Gassan Ski

Overall Rating

Gassan Ski

Gassan Ski5.0/54
Gassan Ski5.0 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Myoko Kogen Powder Packages

Gassan Ski

Overall Rating

Gassan Ski5.0/54
Gassan Ski5.0 out of 5 based on 4 reviews

Gassan Ski

Gassan-Ski are a team of enthusiast mountain guides in the Yamagata area that can create a bespoke package for you. Gassan Ski offer backcountry ski touring and split boarding missions at Mt Gassan and surrounding peaks, snowcat skiing tours at Gassan, resort and backcountry guiding at Zao Onsen Ski Resort, or show you the charm of some of the smaller and lesser known ski areas around Yamagata and Miyagi. Gassan-Ski offers day tours as well as multi-day trips that incorporate lodging at Pole Pole near Gassan or other accommodation.

Refreshingly Different

12/07/2024

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Refreshingly Different

12/07/2024
We need a shorter variant of this tour & it was such a breath of fresh air to hang out with Waka and Nobi. This tour provided local ski-jo experiences, nice Japanese food, some backcountry ski touring, and lovely local guides.

Rather than taking a cat shuttle, on our first day we went backcountry ski touring on Yudonosan. The approach was mellow and long before we got to some pitchier sections in the trees, and then up to the vast alpine area. It was a spectacular fine day which is rare in winter, and we could appreciate the vastness of the three mountains and the many backcountry options, and it was easy to see why people would worship these mountains. The snow was nice in the morning but by the afternoon it had gone a little sour. We got a few nice lines in which probably weren’t as pitchy as we’d like, although conservatism is somewhat common with Japanese guides and we probably should have made more suggestions to see what was feasible. It was a holiday weekend and considering the nice weather, there were lots of locals out ski touring and snowshoeing so the ski-out was very tracked.

We also visited two little ski-jos where we could mingle with the locals. Yudonosan was teeming considering the holiday weekend, but there were fresh lines in the off-piste areas. It’s a mostly mellow ski area but it was still fun.

Asahi Shizenkan was really quiet and we had the lovely tree skiing to ourselves.

We also went to local ski area in Miyagi, Sumikawa, where we had a play and took a snowcat shuttle and skinned up to the top of Mt Zao to see the rime covered shrine which was pretty cool.

Staying at Pole Pole was part of the very personalised boutique experience and the staff were incredibly warm and hospitable. The cottage was lovely and it was great to have a table and living area and kitchen, although we didn’t use the latter much, other than to make a coffee, have a drink, and to eat the prepared breakfast. The twin beds were very comfortable, which is not something you take for granted in Japan, and there were both western and Japanese style pillows. Dinner the first night started with sashimi and a few other treats which then morphed into shabu shabu with wagyu beef. The bar had a nice selection of beer, sake and whiskey. Dinner the next night was also impressive and included wagyu steak, fish, rice and other accompaniments, topped off with ice-cream and more beautiful hospitality. One afternoon we had a soak in the onsen bath which was a relaxing after a day out backcountry touring.

This was a great tour to get away from the hordes and off the beaten path of international ski destinations, to experience the lesser known real Japan.
See our video here

Refreshing

14/05/2024

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Refreshing

14/05/2024
So Much Backcountry Terrain
Our trusty guide
Great food at Pole Pole
What a breath of fresh air to hang out with Waka and Nobi for a few days. We’d been in Hokkaido, where many parts were rather busy and internationalised, and if it wasn’t for the snow, we might have wondered whether we were in Japan or not. This tour provided local ski-jo experiences, nice Japanese food, some backcountry ski touring, and lovely local guides.

Gassan Ski is a very boutique outfit that’s still in its infancy so processes are not fully cemented as yet, so the experiences can be quite flexible and Waka is so incredibly enthusiastic to ensure that you have a great time.

Rather than taking a cat shuttle, on our first day we went backcountry ski touring on Yudonosan. The approach was mellow and long before we got to some pitchier sections in the trees, and then up to the vast alpine area. It was a spectacular fine day which is rare in winter, and we could appreciate the vastness of the three mountains and the many backcountry options, and it was easy to see why people would worship these mountains. The snow was nice in the morning but by the afternoon it had gone a little sour. We got a few nice lines in which probably weren’t as pitchy as we’d like, although conservatism is somewhat common with Japanese guides and we probably should have made more suggestions to see what was feasible. It was a holiday weekend and considering the nice weather, there were lots of locals out ski touring and snowshoeing so the ski-out was very tracked.

The next day we visited two little ski-jos where we could mingle with the locals. Yudonosan was teeming considering the holiday weekend, but there were fresh lines in the off-piste areas. It’s a mostly mellow ski area and you can see our Yudonosan overview for more information and our review.

We stopped at a cute Japanese restaurant for lunch and then onto Asahi Shizenkan which was really quiet and we had the lovely tree skiing to ourselves. You can see our Shizenkan overview and review. Afterwards we visited a unique onsen.

The next day we went to another local ski area in Miyagi, Sumikawa where we had a play and took a snowcat shuttle and skinned up to the top of Mt Zao to see the rime covered shrine which was pretty cool.

Staying at Pole Pole was also a very personalised boutique experience and the interactions with the staff were so warm and friendly. See our Pole Pole review.

Just to reiterate, this was a nice tour to get away from the hordes and off the beaten path of international ski destinations, to experience the lesser known real Japan.
See our video here

Fantastic snow, team and accomodation

Anne
13/02/2024
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Fantastic snow, team and accomodation

Anne
13/02/2024
Would you like a local experience, where you hear japanese in the lift and not english, then Yamagata is a great destination. Enjoy fantastic snow, experience snow-monsters, onsen and local food. Live at the Pole Pole farm either either as a sole traveller or in a cosy house. The service was top, breakfast got served in the house and the guides english was superb. We experienced different spots with various difficulty levels which was enjoyable. I would go again and recommend.
See our video here

Excellent Zao Day Tripper Guide/Powder Paradise Found

SH Murakoshi
16/01/2024
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    N/A
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Month:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Excellent Zao Day Tripper Guide/Powder Paradise Found

SH Murakoshi
16/01/2024
On top of Zao Onsen
Oishii Lunch
Wakatsuki (Waka) Yu is the best guide ever! If you're ever in Zao Onsen or in the Yamagata area, Zao Guided Day Tours is a must. You will find powder paradise. We were blessed with a bluebird powder day to snowboard among the snow monsters. Although he said it wasn't a good season for snow, we found some freshies. And, there was good coverage. Waka used his phone and a go-pro to video my rides, which were well filmed. We went through some trees and found some Ja-pow. Waka carried a tea and a hot snack drink, oshiruko or zenzai. He set up his skis in the powder for a mid-morning break among the trees. It was the most amazing guided experience I've ever had, and I've gone heli-boarding with a guide in Whistler and Teluride, had a guide through back country Jackson Hole, and also Asahidake (no trails). Waka stands out as best of them all!

Being a very fast telemark skier, Waka could get through flats easily and would always give me a push or pull (as a snowboarder).

We found some nice trees and the steepest slope, Yokokura Wall 38 degrees, at the end of the day.
After riding, we found a local fish shop that also cooked and served the freshest seafood for lunch! It stood in the shadow of the Kaminoyama Castle and a lovely bakery with mochi. We visited both.

Waka had some Japanese glove tips that the guides use, and we went looking for the special 850 yen riding gloves. Then we visited a local farmer's market and a beautiful onsen on the way back to Zao.

This was a magical day with the knowledge, skill, expertise, kindness and generosity of Wakatsuki Yu of the Zao Guided Day Tours! I recommend them highly!!! Five stars *****!!! Domo arigato!!!!
See our video here
select
Zao Guided Day Tours DETAILS
Price p/p Sample price is based on resort guiding at Zao Onsen with a private group of 3 people for 2025 season.
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 96

ZAO RESORT GUIDED DAY TOURS
Private groups only | Max 6 in a group

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p Sample price is based on resort guiding at Zao Onsen with a private group of 3 people for 2025 season.
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 96
Ski Gassan Guides offer a full day of resort guiding at Zao Onsen. Ski with local guides that know the secret stashes! PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY - sample price is per person if 3 in your group More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2025
Min Days: From 1
Price: Enquire
Availability: Filling
DETAILS
Yamagata & Miyagi Adventure DETAILS
Price p/p Sample price is based on 6-night package, twin-share (4 in group).
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 2,880

GUIDED RESORT & CAT ASSISTED BC TOUR
Customisable From 5 Nights

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p Sample price is based on 6-night package, twin-share (4 in group).
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 2,880
This private adventure tour incorporates snowcat assisted backcountry skiing/riding plus a few ski areas in the prefectures of Yamagata & adjacent Miyagi. You will be guided & hosted by local English speaking Japanese guides who will provide an authentic cultural experience. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2025
Min Days: From 4
Price: Enquire
Availability: Filling
DETAILS
Gassan Backcountry Day Tours DETAILS
Price p/p Sample price is based on backcountry guiding at Gassan resort with a private group of 4 people for the 2025 season.
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 125

GASSAN BACKCOUNTRY GUIDED DAY TOURS
Private groups only | Max 5 in a group

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p Sample price is based on backcountry guiding at Gassan resort with a private group of 4 people for the 2025 season.
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 125
If you are looking for something different & you love backcountry skiing, Ski Gassan Guides offer day guiding to Gassan ski resort in Yamagata. This resort gets so much snow the lifts don't spin until April so it is ideal for backcountry touring plus there is a snowcat for access as well. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2025
Min Days: From 1
Price: Enquire
Availability: Enquire
DETAILS
Yamagata Powder Tour DETAILS
Price p/p Sample price is based on 3-night package with sample inclusions (4 in group).
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 1,408

GASSAN SNOWCAT + RESORT TOUR
Customisable From 3 Nights

Location: Japan | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Off-Piste, On-Piste, Backcountry, Sidecountry
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Price p/p Sample price is based on 3-night package with sample inclusions (4 in group).
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 1,408
This customisable private adventure tour incorporates snowcat assisted backcountry at the mighty Gassan plus a day at Zao Onsen & the option to visit a lesser known Yamagata ski area. You will be guided & hosted by local English speaking Japanese guides. Sample price per person based on group of 4 for 3 nights. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 01 - Mar 31, 2025
Min Days: From 3
Price: Enquire
Availability: Filling
DETAILS
1Total Results: 4Total Pages: 1