushubetsu – the mountain with the impossibly complex Japanese characters (徳舜瞥山) – is one of those classic Hokkaido backcountry hills. Similar to Mt. Shakotan further northeast, it makes for a fairly straight-forward half-day spring trip – one that beginners and experienced skiers will enjoy. Rick, Jeff and I headed […]

Hokkaido Ski Touring: Mt. Tokushunbetsu (1,309m) half-day spring ski tour


Mt. Fuppushi (風不死岳, 1,102m), around 60km due south of Sapporo City, is the oft-overlooked big brother to his shorter sibling Mt. Tarumae (樽前山 1,041m). But while everyone gapes at Mt. Tarumae's smoldering cork,  Mt. Fuppushi awaits the more intrepid climber, keen to tackle something steeper and more off the beaten track; it is recommended in most guide books only for experienced climbers in the winter.

Hokkaido Back Country Skiing: Mt. Fuppushi (Kitaone Route)