SONS January 2019 Niseko/Kiroro Conference.

SONS Niseko and Kiroro Programme 2019


              NISEKO – Tuesday January 8th to Saturday January 12th 2019

 Limited onsite registrations are available. Please email for more information

NISEKO VENUE – Hotel Niseko Alpen, 204 Aza-Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan

KIRORO VENUE – The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, 128-1 Aza-Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido, 046-0593, Japan


         Should you require a Certificate of Attendance, you will need to have attended 50%+ of sessions.

We encourage you all to consider joining us in Japan as the powder snow and cultural experience make it a “MUST DO”. For those attending, the success is also dependent on members offering to present at both Niseko and Kiroro, so please be involved. The option to Present at the Sessions is provided when registering and should your Presentation be accepted into the programme, a refund of $250AUD on your registration is provided following the Conferences. You may offer to do more than one Presentation but the refund will remain limited to $250AUD in total. Participation is much appreciated as our previous programmes have been both enlightening and “world class”, often covering the full medical spectrum. The Programme is not available until all places are filled.


DEEP POWDER TOURS 1300 305 451

DEEP POWDER Snow Holidays have been of great assistance in putting in place all our  conferences in Japan so far and is the principal agent for the Niseko SONS conference. They  play a pivotal role in organising the upcoming conferences in Japan and come highly recommended. DEEP POWDER Snow Holidays are able to manage ALL your travel needs including airfares, accommodation and transfers to and from Niseko ski resort.

In support of our event, Alpen Hotel provides very attractive accommodation packages if booked via DEEP POWDER Snow Holidays. All registrants who book through DEEP POWER Tours are eligible for a $100 Registration discount at checkout when registering for the conference using your DPT booking number.



The conference is held at Alpen Hotel which provides an exceptional ski in ski out location at the very top of the Niseko village. Discounts at the Alpen apply when booking through Deep Powder Tours. Further discounts will apply when booking for minimum of 7 days.

You will need to advise them that you are going to Kiroro so they can arrange transfers.

Please be aware that there is an option of renting in Niseko with Rhythm, relocating the equipment to Kiroro & then returning the hire gear by courier.
Please see link following from the Rhythm website which deals with this process.

For  further information on the Conference please contact the Secretary.

Kym James

Further Contact details are:
Conference Programme enquiries only: Dr Allan Forrest         Kiroro :Dr Cameron Altmann

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Australia School Holidays 2018 and 2019


Additional information

Delegate RegistrationEarly Bird Registration $700, Full Registration $800, Late Registration $900, Optional Kiroro $285

Dear SONS members.

On behalf of SONS Committee I wish to thank you for registering and attending 2018 Niseko and Kiroro SONS conferences. We again had pleasing attendance at the lectures which covered such a broad range of medical topics and were of very high standard.

Special thanks go to our Chairman Allan Forrest and his wife Marjolein for organising the conferences and making them such a success. It was sad that Allan and Marjolein could not attend on this occasion but they should be back in 2019.

Thanks go to all speakers for their time and effort in producing and presenting their lectures. Due to the high quality of lectures it was difficult choosing the best presentation at Niseko. Dr David Pohl’s presentation “Life Balance… The Eyes Have It ” was chosen and David received the $500 prize thanks to Jeff Bowman of WB Financial.

Thanks go to session Chairwoman and Chairmen for their time, with special thanks to Paula Schreiber for her invaluable organising and reception duties.

Thanks also go to Kym James who has brought a wealth of experience to the role of SONS Secretary and who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes liaising with local staff and solving problems as they arose. It is testament to the work of all mentioned above that everything ran so smoothly.

Dale Goulding of Deep Powder Tours again liaised with our Hotel staff to ensure successful events and Peter Hunter was fantastic with his I.T. expertise. Again the conference dinners at Niseko were of a high standard, as with Kiroro, despite a few teething problems.

Snow conditions were much better than 2016 and 2017 though still maybe not back to the preceding super years.

The Kiroro Tribute Hotel was luxurious while Hotel Alpen was again welcoming and homely. The current boom in Hotel and Apartment construction in Niseko is reminiscent of heady 1980’s times so there will be plenty of added luxury accommodation options in Niseko in 2019.

The conference will remain at Hotel Alpen as the staff and management really do look after us so well and the position adjacent to Ace Quad lift is hard to beat. Niseko lifts have been upgraded and Kiroro continues to allow “out of gate” skiing though disappointingly Kiroro had more ” in resort ” areas roped and barricaded this year.

Niseko will be on again from Tuesday January 8th 2019 to Saturday January 12th 2019. Kiroro will run from Sunday 13th 2019 to Tuesday January 15th 2019

Please let me know if there is anything you liked or anything you feel could be improved, added or changed for 2019, remembering that we need to try to satisfy the majority of SONS members.

One improvement we hope to make, is to source a headset mounted microphone compatible with Hotel Alpen’s amplifier to improve sound quality for speakers.

Please also remember that all SONS Committee members are volunteers and that Kym James receives only a small annual stipend from SONS and does not ski.

As mentioned in Niseko, delegates who attended Niseko 2018 and who register early for Thredbo 2018, August 6th to 9th 2018, will receive a free 2 day Thredbo lift pass as part of their Thredbo registration. Numbers limited.

SPECIAL NOTE: Although we are again offering Kiroro as a 3 day post Niseko conference in 2019, this will be dependent on at least 25 delegates registering before first deposit to Kiroro venue being due mid June 2018. Please note that if 25 delegates have not registered by this date that the Kiroro conference for 2019 may be cancelled.

Some of the advantages of Kiroro include the lack of crowds and the potential for exceptionally deep powder snow there, although the last 3 seasons have seen fairly average snow depths at Kiroro, as well as Niseko.

The snow resort at Kiroro is smaller than Niseko but does offer off piste and out of gate skiing with deserted piste runs and the friendly resort staff give a much more intimate and Japanese feel to the resort. This is a resort where Australians are still fairly rare to see on the slopes. Kiroro has 5 star international hotel accommodation though this does come at a much higher price than Alpen Hotel in Niseko. There is no town at Kiroro so guests are limited to dining in the hotel restaurants (POP Buffet, Alpine Brasserie, Alla Moda (Italian)while also offering  some interesting choices such as Yanshu Barbecue House, Sushi House Fuga, Shunai Steakhouse and in 2018 an Ice Hotel bar and Fondue Restaurant opened for the first time. The Hotel offers a swimming pool, 2 Onsens (one inside and one accessed from outside), plus the children’s Snow park which is very popular. A disadvantage of the Kiroro Tribute Hotel is that it is about 800 metres down the road from the Mountain Centre and ski lifts. There is a free shuttle bus every 10 minutes from the front door and guests carry their skis and boards inside the bus with them.

The Kiroro conference in the last 2 years has offered a smaller group and more intimate setting where delegates do get to meet more of the other delegates and their families. The conference meetings have been very well attended and have offered extremely high quality presentations with a more relaxed approach and more opportunities for questions and discussion in the smaller group setting. The inaugural course dinner in 2018 was well attended and enjoyed, providing more quality food in a sit-down configuration. We may request a buffet style in 2019 to cover some dietary requirements.

I would highly recommend anyone considering registering for SONS Kiroro 2019 to look at the Kiroro website to see if Kiroro appeals  .Please also view the photos of Kiroro on our website. I am very happy to answer any questions about the hotel and resort that you have. Deep Powder Tours will arrange your bookings and transfers if you use their services.


Dr Cameron Altmann

SONS Convenor Niseko/Kiroro 2018

K18 group pic
33. Ice houses at dusk_preview
35. Ice houses at night_preview
2. Ice Restuarant_preview
4. Ice Bar_preview
28. Looking up from reception area in Kiroro_preview
30a.Kiroro Tribute hotel_preview
36.Kiroro Ice bar_preview (1)
kiroro crowds3
4. Inside Ice Bar_preview
6. Ice Hotel bed_preview
8. Bob with cheese fondue, wearing gloves_preview
18. Another shot of the powder slope_preview kiroro
22. Kiroro snow
27. Bob stopping to take a photo of the view, with our hotel on the right_preview