Vista 939 veces, descargada 14 veces
preto de Nirasaki, Yamanashi (Japan)
It has been more than 18 months since I first set my eyes on this mountain,
yet each time I planned a trip there something came up and it was cancelled.
This time, maybe the 5th attempt proved successful.
I decided to go from Aoki-Kousen because the trail is steep and probably unsuitable for winter.
With a group of 4 we woke up at 1:30 AM and started walking at 2:30 AM.
My objective was to get to the summit by 6:00 AM and try my new tripod for sunrise (6:14 AM). The rest of the group was not that much motivated by the idea of waiting for the sunset by -10 degrees and 15m/s wind and also the idea of walking at 50% map time probably didn't sound appealing to them. As a result after less than an hour I went alone at my pace. I realized I was too fast and so tried to reduce the pace for the last 30 minutes.
Before I got to the summit I prepared for the cold and wore another pair of gloves with hand warmer inside and a fleece. I got to the summit at 5:45 AM and the sky had already turned from red to orange. I found a spot relatively sheltered from the wind but from there I couldn't see the mountains to the West. I moved to a better vantage point but it was more exposed. The sea of cloud was magnificent and Fuji-san towered over it a single giant. Kita-dake and other peaks of the South Alps were only a few kilometers to the West covered with a fresh mantle of snow, relatively shallow.
The North Alps visible in the distance had visibly much more snow and at first sight could easily have been mistaken for clouds.
Yatsugatake to the North seemed so small and Kaikomagatake was still free of snow.
Taking tens of pictures while crouching still on the ground got me quite cold but it was well worth it.
A few shots got blurred due to wind gusts and several layers of gloves made it hard to adjust fine settings on the camera but I brought home what I came for. Around 6:10 AM another hiker got to the summit but not from our party, at 6:20 AM came I-san and within 10 to 20 minutes the other 2.
We walked leisurely to Kannondake, the highest of the 3 peaks, with almost no protection against the wind. The sky got a bit milky but turned blue again and we had fair weather the whole day. The whole ridge is a white sandy surface with no trees and since it is highly exposed to the wind the snow hardly accumulates. All mountains around us (except for Kaikoma) were covered in snow while we never had to worry about snow on Houou.
When we got to Jizodake it felt like a desert, a different world compared to the dense forest just a few hundred meters below. We dropped our backpacks and climbed towards the obelisk. The first part is simple with holds everywhere then a narrow hole where we had to crawl leads to the final stretch. It is only 5 or so meters high but almost vertical, a few slings are fastened to an anchor. I-san went to the summit but I didn't feel confident to do so and just returned to the bottom of the rocks.
After a short stretch of sandy slopes the trail becomes rocky and steep, making progress fastidious. A last opening let Jizo appear in the distance but overall it's dense forest. 4 major waterfalls up to over 100m in height are visible on the side of the trail. The first one is accessible via a side trail, the others can only be seen from a short distance. We missed the third but the 3 we saw all had large icicles already forming on the side. The trail was frozen at parts even around 2000m in elevation, indicating winter had started for real.
The end of the trail is not really worth mentioning, some dams, flat trail, human presence greatly felt.
Overall it is a wonderful trail with a lot of variation in the scenery. There is no particular technical difficulty, well it's over 2000m in elevation change so I wouldn't go there with my son for a day hike.The sunrise itself is worth the trip.
More pictures here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yn8iszs4583r9ij/AACDWdwNNPu2rrNO5gmpx3H3a?dl=0