Pep Fujas, Torah Bright and an all-star cast of pros and amateurs look set for a challenging start to the inaugural Niseko Shootout Japow ProAM.

As the five-day contest window opens today, the powder forecast has dried up for one of the first times this season.

The Japow ProAM is one of three categories under the 2019 Niseko Shootout photo and film competition banner.

A total of 18 professional and amateur athlete-photographer teams will take to the mountains in and around Niseko between today and January 14 with the aim of capturing the best photo of the period, with ¥200,000 (US$2000) up for grabs.

Creativity, local knowledge key

Contest organiser Winstead Heyward said with very little powder expected during the contest window, skiers, riders and photographers would have to get creative in order to nail the winning shot.

“That’s the beauty of this competition – it’s held on set dates so teams have to work with whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at them,” Heyward said.

“While there may not be many fresh tracks to be found in-resort, there is endless backcountry and lots of different terrain in and around Niseko that competitors will be able to work with to get amazing powder shots.

“And there are plenty of ways to access it too – snow cat, snowmobile, heli or just old-fashioned hiking.”

Pro Teams

TEAM SPONSOR ATHLETE PHOTOGRAPHER
Caldera Guides Julian Carr Eric Sales
The Niseko Company Jesse Parkinson Shane Peel
The Niseko Company Jye Parkinson Shane Peel
Aaron Jamieson Robin van gyn Aaron Jamieson
Aaron Jamieson Aimee Fuller Aaron Jamieson
Powderlife Lena Stoffel Aaron Jamieson
Powderlife Torah Bright Aaron Jamieson
Oyuki Japan Pep Fujas Darren Teasdale
Rhythm Japan Tim Mcchesney Darren Teasdale

Amateur Teams

TEAM SPONSOR ATHLETE PHOTOGRAPHER
Hokkaido Core Jonas Eibenstein George Treble
Hanazono Evan Wilcox Daniel Honda
Yama Plus Toshi Pander Jimi Oertli
Nisade James Wisniewski Alex Bradbury
Independent James Winfield Teddy Laycock
Niseko Black Juan Berthold Toni Rodriguez
Niseko Black Aron Hayes Casey Purdie
Dragon Alliance Sam Nelson Sam Ingles
Independent Saki Hayashi Nolan Yoshiaki Isozaki
Yama Plus Cody Scheffelmaier Brendan Lugg
Hokkaido Core Snow Sports Cameron Bell Bosh Bowyer-knight
Independent Reilly McGlashan Winse Heyward
Independent Diana King Winse Heyward

Conditions

Some rare January sunshine is forecast which should open up some picturesque Hokkaido backdrops and add some colour to what might otherwise have been an all-white scenario.

“Temperatures are forecast to stay cold throughout the period so the powder should stay in good condition,” Heyward said.

“If teams use their local knowledge, they should be able to find some terrain with good snow and nice features to add to their photos. We’re excited to see what they capture and enter.”

Voting & judging

The public judging will take place over another five days between January 17 and 21 – voting is by liking photos that will be uploaded into the Japow ProAM photo album on Niseko Tourism’s Facebook page.

Voting closes 9pm JST on January 21.

Winners will be announced on January 22. Stay tuned and get ready to vote!

Go to www.nisekotourism.com/shootout for more info on the Niseko Shootout Japow ProAM, photo comp, and Short Film Fest.

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