JP planning Hakuba ski/SOTA trip

My son wants to test out some JP powder this winter, and I am thinking there has to be some SOTA peaks in the area around Hakuba. i am curious if any of the regular JP activators who are familiar with the area could offer some suggestions, especially if they are peaks that are backcountry ski/splitnoard accessible!!

Thanks in advance, 73

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A trip to JA for SOTA is still a long way off for me, so I have no direct experience.
A quick look at the mapping says that at least one summit is just beyond one of the lifts - the top of the lift is inside the AZ. At Hakubavalley Kashimayari Ski Resort:
JA/NN-146 - not yet activated…
Good luck with the planning…
Peter VK3PF

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Hey Thanks Peter, yah I have also been wondering about peak JA/TY-008 which is beyond the lifts at Happo One. Curious how the resorts feel about an up and out to access that peak, and then ride back inbounds. It seems the rules in Japan around side country are not very friendly, although my experience in Hokkaido, side country seemed to be okay.

As for “not yet activated” peaks, in a region like this, I am assuming not activated is probably for some technical reasons. Having mapped/researched plenty of zero acks near me. It seems like there are quite a few activators in JA, so to see one unactivated makes me wonder, but I will definitely research those too!

JA is a fairly new association and despite many activators it has tons of peaks so it will take time. Hakuba resorts are pretty stricts when it comes to side-country within resort boundaries and you can loose your lift ticket. Access to the backcountry from the top of the resorts such as Happo, Goryu, Tsugaike is allowed unless conditions forces them to shut it. More and more resorts nowadays now require a that you file a form indicating where you want to go, your planned route, number of people in your party, experience, etc…This form is called Tozan Todoke.

Most of the SOTA peaks to the West of Hakuba will be very hard to access unless you have some very advanced winter mountaineering skills. Some peaks to the East and South will be easier. Sometimes low elevation peaks can be hard to access as well due to the necessary bushwhacking even in winter.

It normally snows and snows and snows and… Finding blue-bird days can be tough and breaking trail in waist-deep powder can seriously limit what you can access.

You may want to dial in over a few days what peaks you want to access versus your BC skills. Start with an easy one and get a feel for the conditions and go from there.

If you activate SSB, be ready for some frustration. You will not get the pile-ups you would get in the US or Europe. If you do CW then no problem.

Good luck and enjoy the japow!


No experience in that area, but curious if you investigated or have a JA license. I am in Japan a few times a year, but seems like the licensing take a bit of planning (so I haven’t done it yet). Not easy CEPT/reciprocal like other areas for us USA ops. Anyhow, hope you can make successful SOTA adventure out of the ski trip!

73, Jim/K7MK

Ken at JARL makes it very easy. Just need to use type-certified equipment rather than homebrew.

@K7MK yes i am also already lookong into the reciprocol licensing on the JARL page. Thanks for all the info @JG1XMV. What is 2m sinplex like?? I am able to do cw so good to go there as well. It might be a stretch but hoping for some VK/ZL chase action :).

@K7MK JIM: Application Procedure for Foreign Amateur it’s not really that hard in the grand scheme of things in reading this…

Hi Jamie,

Here some infos about SOTA operation in JA:

Sorry, I do not do much 2m simplex so I would not want to give inaccurate information. There is a FB SOTA Japan page, that may be of help to you as well. As mentioned by Andrew, the JARL is very helpful to get things done.

There are some active chasers in ZL & VK. Thanks for that as well as sometimes they are your only hope to get the 4 QSOs you need for a successful activation (in SSB, CW is another story). It has happened to me before to hike for 6 hours in the backcountry reach the summit and make 0 QSO. Thankfully the ski down was ok :slight_smile:

Hello everybody,
As Arnaud said, Ken is very helpful for give you the good information to get your JA license.
I hope you will have more chance than me in 2016, I went on 3 Sota summits and made zero qso (just in cw) :cry:.
Good luck
73 Laurent