Academic Alpine Club of Hokkaido, Hokkaido University
Students in Sapporo were first taught to ski by a German language teacher
from Switzerland in 1909. The university alpine club was founded in 1926 to continue the tradition of ski mountaineering.
On the outskirts of the city, the Academic Alpine Club has a mountain hut where students hold training camps. It was originally built by a Swiss university professor and to this day it's called Helvetia Hütte, from the Latin name for Switzerland.
The skis for ski mountaineering have dual attachments, so the heel can be left free for climbing and walking, as in Nordic skiing, but fixed for the descent, so you can ski down in the Alpine style.
From Tokyo, flights take an hour and a half to New Chitose Airport, the gateway to Sapporo. Every day, there are dozens of flights.