A GROWING group of extreme locals is discovering the beauty of petrol power in Niseko. Sales manager at Niseko Property, Craig Miekle, recently sent Powderlife shots of him and his buddies on their latest boy toys. The group of six were snapped on their snowmobiles shredding up the Kyogoku ranges, about 20 minutes out of town.
Craig says his group heads out deep into the backcountry a few times a week, and the gang is getting bigger all the time. He’s noticed locals are finding out there is more amazing terrain to explore that’s simply not accessible by hiking, skis or board (but they strap their skis and boards on their backs just in case). “There is just ridiculous terrain to be had,” Craig says. “It’s just filthy out there, as you can probably see from these photos.”
Craig and Co. usually stick close to Niseko, but have been known to venture out several hours to Nakayama Toge, a popular snowmobiling haunt for local Japanese just outside Sapporo. “It’s just me, my mates and the smell of petrol,” Craig says. “Getting face shots on a snowmobile is just as much fun as on a board. The other day, there were two of the boys coming down the same face and we couldn’t even see or hear the snowmobiles because of how deep they were – we could only see the occasional head poking out.”
It’s Craig’s second season on a snowmobile, but he says he and his posse are working towards pulling some pretty hairy tricks. “We’re getting there – hitting some steep faces, and just jumping off a few smaller things,” he says. “We’re even thinking about setting up a nice big jump out Annupuri way!”