Last weekend Niseko United opened as scheduled. Our other local resort Niseko Moiwa opened as well. We decided to head up Grand Hirafu on Sunday and were pleasantly surprised to find that we could ride all the way to the base of the mountain!
It was amazing skiing to the base and not having the Niskeo Alpen Hotel there at all. With the Alpen gone and Muwa Niseko at the base of the Kogen area now almost completed the view of the village is quite different.
The Center 4 Ace #2 and the Ace #3 lifts are the only lifts operating at this point. The highest point accessible was the Center course. The piste condition was surprisingly good all the way down and we definitely regretted not joining the fun on Saturday as it must have been powder top to bottom!
The resorts are not linked as this stage so we decided to drive over to Hanazono Niseko and check that out as well.
It was surprising to see that downloading was in place as there there was not enough snow for the resort to opening the lower runs.
The Gondola was only operating to the first station. There is a great coverage for beginners at least 😉 We jumped on the lift and made it to the top of Hana 3. The Yotei Sunset course was steep and fun. There was enough snow just but definitely not a course for beginners and even some intermediate riders at this stage of the season! We need a lot of snowfall to open up the mountain and guessing at least another 50 – 75cm+.