On March 26, the first ever Mountain Challenge will be held in Tsugaike, Hakuba.

Skiers and snowboarders of varying skill levels will be able to compete in mountain-sized challenges, all with the aim of raising money for a deserving cause.

The event benefits Tokyo English Life Line (TELL,) an accredited non-profit with over 40 years of experience providing the international community in Japan with an array of mental health services. Among those, TELL provides a 24/7 free telephone lifeline, professional psychological counseling and community outreach for English-speaking foreigners as well as Japanese employees and their families. The first-ever Mountain Challenge is a fun way to raise money and public awareness for the organization.

In the team portion of the Mountain Challenge, teams will attempt the lofty goal of snowboarding or skiing down the equivalent of Mount Everest in a single day using the Ski Tracks application to record their collective distance results. The Mountain Challenge also includes an individual challenge, tackling the equivalent of Mount Fuji, and a kids/beginners challenge with the still-impressive goal of matching the height of Hokkaido’s highest mountain, Mount Yotei, in a single day.

Any competent skier or boarder with a valid lift pass can join. It’s not entirely suitable for complete beginners, but most people with some experience should be able to complete the Mount Fuji challenge. The Everest team challenge is mostly suited to intermediate and advanced riders. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest individual men and women, and in a number of team categories, as well as for best-dressed individuals and teams. Competitors will also have a chance to win prizes in a charity raffle.

Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is a large-scale resort in Hakuba Valley with spacious slopes for all levels. In addition to the slopes, the resort town offers great views of Japan’s Northern Alps as well as a selection of relaxing indoor and outdoor Onsen. Tokyo Snow Club is offering a convenient transportation package to the Mountain Challenge.

–Luca Eandi