Early Bird Gets the Worm
Everyone wants to get first tracks. It’s the nature of snowboarding and powder chasing. Niseko United has come up with an awesome system for those who are keen to get up early and get those first tracks. For 500yen you can purchase an early bird ticket from the Grand Hirafu base station which allows you to get on the Ace centre four lift half an hr before everyone else.
With the early bird pass you can get on the lift from 8-8:20am whilst everyone with a regular lift pass is restricted to 8:30am. I myself managed to have the early bird season pass which is included in a Niseko United membership card and so from Jan1st to Jan31st I had the option to get first tracks on the centre four runs before everyone else swarmed down.
Not only can you fly down the groomed runs with confidence that there are no nasty holes or tracks from other snow enthusiasts but you can also get the first line down the famous Hirafu super-ridge. The super-ridge is most commonly known for its wide open face and steep descent. It provides any powder hound with the chance to spray snow sky high with carving turns.
An additional perk is the jealous looks from everyone else standing in line for the 8:30am open while you lap around yelling and screaming with joy.
In short the Early bird pass is something I have thoroughly enjoyed this season and is something I would recommend to anyone who is keen to get up early and make the first line in the snow.