Hokkaido’s largest-scale summer ski slope opens

A summer slope, compatible with normal skis and snowboards, opened on June 26 at the Engaru Rock Valley Skiing Area in the town of Engaru in the Okhotsk region of Eastern Hokkaido. Visiting enthusiasts from throughout Hokkaido and beyond could be seen enjoying the mid-summer slopes dressed in T-shirts and the like.

The town has laid a 300-m-long, 30-m-wide strip of white resin on the slope. The resin is covered in a myriad of brush-like protrusions into which the ski and snowboard edges cut, allowing turns to be made. According to the Rock Valley Skiing Area, apart from grass-ski slopes where special equipment is required, the slope is the largest-scale summer skiing facility in Hokkaido.

At a commemorative event on the day of opening, the overall winner of this year’s All Japan Ski Technique Championships, Sunohara Yui of Nagano prefecture performed a demonstration run, saying “the feel was similar to that of winter”. Skiers then took the lift up and skied down one by one.

The resin is laid permanently and when snow falls the slope is used in a regular manner. Special skis, the bases of which are covered with stainless steel, are available for rent at the slope’s lodge. The lift operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Engaru Rock Valley Skiing Area