Visit up to 6 different ski resorts on the island of Hokkaido: the "powder capital of the world." We check conditions each day and go where the snow is best!
English-speaking guides will navigate the group to the best untracked "side-country" powder (backcountry skills or bindings are not required)
This course is designed for Physicians, PAs, NPs, RNs, from ALL specialties who are skiers or snowboarders with high intermediate to advanced skills
Stay in centrally-located accommodations with in-hotel "onsen" hot springs and soaking tubs. Guides will navigate the group to some of the best food Japan has to offer!
There are a variety of reasons Japan powder skiing is at the top of many skiers' and riders' destination lists. The island of Hokkaido is legendary for arguably the driest and most consistent powder in the world. Enjoy uncrowded ski resorts and our English-speaking guides who will lead the way to untracked side-country skiing (that requires traversing, but not hiking).
For this trip, we have strategically chosen hotels in the towns of Furano and Otaru to serve as our hubs. Each day, our guides will assess the best nearby conditions and powder, as Hokkaido is known for its micro storms and varied snowfall within small areas.
You will experience four days of guided side-country skiing with access to the best possible conditions, and for the other two days, the guides will select the resort with the most favorable in-resort conditions for self-guided skiing. Additionally, the guides will share tips to help you make the most of your self-guided ski days.
In addition to the legendary skiing, this trip offers a fantastic cultural experience. Our guides will arrange group dinners each night and assist with menu selections for those eager to try new dishes. Our chosen accommodations feature in-hotel hot springs and are conveniently located for exploring the quaint towns of Furano and Otaru on foot.
The Wilderness Medicine CME lectures will be held every afternoon or evening before dinner in a nearby meeting space.
Japan Ski & Snowboard Adventure
Wilderness Medicine CME
DAY 1 Arrive near Sapporo (CTS Airport), where one of your guides and a private coach will be waiting to whisk you away to the adventure. You'll arrive at our centrally located Hotel in the early afternoon, where we'll begin the first engaging sessions of the wilderness medicine course. We'll finish the day with a group dinner at a nearby restaurant.
DAY 2-3 We'll choose from the finest resorts in the area, including Furano, Tomamu, Sahoro, Asahidake, and Kamui Ski Links. Our guides will keep a keen eye on the forecast, selecting the ideal resort based on current conditions. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, unwind in the soothing in-hotel hot springs (and cold plunge!) or explore the charming town before joining the CME lectures from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM in the hotel banquet room. Your guides have you covered with dinner reservations (and menu suggestions), ensuring a delectable end to your day in Japan.
DAY 4 After another epic day skiing, we'll embark on a three-hour private transfer to our charming new home, the scenic port-side town of Otaru. Situated canal-side in downtown Otaru, our hotel offers easy access to various dining, après, and nightlife options, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
DAY 5-6 Just as we did during the previous three days, our experienced guides will select the most enticing resort from Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine (site of the 1998 Winter Olympics), and Kiroro. If conditions permit, we may even venture to the pristine, lesser-known slopes of Tenguyama and Asari. After a thrilling day on the slopes, indulge in the soothing in-hotel hot springs before attending the CME lectures from 4:30 PM to 6:45 PM each evening at a meeting center a 7-minute stroll from the hotel.
DAY 7 Ski until 1 PM at the most promising resort among Niseko, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine, Kiroro, Tenguyama, and Asari. Afterward, we can either drop you off by private vehicle at Sapporo's New Chitose Airport (airport code: CTS) by 5 PM or assist you in extending your trip with extra ski days near Niseko or exploring another captivating part of Japan (we highly recommend Kyoto!).
Required Skill Level for Guided Ski Days
The four guided ski/snowboard days are designed for strong intermediate and advanced powder riders. Experts are welcome but may find themselves waiting occasionally. Intermediates on powder will find themselves challenged most of the time. If our guides feel that a riders' ability level isn't up to par, they reserve the right to direct guests to resort-riding. Beginners and lower intermediates will not be able to participate in the guided ski days, but are welcome to ski in the resort on their own.
What does it mean to be a strong intermediate or advanced powder skier/rider?
Riders must be able to confidently descend the mountain in all conditions. Mountains in Japan specialize in tree skiing and that is where we spend most of our time. Some of the trees would be described as "tight", so its necessary that guests are able to descend through tight trees in powdery conditions.
In general, we expect guests to be fairly proficient in off piste terrain - you don't necessarily need to have the best form or style, but need to be capable of making your way down safely before you come.
If you're not sure if your skill level is up to what is described here, that's OK but you need to understand that if the guide determines that your skill level isn't suited to the terrain, conditions, and natural hazards, they reserve the right to direct you to separate from the guided group and ski on your own for part or all of the ski day. Refunds will not be offered in the event of this occurrence.
Your guides are there to provide guiding on lift-accessed, off-piste terrain, not to guide on groomers. Your guide is not a ski instructor and will not be providing instruction on how to improve form, etc. aside from perhaps a few anecdotal tips here and there.
The tree skiing accessed with your guides on this trip is typically “side country” terrain - which is the same as backcountry terrain, just accessed by a lift. To safely access the side country you'll need to know how to use an Avalanche Safety Set (beacon, shovel, and probe). Avalanche Safety Sets are available for rent or you will need to bring your own. Since it takes a day or two to get aquatinted with avalanche safety gear (beacon, probe, shovel), please know how to use these items before you arrive in Japan. Depending on where you live, many options exist for getting aquatinted with avalanche safety gear: including a knowledgable friend, a training course, or acquiring the gear, watching instructional videos, and then practicing yourself.
While your guide isn't an avalanche instructor, he or she will be glad to provide refreshers and pointers on how to use the devices.
Specifically for snowboarders: critical skills are the ability to hold a strong edge allowing for good high traverses without losing too much elevation and the ability to read terrain effectively (to avoid the deep pow and flat spots). Also many runs will end with winding, bumpy trails through the forest that you will need to be able to navigate.
Specifically for skiers: the biggest challenge typically comes with skiing through deep snow and through trees. Much of the best skiable terrain occurs below treeline so its important that you are able to consistently turn where the terrain dictates. Managing this in deep snow is of particular importance. A great tool to help improve your ability is a good set of fat skis and we highly recommend upgrading with a rental ski if conditions are deep and you aren't skiing a fat ski.
Dates & Pricing
The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you'll have. Prices are based on double occupancy.
Trips include: lodging, lift tickets, transportation, guides, and breakfast/dinner each day.
February 18 - 24, 2024
$4,495 per person
Single supplement is $900
$789 optional CME cost
(16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)
Full - Accepting Waitlist
February 25 - March 2, 2024
$4,495 per person
Single supplement is $900
$789 optional CME cost
(16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)
Available - Filling Quickly
Testimonials From Your Colleagues
"This was truly a trip of a lifetime on and off the slopes! Logistics were seamless. The endless powder skiing was a "bonus" to the fantastic cultural experience and CME course. Our guides were outstanding - taking us to the best skiing in Japan and also delicious food. I'd highly recommend this trip!
Brooke Carpenter, NP
"All CME should be like this! A wealth of knowledge communicated in a wonderful manner! Course content was great for anyone who enjoys the outdoors---no matter what level. Guides were fun and safety oriented. My non-medical spouse loved the course and attended the lectures. Perfect combination of CME and fun!"
Deborah Wilson, MD
"What a collection of expertise…where else could you learn so much, so well – in such a short period of time…I don’t know how you could improve…Thanks for a great week… 5 star!"
Donald Turner, MD
Faculty for the Japan Ski and Snowboard Adventure
Wilderness Medicine CME
February 18-24, 2024 Trip Faculty
Christopher Vantilburg, MD
Emergency, occupational, travel, and mountain clinic physician Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. Public Health Officer and Medical Examiner, Hood River County, OR. Twenty year veteran of Crag Rats Mountain Rescue. Author of 11 books including Mountain Rescue Doctor and Search and Rescue.
February 18-24, 2024 & February 25 - March 2, 2024 Trip Faculty
Kyle Allred, PA
Professional expedition and whitewater guide on five continents for over 20 years. Wilderness survival instructor, field course instructor, and co-founder of MedWild.com Instructional Videos. Co-founder of MedCram.com Medical Education Videos.
February 25 - March 2, 2024 Trip Faculty
Howard J. Donner, MD
Co-author of The Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine. Featured in two successful NOVA documentaries including; Deadly Ascent, and the critically acclaimed film: Everest: The Death Zone. Medical operations consultant for NASA for 5 years. Medical advisor for Telluride's Search and Rescue team. Staff physician for the Himalayan Rescue Association for 2 seasons. Began his career as a professional river and mountain guide, now a Certified Flight Instructor and professional skipper. Has advised mountaineers, rescuers, Olympic athletes, pilots and aerospace personnel throughout his career.
COURSE CONTENT INCLUDES
- Altitude Illness
- Frostbite and Other Cold Injuries
- Environmental Heat Illness
- Traveler's Diarrhea, Giardia & Other Waterborne Wilderness Infections
- Surviving the Unexpected Night Out
- Lightning Injuries
- Improvised Medical and Trauma Care
- Management of Fractures and Dislocations
- Preparing for Foreign Travel
- Backcountry Medical Kits
- Wilderness Wound Management
- Patient Assessment in Wilderness Settings
- Wilderness Dermatology
- Marine Hazards & Envenomations
- Snake Envenomation
CME ACCREDITATION INFORMATION
Earn 16 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits which are typically acceptable for MDs, DOs, PAs, NPs, Nurses, and some other medical professionals.
Read below for more info and it is your responsibility to check with your certifying organization as needed:
"This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Emergency Medical Education and Wilderness and Travel Medicine. The Center for Emergency Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians."
The Center for Emergency Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of
16 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.
Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This trip is planned, outfitted, and conducted by Bio Bio Expeditions, or subcontractors arranged by Bio Bio Expeditions. Please note that Wilderness and Travel Medicine, LLC is responsible for the CME Educational content only. Wilderness and Travel Medicine reserves the right to change or substitute the faculty for any CME course without advance or prior notice to participants.
For more information or to register for this trip please contact
Bio Bio Expeditions at 1-800-246-7238
UPCOMING CME DESTINATIONS BY DATE
Sept 6 - 16, 2023
Sept 21 - Oct 2, 2023
Oct 1 - 15, 2023
Oct 8 - 13, 2023
Oct 8 - 18, 2023
Oct 15 - 20, 2023
Oct 22 - Nov 5, 2023
Oct 23 - Nov 3, 2023
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2024
Jan 24 - Feb 4, 2024
Jan 25- Feb 2, 2024
Feb 10 - 14, 2024
Feb 18 - 24, 2024
Feb 25 - Mar 2, 2024
Mar 17 - 24, 2024
Apr 1 - 11, 2024
Apr 14 - 24, 2024
Apr 25 - May 12, 2024
May 29 - June 2, 2024
June 8- 14, 2024
The National Conference on Wilderness Medicine - Big Sky
July 27 - July 31, 2024
June 3 - 8, 2024
July 29 - Aug 8, 2024
Sept 1 - 6, 2024
Sept 1 - 11, 2024
Sept 5 - 15, 2024
Sept 11 - 21, 2024
Sept 12 - 23, 2024
Sept 19 - 27, 2024
Oct 6 - 16, 2024
Oct 6 - 20, 2024
Oct 13 - 24, 2024
Oct 21 - Nov 4, 2024
Jan 26 - Feb 6, 2025
April 23 - May 10, 2025
Apr 25 - May 5, 2025
June 7 - 13, 2025
Aug 16 - 26, 2025
Oct 12 - 17, 2025