Home News International Eight backcountry skiers in avalanche in Hokkaido Japan, one critical

Eight backcountry skiers in avalanche in Hokkaido Japan, one critical

tomamu ski resort
Stock photo: Tomamu Hokkaido ski resort

An avalanche in the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan took out eight backcountry skiers yesterday, local time. One, according to The Japan Times, remains unconscious. 

The avalanche occurred in backcountry terrain just outside of Tomamu Ski Resort. The avalanche hit mid afternoon, around 3.30pm. Seven of the party were unhurt and one of the party, a French national, was able to ski down to call for help. 

The size of the avalanche was substantial, covering 50 metres in length and up to 4 metres wide. 

According to the Kyodo News snowfall around the area on Thursday was 6 centimeters in the morning “but could have been much more at a higher altitude and could have easily developed into a surface-layer avalanche, according to the local meteorological observatory.”

“The weather in that part of Hokkaido, has been warmer than usual lately and that probably made the snow unstable” Akihiro Hirakawa, deputy chief of the Furano police station told Reuters.

The Furano Avalanche Center had also posted on Wednesday about potential dangerous conditions in the area. 

READ MORE  9 must have apps to make your Japan ski trip even better!

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.
%d bloggers like this: