As the name suggests, this is not a place for the faint hearted. With tremendous snowfall, deep drop offs and rugged terrain, Kurodake is a little experienced winter mountain, making it ideal for those wishing something special. Situated in the Daisetsu-zan National Park, the largest of Hokkaido’s national parks, it is a popular summer destination for Japanese and foreign tourists, with amazing scenery – gorges, waterfalls, springs, flora and fauna. However when the north winds blow, this mountain transforms into a technical marvel.

Kurodake is not seen as a general ski destination, primarily only ridden by experienced local Japanese in winter, but is best known for ice climbing, mountaineering and technical descents. With the main peaks straddling the highest mountain range in Hokkaido, the lowest recorded temperatures, leading to the lightest and driest powder on the island. Accessed by Ropeway, the park has a developed hut system, translating into either day or multi overnight excursions into the backcountry.

This is the type of terrain the team at THoP search for; these unexpected icons of thrill riding.

THoP offers limited number guided tours for experienced skiers and snowboarders, aimed for those wishing to test their ability over more advanced Japanese technical terrain. The Ropeway is closed from late December to early February, however due to its location, the season at Kurodake runs through to May.