Posted on Jan 6, 2022
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ENE
Posted on Jan 6, 2022
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ENE
7.6km

Distance

3.5 hours

Time

700m

Ascent

838m

Highest point

5.5/10
Difficulty
Snow Icon | Hokkaido Wilds
Jan-Mar

Best season

Neopara ネオパラ (838m) is an otherwise unmarked peak on official topomaps, just east of Teine-yama 手稲山 (1023m). In the past, Neopara used to have a ski slope as part of the Teine ski area. This ski slope is now gone, and the eastern side of the peak is a popular destination for Sapporo resident backcountry skiers keen for some good backcountry skiing close to town. From about half way up the route, there are expansive views of the sprawling metropolis below. The skiing is excellent on the descent, with a number of good lappable slopes with those with plenty of time.

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

This 838m peak sits just east of the main Teine ski area next to Sapporo City. The peak itself used to be home to one extra lift as part of the ski area itself, but it’s no longer running. The ski touring route up the peak starts in the small hamlet of Nishino, on the eastern side of the mountain.

General notes

Teine Neopara is a classic favourite for backcountry skiers in Sapporo City. It is extremely accessible, and navigation is, for the most part, relatively straightforward. In addition to great snow, the route offers fantastic views across the city. As such, it’s not uncommon to see plenty of skiers on this route even on weekdays. The peak is variously referred to locally as Neopara or Dai-ni-teine (2nd Teine).

Hut
None
Route details

Start hiking from just west of the Nishino Water Treatment Plant. Skiers will generally follow the forestry road to around the overhead transmission lines. Here the road heads north, but keep heading west-northwest along the stream. At around 315m altitude, you’ll encounter the forestry road again, but just keep heading along the stream. At 420m, you’ll hit another forestry road but again keep on heading along the stream northwest. There’s usually an open stream at this point, marked clearly with ribbons and rope. At around the 450m point, the gully widens out, and you’re now at the base of what’s known as the No. 3 Slope (第三斜面), to the climber’s left. You can either zigzag straight up the slope, but it’s easier to wrap around the climber’s right of the slope.

Continue west-northwest, crossing a small stream, before arriving at the No. 2 Slope (第二斜面), a large open slope starting at around 650m in altitude. Climb to the right of this slope in the trees. This part of the route has unobstructed views of the city, Ishikari Bay, and the Kabato Range far in the distance to the east. Beyond the No. 2 Slope, the forest gets a little tighter as you approach the summit, and the No. 1 Slope is quite steep – kickturn your way up to the flat, non-descript summit. Once on the summit plateau, either hunt for the summit sign, or head west for 50m to the abandoned but well-loved summit rest house. The door is not locked. There’s no heating or toilets in the resthouse, but it can be a good respite from the wind.

On the descent, take care not to end up heading too far to the east (i.e., north of the uptrack). At the bottom of slopes, keep heading towards the southeast. Also take care in March and April on the No. 2 Slope – deep glide cracks are common.

Route Timing
Up | 2.5hrs
Down | 0.5hrs

Skiers familiar with the route will generally complete a quick up-and-back trip in three hours. If the weather and snow is good, however, the upper slopes are well suited to lapping, so allow plenty of time.

Transport

Public transport:

This route is accessible by public transport. Take one of the following JR buses headed for Nakasubashi (中州橋行), from either the Miya-no-zawa, Hassamu-minami, or Kotoni subway stations on the Tozai line. You’ll get off at the Nishino 8-jo 8-chome (西野8条8丁目) bus stop (here). From there, it is a 800m walk to the trailhead.

  • Miya43 (宮43)
  • Hatsu43 (発43)
  • Koto43 (琴43)
By car:

There is a limited amount of space along the road, just before the end of the snow clearing, for car parking (around here). We recommend getting to the trailhead early (before 9am) in order to get a spot to park.

Physical maps
Official Topo Map: Teineyama (手稲山) – map no. NK-54-14-14-2

NOTE: The official 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

Aspect
The main aspect skiers are exposed to on the descent and/or ascent is East. Other aspects that may also be encountered while following the route outlined on this page include: Northeast. Therefore, keep an eye on the weather forecast a few days ahead of your trip to monitor wind, snow, and temperature. Also, since this route is in the general vicinity of the Shiribeshi area, consider looking at the Japan Avalanche Network weekly avalanche bulletins or the daily Niseko Avalanche Information website. These may give extra insight into avalanche conditions in the greater area around the route.

Snow and
route safety

Watch out for glide-cracks in the snow around the 650m mark later in the season. At around 420m in the gully, watch out for weak snow bridges over the stream.

Teine Neopara Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

B

35

Time ascending

C

3

Technicality

Altitude

C

3

Hazards

C

6

Navigation

C

6

Totals

53/100

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

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Teine Neopara
Onsen nearby

There is a small super-local public bath near Kotoni Station called Fumi-no-yu 文の湯 (location, 450yen), or a larger public bath even nearer the station called Ogi-no-yu 扇の湯 (location, 450yen).

Extra Resources

See the write-up (in Japanese) in the Yuki-yama Guide (ISBN: 978-4894538047) from page 102-105.

Guide Options

If you’d like to ski this route and/or explore other hills around Sapporo together with a local certified guide, get in touch with either Wataru Nara or Takao Miyashita. They’re both born-and-bred Sapporo-based guides. They both cut their teeth on peaks including those around Sapporo City, have taken part in major international expeditions, and are senior figures in the local guiding and outdoor associations here in Hokkaido. See a full list of English-speaking Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA) guides on the HMGA website here

Yamano-Makochan's Video Report
Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

Route blurb from the Hokkaido Yukiyama Guide (2015), p. 102 (translated by Hokkaido Wilds)

There’s no name for this peak on the map, just east of Teine-yama. Locally it’s referred to as Neopara or The 2nd Teine-yama. The name Neopara comes from the fact there’s a slope near the Paradise Hut (part way up Teine-yama) called Paradise Slope. So this ‘Neo’ Para is a play on words – the ‘New’ Paradise slope. It’s really easy to get to from Sapporo City, and as the closest backcountry ski spot to the city, it’s popular with locals even on weekdays.

The weather forecast was for a beautiful, if not a little too warm, spring day. Greg and Mari were up for a hike, so we decided on a close-to-home backyard ski tour up Teine Neopara. 

We met up at the trailhead, and already the day was warming up. As we set off, a couple of other skiers were arriving. We were certainly not going to have the mountain to ourselves today.

Like usual, the route was well-trodden. We would follow skin tracks all the way to the summit today. We chatted as we hiked on autopilot.

It didn’t take long before we emerged from the thicker lower forest to the No. 3 and No. 2 slopes. Sapporo City sprawled out behind us. Up here, it was delightfully quiet, far away from the madding crowds of the metropolis.

The day just got warmer and warmer in the direct sun. In the shadows, however, there was a cold sun crust from yesterday. We were hoping we’d not suffer too much on the descent.

At the summit, we stopped in at the abandoned rest house for a quick break. I sent up the drone, capturing some shots of the Teine ski area to the west, and Sapporo City to the east. It’s at times like this we are reminded how lucky we are to live in Sapporo – a big city, but close to such amazing oudoors.

It was cold in the rest house, and we didn’t spend too long inside before getting back outside into the warm spring sun.

On the descent, we were either struggling with breakable crust in the shadows, or grippy warm snow in the sun. To be outside with those views though, made up for the average snow.

We blazed down the slopes, and soon made it to the forestry road. Instead of taking the skintrack down through the thickets, we skated and sped down the more circuitous, gradually descending but wider forestry road. 

A grand short day out. Next time will be at a colder time of year!

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this route to Teine Neopara, or others nearby? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback, reports, or queries here. Thanks!

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Teine Neopara Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

B

35

Time ascending

C

3

Technicality

Altitude

C

3

Hazards

C

6

Navigation

C

6

Totals

53/100

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.