Akakura First Tracks

An introduction to backcountry

22 Dec – 5 April


Our AKAKURA FIRST TRACKS program is an introductory and incremental all-day “level-up” event geared for ski, snowboard or telemark participants with strong intermediate (or higher) skiing/riding skills who want to know more about how to keep safe in the Backcountry while crushing some sweet lines. So, before we get the small group on too much of an incline, we cover the operation basics of avalanche transceiver, and probe use. Route-finding, hazard avoidance and avalanche phenomenon are also covered through the course of the day.

Once geared up, we start on low angle via a one-off Snowcat ride, then progress to medium angle special use areas by lift access, and then in the afternoon hike up and out of area to access legendary Akakura backcountry.

The Akakura First Tracks tour runs throughout the season with final re-confirmation of your space and snow conditions occurring on the night before your reservation.

Tour – Stage 1 (AM)

FIRST TRACKS, Low Angle Powder by SNOW CAT. Ease into the day. We’ll practice beacon use and get comfortable skiing or riding off trail. Initially, we forerun mostly private low-angle slopes. Everyone should do fine here, and then we move up to the next level.


By about 10 am the activity transitions to a more difficult stash of in-area runs, some of which are not generally used by our ski area partners. Here it is generally steeper and deeper. This gets you ready for the grand finale!

Thunderbird Tours - Akakura First Tracks
First Tracks CAT Tour

Tour – Stage 2 (PM)

In the afternoon we will hike up and out of the ski area. You will be issued snowshoes/collapsible poles if you need them. Some AT (alpine touring ski) gear is available for an additional fee. Somewhere along the trail, partake in fresh locally prepared BENTO lunch and suck up the local flavor.


This is the main event. We’ll find ourselves some sweet lines in a back bowl or treed run, and then you will be guided back to the resort.

Around 3:30 you’re free to grab a last run independent of your guide, or go straight for our hot spring bath.

AKAKURA FIRST TRACKS is a local pro-guided tour which features:

  • First Tracks off-piste runs by Snowcat,
  • Backcountry orientation,
  • Avalanche transceiver (etc.), (e use and training,
  • Guided skiing/riding in special access areas, and,
  • A guided hike up and out of area followed by:

BONUS 1: Hot spring (private bath by arrangement)
BONUS 2: Night ski ticket at Akakura Onsen Ski Resort


  • Hotel pick up
  • Welcome hot beverage
  • Meet and Greeted by guide,
  • Avalanche set (beacon, probe, shovel, day pack) rental
  • Off-trail riding and SNOWCAT safety briefing
  • Avalanche beacon use training session
  • SNOWCAT transportation
  • Ski lift passes required for Akakura and Backcountry access
  • Trail Lunch
  • Guide fees


Includes required Onsen and Kanko lift tickets
¥ 31,500
per person
  • Includes lift tickets
  • 7AM pick up
  • Upto 11 people
  • Night ticket
  • Hot Spring


Does not include required Onsen and Kanko lift tickets
¥ 26,500
per person
  • Includes lift tickets
  • 7AM pick up
  • Upto 11 people
  • Night ticket
  • Hot Spring


At the discretion of the lead guide, we reserve the right to modify the itinerary due to weather, snow conditions, or according to group skill level. For best results, be honest with yourself about your fitness level and skiing/riding competency. If the departure is cancelled, expect a refund less actual costs.

Refund Policy:
45 days out: 100% refund,
30 days out: 50% refund,
15 days out: 0% refund.


Tour Information

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