With old man winter pricking up his ears and the powder calling, the thought of spending the coldest months of the year in the UK is a pretty gloomy prospect.
But – if you’ve got cash to splash and a hankering for adventure – you could be making fresh tracks in Japan in the New Year, while winging your way to an instructor qualification that could take you almost anywhere in the world.
British company Peak Leaders has boldly ventured to the Far East with a 10-week instructor course in Myoko, starting on January 17.
By the end of it, successful candidates will be Level Two qualified by the British Association of Snowsports Instructors (Basi).
It’s the only course of its kind in Japan and Basi Level Two is internationally respected and recognised.
Japan is undiscovered country for many snow enthusiasts, but Myoko is the place to be – incorporating NINE resorts and renowned as powder heaven, with a seasonal average of 13m of snow.
The course includes off-piste and backcountry modules and students are on the doorstep of the best parks in Japan.
The resort is famous for its hot springs – the perfect place to chill – and, for something a bit more hectic, there are more than 40 restaurants plus an eclectic nightlife scene, including karaoke bars.
The whole package costs £6,500, but when you break it down into what you get – in terms of the individual costs of the qualifications and course elements, accommodation, transport, etc. – it’s pretty good value for money.
Most of us blow a grand on a week’s break in Europe, and at least this leads to something much more worthwhile – in a spectacular location.