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    Helicopter from Tsugaike Kogen

Less a heli-skiing trip in the conventional sense - more a short heli-sightseeing tour of the Japan Alps, which then drops you off into a beautiful remote spot and you then get to ski and snowboard back into the resort. Nothing too intrepid and any reasonably confident intermediate should find it a breeze.

However, not only do you get to enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride over the sugar-coated mountains, but you reach parts of the range largely untroubled by others. In Hakuba, this is particularly valuable, as rules and regulations prevent you from exploring off-piste freely. As it lies within a national park, Tsugaike Kogen rightly has designated spots for helicopter landings, so you might be disappointed if you come expecting untracked snow and a completely off-the-beaten-track experience.  Don’t go if you’re dreaming of steep and deep virgin snow, they use the same drop zone and route, so unless you’re lucky enough to be the first down, fresh tracks are far from guaranteed. That said, undulating hills, breath-taking views and the sound of silence never fail to please.  

Tsugaike Kogen is six miles north of Happo Village, between Iwatake and Norikura ski resorts. This operation only sets up during the Spring season.