PRESS RELEASE | donates $9,500 to the Hokkaido outdoors

Posted on Apr 5, 2024
Posted on Apr 5, 2024
0 0
Sapporo, JAPAN | Northern Japan outdoor website and voluntary association announced Friday charitable donations of 1,438,000yen (US$9,500) to mountain safety and infrastructure initiatives in Hokkaido. Funds were made up of Rob and Chris's proceeds from sales of Niseko Backcountry, website reader donations, personal donations by Niseko Backcountry co-author Chris to top up some causes, and a generous gifting match by Chris's employer for his personal donations.

Why donate? and the authors of Niseko Backcountry made a profit of about 800,000yen in 2023. This has allowed us to finally realize a dream we’ve had since launching in 2018 – have be a conduit of financial support for the sustainability, safety, and accessibility of Hokkaido’s wild places.

Sales of Niseko Backcountry and readers’ donations to the Hokkaido Wilds website have made that possible. We can’t thank enough everyone who has contributed. The donations below were made possible by you.


Total: 200,000yen (US$1,300)

Okuteine Hut

50,000yenHokkaido University Wandervogel ClubHut details

Okuteine Yama-no-ie Hut, maintained by the students of the Hokkaido University Wandervogel Club is a historic hut nestled in the Sapporo foothills. Our donation goes towards maintenance and upkeep of this amazing ski-in-ski-out winter oasis.

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

Hütte Muine

50,000yenHokkaido University Mountain Ski ClubHut details

Muine Hut is another Hokkaido University-managed hut, with the day-to-day maintenance handled by the Hokkaido University Mountain Ski Club. This historic hut is one we’d love to see remain for another 100years.

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

Shokanso Hut

50,000yenMashike Alpine ClubHut details

With an ageing, dwindling population, Mashike Town needs all the help they can get to ensure this beautiful hut remains standing and in good shape for users. While the donation itself went to the town council (for Shokanso hut upkeep), these funds will be made available to the Mashike Alpine Club when needed for upkeep and maintenance.

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

Teshio-dake Hut

50,000yenShibetsu CityHut details

In cooperation with officials at Shibetsu City, we ordered and arranged the shipping of 3 cubic meters (1650kg) of shirakaba white-birch firewood to the hut (to be delivered once the snow melts in late May). It’s a long trek into the hut in winter on skis (see our report here), but offers an incredible getaway for anyone keen to walk in. Like many huts in Hokkaido, there’s no charge for overnight stays, so we hope our donation of firewood helps offset upkeep costs.

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation


Total: 670,000yen (US$4,500)

Japan Avalanche Network (NPO)


Our goal with this donation is to help JAN in increasing the frequency of the Niseko-Yotei-Yoichi-Shiribeshi zone forecasts moving forward.

Donation breakdown: 25% Chris’s personal proceeds from Niseko Backcountry sales, 25% Chris’s personal top-up, 50% Microsoft corporate matching of Chris’ personal donations.

Niseko-Annpuri Avalanche Accident Prevention Strategy Committee


This Committee administers the Niseko Rules and the comprehensive backcountry gate system in the Niseko Annupuri network of ski resorts. We admire the passion behind making lift-accessed backcountry safe in the area.

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation


Total: 200,000yen (US$1,350)

Yotei-zan Foothills Firefighting Association


The Search and Rescue Unit from the Yotei-zan Foothills Firefighter’s Association is one of the main first-responders in any mountain search and rescue operation in the greater Niseko area. It’s made up of the municipal fire departments of Kutchan, Rankoshi, Niseko, Makkari, Rusutsu, Kimobetsu, and Kyogoku. If a backcountry skier in the greater Niseko area is in distress and calls 119 (particularly outside of resort sidecountry areas), these brave firefighters will be the ones out in all conditions rescuing them. We donated 200,000yen worth of search and rescue equipment (insulated mats for use in rescue litters).

Donation breakdown: 100% Hokkaido Wilds Foundation


Total: 368,000yen (US$2,500)

Niseko Area Mountain Bike Association (NPO)


Hokkaido lacks good mountain bike trails. The Niseko Area Mountain Bike Association (NAMBA) is changing that, with a comprehensive network of trails in the Niseko area for a start. See all their updates on Instagram or Facebook (or their website).

Donation breakdown: 25% Chris’s personal proceeds from Niseko Backcountry sales, 25% Chris’s personal top-up, 50% Microsoft corporate matching of Chris’ personal donations.

ABOUT HOKKAIDOWILDS.ORG is a non-profit voluntary association that exists to inspire people to explore and enjoy Hokkaido and the surrounding areas’ extraordinary outdoors by ski, bicycle, foot and canoe in an informed, safe and responsible way. In addition to detailed written route guides with great photography, we also provide GPS route files, custom English-language GeoPDF topographical maps (using Japan government map data), and safety notes. is run by a Hokkaido-loving group of authors and contributors (see them all here). co-founder Rob Thomson is no stranger to adventure travel and expeditions. He previously cycled from Japan to Switzerland, and still holds the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard (12,159km).

Rob Thomson (Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder,
TEL: +81 (0)80-4228-6132 (Japan mobile)
Instagram: @hokkaidowilds

Comments | Queries | Discussion

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See More Like this

Download may take some time

Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

We’ve got affiliate links on to help fund the Hokkaido Wilds foundation.

The Foundation gets a small commission on sales from affiliate links, but we only link to stuff we think is worth checking out for people keen on the outdoors in Hokkaido and Japan.

The Hokkaido Wilds Foundation is a fund where 100% of funds are donated to Hokkaido volunteer groups involved in sustainable, safe, and responsible access to the Hokkaido outdoors.

Learn more here


Filter by location

About Filters

REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

DIFFICULTY: How strenuous a route is, and how technical it is. Full details here.

FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

MAIN ASPECT: Which cardinal direction the primary consequential slope is facing, that you might encounter on the route. More details here.

ROUTE TAGS: An eclectic picking of other categories that routes might belong to.

SEARCH BY LOCATION: You can find routes near your current location – just click on the crosshairs (). You may need to give permission to to know your GPS location (don’t worry, we won’t track you). Or, type in a destination, such as Niseko or Sapporo or Asahikawa etc.

Please let us know how we can make it easier to narrow down your search. Contact Rob at with your suggestions.

PRESS RELEASE | donates $9,500 to the Hokkaido outdoors Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending















GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.