Snowboarder Discovers Body Sticking Out of Snow Near Kiroro Resort, Japan

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
The marked area where the woman was reported missing on February 20, 2023. | Picture: Hokkaido News Website

A snowboarder riding out of bounds near the Kiroro Snow World Ski Resort in Japan discovered a dead person’s leg still attached to the snowboard sticking out of the snow around 10 a.m. on April 3, 2023. The snowboarder alerted the ski patrol at Kiroro Snow World, who contacted the local police. The police confirmed the body to be that of a woman and officially confirmed her death.

The body is believed to be that of a local woman in her 30s who has not been seen since February 15, 2023. The woman had gone missing in the Kiroro Snow World area, according to her company phone’s GPS data. Data from the Kiroro Snow World ski lifts confirmed that the missing woman had taken a ski lift on the afternoon of February 15, 2023. It is believed she went into the tree skiing area adjacent to the Kiroro Snow World. The resort is located about two hours from Chitose Airport and offers 23 ski runs and access to the powdery backcountry via the resort’s backcountry gates.

Kiroro Tree Skiing Area. | Picture: Kiroro Ski Resort Website

The woman had been reported missing on February 20, 2023, by a work colleague who had been unable to reach her. The colleague had driven out to the ski resort parking lot in the afternoon of February 20, 2023, where he found the missing woman’s car covered in snow. He could not locate the woman, and the snow accumulations on the vehicle indicated it had been parked there for several days. At this time, her work colleague notified the Yoichi Police Station. According to Hokkaido News, the Hokkaido Police conducted a helicopter search on February 21, 2023, but she was not found then.

The body is yet to be formally identified, but all signs point to it being that of the woman who has been missing for almost two months. The find will hopefully bring closure to her family and friends.

This case, unfortunately, highlights the importance of never venturing into the backcountry unaccompanied. 

Tree skiing
Tree skiing area near the ski resort course in Akaigawa Village. | Picture: UHB Hokkaido Culture Broadcasting

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