Hakuba Cortina resort review (Otari Village, Nagano)

Hakuba Cortina
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by antond on 26th February 2016
Loved it!
I'd heard a lot about Cortina and am probably writing a slightly biased review as it was our only powder day out of 7, however I loved it here.

We'd had rain, ice and spring like conditions at Happo One, 47/Goryu and Tsugaike on the other 6 days. We woke up to snow on Feb 17, which also happened to be my birthday. We made the treck to Cortina from Wadano at Happo One (2 buses) and arrived about 10am. Getting our morning coffee in Wadano, a young Aussie guy who was really friendly and we'd spoken with a few times said 'don't bother, it'll be good everywhere and Cortina is nothing special'. I have to disagree wholeheartedly.

Happo had probably had 15cm overnight and it was coming down pretty hard when we left. Cortina seemed to have 40cm on the ground when we got out of the bus, and it didn't stop for a second all day. I'm not talking it up but having spent two seasons in the USA at Breckenridge, and done a trip to Snowbird in Utah during a storm, Cortina got more snow that day than i can remember seeing in my time in the US. The funny thing is they only reported 40cm total. I promise, we were lapping some trees, which incidentally is allowed there and nowhere else in Hakuba (as liberally), and after each run maybe 20 mins including lift time, our tracks were gone. I was waist deep in trees every run, face shots galore. We were getting 2-4cm on us every lift trip and I would've done 30 laps that day easy. Even the groomers at the top were knee to thigh deep or better.

On the terrain, yes it's a small resort but we found plenty of new runs and then stuck to our favourite once we'd explored a little. Tree runs we did were pretty steep and although divided by a cat track, enough to satisfy my appetite. The good thing was, my mate who had never ridden trees before or powder that deep, wasn't overwhelmed and eventually loved it. It was reportedly a busy day yet we never felt like it was busy.

Finally, the hotel is cool, food at the restaurant good, the place is cheap, my mate onsened and said it was great. I'd recommend it for a powder day, particularly if you want some reasonably steep trees.
Date visited: From 17 February, 2016
Snow condition on visit: Powder, plenty of it!
Things I liked: Snow, trees, hotel, relaxed attitude, price of lift ticket Y4200 including onsen and Y1000 toward lunch.
Things I didn't like: Only 2 lift ticket windows operating, 25 minute wait for tickets - rookie mistake i'm sure.
Recommended for: Intermediate riders
Advanced riders
Off-piste opportunities
Ungroomed courses
Not recommended for: Apres-ski
General score: 90
Snow conditions: 95
Courses/Terrain: 90
Lift system: 75
Apres ski: 60

Hakuba Cortina

Otari Village, Nagano
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Average Rankings

General score: 85
Snow conditions: 85
Courses/Terrain: 78
Lift system: 71
Apres ski: 33

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1402m
Min. elevation: 872m
Vertical: 530m
Steepest slope: 42°
Longest course: 3500m
Number of lifts: 7

Location of Hakuba Cortina