“Good quality information about Hokkaido backcountry ski routes simply doesn’t exist in English,” explained founder Rob Thomson. “The Hokkaido Wilds changes that. Our aim is to be one point of inspiration for independent and experienced backcountry skiers wanting to get off the beaten track in the Hokkaido winter hills.” Ski touring routes on The Hokkaido Wilds were previously hosted on Thomson’s personal blog 14degrees.org. He provides the information on The Hokkaido Wilds for free: “When I plan to do a ski tour, I’ll do my due diligence by collecting intel on huts, established routes, maps, locations etc. from local, freely available Japanese sources. Essentially I’m just sharing my planning notes and trip reports that would otherwise just collect dust.”
Features of The Hokkaido Wilds ski touring database
- Location-based search (find routes near you).
- Route guide plus photos.
- GPX and KML route files.
- Printable PDF topographical maps and official topo map references.
- Trailhead locations including public transport information.
- Hokkaido mountain hut information (https://hokkaidowilds.org/huts).
- Onsen hotsprings nearby each trailhead.
- Safety tips and frequently asked questions, etc.
About The Hokkaido Wilds
The Hokkaido Wilds is a non-profit website that exists to inspire people to explore and enjoy Hokkaido’s extraordinary outdoors by ski, bicycle and foot in an informed and responsible way.
About Rob Thomson
Hokkaido Wilds founder Rob Thomson, has lived in Japan for 12 years (8 in Hokkaido), and works as an assistant professor of media and communications at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo City. He worked with Polish skier and graphic designer Dominika Gan on the design and layout of the site. Rob previously cycled from Japan to Switzerland, and still holds the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard (12,159km).
For a collection of photos for use in articles and blog posts, please take a look at Rob’s Hokkaido Ski Touring Highlights album on Flickr here. Images in this album are licences under a Creative Commons attribution license. A sample of the images are below.