© Menno Boermans
– With Mount Yotei in the background, a team of backcountry skiers, led by a woman, are hiking to the summit of mount Annupuri, near ski resort Niseko United on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The skis they carry are big and wide allowing the winter enthusiasts to fully enjoy skiing down the waist deep powder slopes Niseko United is known for. Niseko United is comprised of four resorts on the one mountain, Annupuri (1,308m). 100km south of Sapporo, Niseko Annupuri is a part of the Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park and is the most eastern park of the Niseko Volcanic Group. Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, is geographically ideally located in the path of consistent weather systems that bring the cold air across the Sea of Japan from Siberia. This results in many of the resorts being absolutely dumped with powder that is renowned for being incredibly dry. Some of the Hokkaido ski resorts receive an amazing average of 14-18 meters of snowfall annually. Niseko is the powder capital of the world and as such is the most popular international ski destination in Japan. It offers an unforgettable experience for all levels of skier and snowboarder.