Vista 631 veces, descargada 5 veces
preto de Banya, Yamanashi (Japan)
After snowfalls 2 days earlier I was curious to see how much snow had piled up on the trail. The weather was to be windy the whole week-end so I thought there might be few hikers. I was wrong and the trail was packed hard all the way, in a way that walking on snow didn't add any difficulty. Moreover the 19 m/s wind foretold in the weather forecast never happened and on the ridge exposed to the elements we had barely 10 m/s. It was still cold with between -10 and -15 degrees.
Up to Marukawa lodge it had actually rained on Friday so the amount of accumulated snow was reduced significantly to barely a few centimeters, with some stretches of dirt, yet it was all frozen. Around midway it was starting to be delicate walking on the ice and we put on the crampons. Upon reaching Marukawa lodge the snow became deeper and crampons were from then superfluous but light 6-point crampons don't get in the way while walking so most of us kept them on.
Just after Marukawa an clearing enabled a partial view of the South Alps, no clouds to be seen on the horizon. The trail then was exposed to the North side of the mountain, mainly in the shadow with a few vantage points towards the mountains to the North yet with always a few trees getting in the way.
The trail it almost flat it's hard to call it an ascent but I was curious to see how the traverse would have to be negotiated with heavy snowfalls. However the tracks were so clear it never was a problem on this part of the trail.
We reached the summit around lunch time and put on an extra layer of clothes in anticipation of the windchill we were to be met with a few minutes later once reaching the ridge. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the wind was much weaker than my expectations and we could enjoy the walk, taking numerous breaks to take pictures and even fool around. After a while we found a cornice about 2 meters in height, the ground being flat at the bottom of it we could have fun with it. I tried to go through but around the edge I realized it was very stable until it became vertical so a fall could have been hurtful and finally renounced. Then I tried to climb it from the bottom but with about 50 cm of snow overhanging above my head and no stable foothold I gave up.
After reaching Daibosatsu pass the trail returned in the forest, with a gentle slope, the fun was over. Then I took a shortcut between 2 turns, during the first half it was fun to run in the snow while going downhill on a relatively steeper slope, yet the second half turned out to be uphill so in the end it took a lot more time that the normal trail.
The last part was exposed to the sun and most of the snow had melted and caused the formation of mud. Aiming for the 16:03 bus I maintained a steady pace but when we reached the bus stop before 15:50 I realized the 16:03 bus was not operating in winter. We went back to Enzan station by cab, 2800 yen which we split in 4.
Overall it was an easy snow hike with perfect weather and great views from the ridge between the summit and Daibosatsu pass. Anyone with enough gears and fitness can do it, winter mountaineering boots are not even necessary.
Daibosatsu toge tozanguchi bus stop 8:12
Daibosatsu toge 13:34-13:48
bus stop 15:46
More pictures here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8dPS_LBwxeLLUhDeWdqOTd1MWM&usp=sharing