Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field resort review (Hakuba Village, Nagano)

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by Mick Rich on 24th January 2012
Hakuba Iwatake review
Having bought a 2-day Alpen pass at Happo-one, I decided to check out Iwatake (and Tsugaike Kogen).

I caught the first (8.20am) shuttle bus of the day from Happo Information Centre to Iwatake and was at the top of the gondola (and therefore the resort) by 8.50am. There was no new snow but I enjoyed exploring all of the runs (especially those on the back side) before they got too busy and chopped up. Not all of the runs or lifts were running, which was a shame but perhaps to be expected this early in the season. I was about to head back down when I spotted a small but relatively untouched section of powder between and under the 2 lifts accessing the Kamo4 and East runs. Nothing special but enjoyable nonetheless.

I then tried to get lunch at the top restaurant (but it was rammed - one of the disadvantages of having a gondola that runs all the way to the top of a resort.

Having read about the narrow, bottleneck that links the top and bottom sections of the resort, I decided to beat the rush and get the bus back to Happo.

Although I only had a morning there, I enjoyed Iwatake though that bottom-to-top gondola is a double-edged sword and I would not like to go there on a weekend.
Date visited: From 29 December, 2011
Snow condition on visit: Good
Things I liked: Gondola to the top = easy access to some interesting runs
Things I didn't like: Gondola to the top = busy runs and restaurant

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Hakuba Village, Nagano
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Average Rankings

General score: 75
Snow conditions: 79
Courses/Terrain: 76
Lift system: 71
Apres ski: 60

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1289m
Min. elevation: 750m
Vertical: 539m
Steepest slope: 35°
Longest course: 3800m
Number of lifts: 12

Location of Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field