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Dancing Snow


New website coming

We've been quiet the last two seasons—for obvious reasons! But now, with Japan opening up again, we're excited to get going again, and will have our new website up shortly with lots of information for the coming season. We're looking forward to getting out in the Myoko backcountry with you! In the meantime, please contact us at info@dancingsnow.com if you have any questions, requests, etc.

Looking forward to seeing you soon in Myoko!

Software Update for Tracker 2 Transceivers:
Free at Dancing Snow!


Backcountry Access (BCA) has announced a software update for the world-renowned Tracker 2 transceiver, one of the most popular and reliable units available. The update improves transceiver performance in low-power mode, a special feature of the unit. This is not a recall or a mandatory upgrade, but an upgrade to ensure the best possible functioning of your unit. Upgrades will be available free of charge through Dancing Snow, a BCA authorized dealer.


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If a user leaves a Tracker 2 in the powered-on state for more than 12 hours with no input, it automatically switches to the low-power mode to conserve battery life. It then emits an audible beep every two minutes. Along with saving power, this also lets people know if a unit has inadvertently been left on while in storage.


Most people will probably never use this mode, turning their beacon on in the morning or at the trailhead for a transceiver check, then shutting down the unit at the end of the day. However, when entering the low-power mode, the transmit pulse can vary slightly from international standards. So, while there have been no accidents or problems associated with this fact, and only one other transceiver has had any problem in picking up signals from the Tracker 2, every owner should update the software in their Tracker 2.


For more details, these links will give you the official release from BCA on the update, and an FAQ sheet as well.


To update your transceiver, just contact us at sales@dancingsnow.com, or call at 090-1433-1247. You can send your Tracker 2 transceiver cash-on-delivery by your favorite delivery service; we’ll update the software and return the transceiver to you free of charge.

See us if you need a new wire!
The BOA closure system found on snowboard boots, our Tubbs snowshoes, boots, golf shoes, running shoes and a whole lot more is a tough, clever way to get tightly into your footwear. Boa
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The wires can break (apparently the twist unit can get bashed to death by some of you mad tree bouncers)—although it doesn't happen that often. If it does, just come by Dancing Snow. We've been trained, we have the parts (which are free), and we can get you back in pristine form and ready to head back out on the hill. The labor will be affordable, too—just buy a beer and relax while we rethread the wires! (or a coffee, or a new BCA avalanche transceiver. We aren't fussy). Let us know if we can help!

Lots of fun stuff for the snow
Dancing Snow is here to guide you up into the mountains, but we're also ready with a variety of things you'll need to be safe and have fun when you're traveling in the hills:
· Topographic maps of the area, with English key (above; so you know which hill is which!)
· BCA snow safety gear: beacons, shovels, probes, airbags
· K2 skis, poles, boots
· Tubbs snowshoes
· Fits ski and hiking socks
· Ultra-light Blue Ice ski-use harnesses
· Myoko-original items from Maruni Jeans

Get your new skis!
Ready for some new skis just right for the Myoko snows? You can get those shiny new boards right here at Dancing Snow!

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K2 Pon2oonWe can get you set up with all the skis from K2 and Line, put on the bindings of your choice, get them waxed and ready and hold them here for you until you come to visit! We can also ship around Japan as well.

And, if you like, we can also store your skis right here in Myoko for you over the summer. We’ll put on a thick summer wax to protect the edges and bases, store them, then have them ready for the coming season. Just contact us at info@dancingsnow.com if you'd like more information, or want to place an order.

We also carry the full line of BCA snow safety equipment, K2 and BCA poles, helmets, skins, Tubbs snowshoes, and some fun Myoko-original clothing and goods in our center.

Day-tour Menu:
One-Day Tours
We tour regularly to peaks accessible from all the major ski areas in Myoko. We'll take the area lift as high as we can, then hike up to the summit—at 1,935 to 2,100 meters. This means a climb of about 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the group and the destination.

Some courses are easier than others; if you think you're ready to try moving off the groomed courses, we have a plan for you (let's talk!). And if you're experienced and want something longer, steeper and (hopefully) deeper, we have that, too. Take a closer look at the courses here. You can also see the courses we're thinking about each week here.

We feature small groups and a high ratio of guides to guests. Normally one guide will be with up to five people maximum, and we often add a second guide with five. And we don't get much larger than that.

You will need some basic equipment (rentals are available) and proper clothing—see this list for more information.

Ready to go into the Myoko backcountry? Just make your reservation right here, or email us at info@dancingsnow.com

Tour schedule
Come to our center just below the Myokokogen Sky Cable Gondola at Akakura Kanko Resort. We do have parking available in front of the center. There we'll go over the day's tour, weather and snow, talk a bit about safety, make sure everyone has everything they need, and answer any questions you have. We'll hand out lunches at this time as well. We'll go by van to the departure point, usually one of local lifts.

Your day tour fee includes:
• Guide fee
• Insurance*
• Lift tickets
• Lunch
• Transportation

For some tours we may need to depart early; we'll let you know ahead of time in this case.

Private tours
We are always ready to create special tours for an individual or group, to meet your specific needs and interests. Just let us know what you'd like to do, and special requests for terrain, activities, or even food, and we'll be very happy to develop a package for you.

One-day tours ¥22,000 per person.
Includes everything: guide fee, insurance, lift tickets, lunch*, and transportation. Rentals extra, but usually at a reduced rate for tour group members.
 *One-day tour lunches are simple (but filling) Japanese-style bentos; vegetarian and other versions are available.


What you'll need
If you don't have a lot of backcountry equipment, rentals are available at Dancing Snow for many basic items—backpacks, snowshoes, avalanche gear, folding poles, etc. There are some things, though, that you'll need to prepare:

Required Tour Equipment
Ski equipment (skis, board, boots, poles; some rentals available); skins/snowshoes (for skiers, please use skins for your own skis, and ones which you have tested prior to taking part in the tour); a waterproof/breathable jacket and pants; full layered wear: under and middle layers of wool or synthetic material (for all your wear, NO COTTON please!), gloves (with spare pair highly suggested), hat(s), goggles, sunglass; lunch (normally we will provide); plenty of water or other drinks; emergency food; shovel, avalanche beacon and probe (we'll make sure you have these).
Helmet, thermos with warm drink/water; compass; 1/25,000 scale map (we have the two main topographic maps, with English key, available at just ¥1,000 for one, ¥1,500 the pair—you'll learn a lot). Rental is available for some items. When in doubt, just ask!

The Peaks

Maeyama (1932m)
Our home course, accessed from the top of the Akakura Kanko Ski Area. A 400-meter hike up (and it's pretty steep on the main slope!), lunch at the top, then more than 1,000 meters down through spectacular beech forest.
Mt. Mitahara (2300m)
The longest course in the area; a descent of more than 10km, through fantastically varied terrain including open slopes, beech, birch and pine forests, and a winding mountain road.

Akakura-yama (2141m)
A great tree run, above Ikenotaira Ski Area. We usually approach from the Suginohara Ski Area on a beautiful hike through the woods, or from Ikenotaira for newer climbers. This is also a safe alternative when snow conditions elsewhere are questionable. Depending on the snow, we may ski all the way back to Dancing Snow.

Kanna-san (1909m)
A totally natural tour—no lifts and no crowds. Challenging for the approach, the hard work is rewarded by a big view, open slopes at the top and great tree runs all the way down.
Kurohime-yama (2053m)
Another solid climb on this course; 900 meters from the top of Kurohime Ski Area. The slopes can be moderately steep, but often with some of the finest powder that falls in the area. Tours to Sadoyama continue to the secondary peak within Kurohime.
  Other destinations:
For complete beginners—even those with no ski experience—we use light telemark gear and head off into the woods nearby for snow hiking. Other courses include Sasagamine, a vast, open area behind Myoko-san surrounded by mountains; the famous shrine and spectacular peaks of Togakushi (see more on the hiking page)
Spring and Fall multi-day tours

Mt. Hiuchi (2462m)
The highest peak within Niigata Prefecture, located just to the north of Mt Myoko. We tour up to the hut at the base several times in the spring. Skiing is from the peak back down to the southwest, or to the north all the way to Sasakura Onsen.
Tateyama (2300m and up)
This huge Alpine area is a playground for hundreds of people in late November, and through the spring. A little hike, though, and suddenly it feels like the mountains are all yours. Plus a real onsen mountain lodge experience at the end of the day, and always a party around the fireplace. A favorite of the whole Dancing Snow team!
Dancing Snow Tour Schedule
About backcountry activities
Please read and understand the following before taking part in a tour:

1. Depending on weather and snow conditions, tour destinations may be changed, or the tour cancelled.

2. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding involves the risk of injury or death. For that reason, we require all guests to sign a waiver before taking part in backcountry activities (a pdf version can be found here). At the same time, our guides have training in first aid, avalanche forecasting and rescue, and are dedicated to providing the most enjoyable, well-planned experience possible

3. Dancing Snow clients living in Japan are automatically included in our group insurance policy at no additional charge (please contact us if you would like more details on coverage). We also strongly suggest that all those taking part in backcountry tours have their own active insurance policy which covers outdoor activities.

4. If you do have a chronic health condition, we appreciate your letting us know. We know that many people can take part in outdoor activities despite some conditions, and we respect your ability to judge if a tour will be within your abilities. Your information will be kept strictly secret, but will be very useful in helping us respond should anything happen during the day.

Note on personal information
To ensure the safety of our guests, we do ask for personal information including telephone numbers, emergency contacts, etc., as part of registration for lessons and tours. We will not use this information for anything other than this purpose, nor will we release any personal information to any third parties.

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