Skiing Facilities in Rusutsu

Rusutsu is considered by many as the best ski resort in Hokkaido. Three mountains make up 1700 hectares with 37 ski runs and 42km of groomed slopes. The extensive lift system consists of 18 lifts and includes 4 Gondolas, 7 Quads, 5 Doubles, and 1 Single. There are also 3 magic carpets for children.

The mountains at Rusutsu are:

  • Mt Isola: This is the top skiing spot at Rusutsu. It is located furthest from the main accommodation area. It has unique terrain that is rare in other resorts. The mountain sides have perfectly groomed runs, and some of the best tree skiing locations. The scenery is spectacular, with long runs that include gullies. The tree skiing lines are also accessible straight from the lifts, in between intermediate piste.
  • West Mountain: This is located closest to the main resort. It is the smallest of the Rusutsu Mountains. The runs are shorter, but feature great pitches. It has a half pipe, as well as a great terrain park. The backcountry is fantastic as well, and close to the Shiribetsudake Mountain. There are some intermediate and advanced runs, plus a kid’s area.
  • East Mountain: This is a flatter hill with just 2 runs, and serves mostly as an access area to Mt Isola. It can be reached by chairlift from the Rusutsu Resort Hotel, or a gondola from the Rusutsu Tower Hotel. It is better suited to intermediates or beginners looking for a stronger challenge.

Where to ski in Rusutsu

This resort is better suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. However, beginners and kids have plenty of areas to have fun while learning the ropes. There are beginner classes for both adults and the children.

Beginners can start at the base of West Mountain close to the Rusutsu Resort Hotel. There is a gentle slope and a magic carpet at the Snow Park. The green coded slopes accessible via the number 1 quad chair lift are also great for novices. Other beginner areas include the base of the East Mountain, and more green runs on the mountains.

Intermediate skiers have 40% of the ski area, with the 3.5km Isola Grand the best run of them all. This run is perfectly groomed and contains deep powder stashes too. Rusutsu offers little in the way of steep chutes and more extreme skiing or snowboarding. There are a few challenges in the backcountry though, if the few black and double black piste runs do not get your adrenalin levels high enough.

Off piste powder skiing at Rusutsu is where all the fun is. The terrain is not too steep, making it easy to zoom through the trees on the driest of powder. There is minimal traversing or hiking, since you can ski the fall line from the top of the lifts, all the way to the bottom. For the best tree and powder skiing, ski at Mt Isola between the lifts.

Rusutsu also has terrain parks, which feature waves, kickers, boxes, and rails with varied difficulty.