Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 1 in Hakuba 5 days in Ushiro Tatayama Mountains (for David)

I am writing this English version of my mountain trip for my dear friend David.

Hope this will help him to feel better and feel what I felt and learned in the mountains.

About Ushiro Tateyama

Japanese Alps has 3 major mountain areas; North Alps and South Alps, and Mid Alps. Kofu, where I am living, is located only few hours drive from those mountain areas.

Ushiro Tateyama is the northern part of Japanese North Alps. It's very snowy in winter so there are a lot of ski resorts.  This area for a mountain climber is also known as a very rocky ridges... Kaerazu no Ken (Kaerazu means "no return", so it is very rocky as you can not return home) and Yatsumine Kiretto( Kiretto, means sharp gap between the rocky ridges...very dangerous.)
This is a sky walking nice routes as you can see in the map, it is the ridge line so, the world lays under your feet.

I walked highlights of this routs, 34 km in 4 nights and 5 days, carrying my tent and foods,  including those difficult rocky area, which includes following peaks; Hakuba gorge, Mt. Hakuba, Mt Syakushi, Mt.Hakuba Yari, Tengu pound, Kaerazu No1 peak, Kaerazu, No2 peak, Kaerazu No3 peak, Mt, Karamatsu, Mt.Goryu, G4, G5, Yatsumine Kiretto, Mt.Kashima yari south sumit and north sumit, Mt.Nunobiki, Tsubeta Ike, Mt.Jigatake, Taneike pound.

Previously I spent 6 weeks of working in a mountain hut, so this trip was a sort of a treat for me.

I learned Gratefulness in this trip. The world is already beautiful, we humans only does not know the fact, and making mess on the mother earth. Still, the earth is so great and big so that it let us make the mess... we are only playing child on a palm of his hand.  

So share the beautiful experience of mine,

1. Itinerary

Day1 Sarukura to Bajiri hut  
Day2 Hakuba great snow gorge to Tengu pound
Day3 Tengu hut to Goryu hut  
Day4 Goryu hut to Tsubeta pound hut
DAy5 Tsubeta hut to Mt.Jigatake

2. Hours of walk
Day1 1hours  (not including climbing down from the hut I was working.)
Day2 9 hours
Day3 7 hours
Day4 9 hours
Day5 5 hours (plus driving hours)

3. Pack weigh: 14~15kg

4. Map click  to see it large.

Day 1

 This is a hut in Sarukura.

 I arrived Sarukura past 15:00 pm., by bus, which left Hakuba station at 14:30.

This is an alert for hikers who has no idea of the risks of climbing Hakuba snow gorge which is the largest snow gorge in Japan.

Hakuba Snow gorge is NOT safe.  You must be aware of the risk of fallen rocks and very slippery so you need crampons.
猿倉での看板 登山者に注意を促す
2. Hakuba jiri Hut

This is Hakuba jiri hut. An hour walk from Sarukura.

Water: free
Draft beer: 700 yen
Drip Coffee: 400 yen.

rental crampons. I brought my own.

A view from the tent site.

You can view the gorge making a large stream of water from the tent site.  The site was rather cold and the coldness woke me up at a middle of night. The moon was bright that night, as I didn't need my head light.  The sound of water was not small but it was not uncomfortable sound... not of cities... not of humans... so it was very peaceful night.

The first night of trip was happy and joyous, tummy full since I could eat free at the hut, and was a bit drunk... I slept well except for the little coldness.

Day 2 : Hakuba Great Gorge to Tengu Hut(Tengu pound)

The Hakuba gorge was closed until yesterday, since the heavy rain in the few days before, 120 mm / hour rain... washed away the gorges.... it is the gorge, what do you expect?

I wake up a bit late than usual, 4:49. Packed my stuff, then I left at 5:20. Extra fast packing.
I was anxious since I knew this day my itinerary was kind of tight. Also I wanted to pass the snow gorge before it's got warm and snow got loose.
me, a long shadow, and the Hakuba Snow Gorge enterance

I am climbing up this way <------- 

land slide 

a Gap  

not rounded rocks on the snow means they are fallen relatively recently

great view but I can see rock slides in both sides

gravelly slope

I was walking on the gravel not snow

This sign says the every rock on the gorge has fallen by slide.

says watch out the fallen rocks.

water is running under the snow, a large slip is dengerous 

I heard an animal crying for help but could not see him... 

big rocks are also fallen by land slide by rain...

so sunny and bright, it was getting warm

above my head

a big rock... grassy means it is aged and steady ground

nice view, I am almost safe on the ridges

the rout is very steep. see the hut.

It took me 2.5hours to pass the snow gorge and another 2 hours to climb up rocky Nebukappara

It was fine day and warm so I was sweaty and tired. My pack was heavy and the shoulder strap hurt my shoulder. I wanted to stop and rest, but I felt not to do so since I should reach safe area than to rest.

finally resting 10:00 am

The trip  was just starting. The water I carried from the hut was not clear so I did not feel like drinking... I put up my thirstiness till I reach Hakuba chojo hut. There I met a young lady 
working in  Hakuba sansou, where I might have worked also. We exchanged some information and she said I should rush since the weather was downward in the afternoon. 

This climb up was the hardest part of this trip for me, perhaps my body was not conditioned to carry heavy pack yet... the day was too warm for me who spend days in cool weather... also I was awake at night feeling a little chilly...  

A bit tired I was, still with enough rest I was just fine.  

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