Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mt.Masago in Spring(Snow ridge)

The Mountain

The Mt.Masago(2861m) is right in south of Mt.Tsurugi, every Japanese Alpine climbers adore most. The Mount Masago is easy access if you come to this mountain in summer using all the public transportation.

However this mountain has a interesting approach in off-season with snow,. This route can be climbed only when the mountain and the creeks are covered with thick layer of snow. The area is known by heavy snow area, which is over 10 meter high in one season. So this is a Spring only route. The condition in this year was bad. It was too warm and like one month ahead in normal year. The date was April 30 to 2th of May.

This time we went was, should be covered by snow, but this year, not heavy snow enough to let us walk easily, so we had to pay extra attention to not to fall in the cracks on the unsteady snowy grounds...  The air temperature was relatively high for this season and rained a lot so snow was loose, so there were more risks of ice/rock fall.

This is a variation route: You need to be able to read a map and plan your own route, and on the site, you have to be able to find your own route, where you should be walking or not walking. To protect yourself with fall, you need a rope work.

This trip was 3 days, 2 nights. Total 30km trip.

The Routes

The Photos
This is the start.

You'd climb down the famous Kurobe creek, on the snowy steepy hill.

Since it was early in the morning, the snow was still hard so we were extra careful to kick-step.

Stamped hard our heel on the snowy ground.

From the bottom of the creek.

We walked the left side of the creek covered with snow, since we do not want our shoes wet.

This is where the Masago creek meets the Kurobe creek.

We never walk the center of the creek, of course,
but the both sides were very steepy hills...

A walk on sleepy snowy hills in this area.
As you follow up the creek, You'll get to this field called Kuranosuke field.

This is a huge field surrounded by mountains. So comfortable, makes a good camp site.

From here, we started to get on Masago ridge.
We are about 2100m on Masago ridge.

This is a great view of Mount Tsurugi.

We've decided to stay here for the first night.

Day 2 started from rocky ridge with snow.

We used rope.
The ridges we go, looked like this in distance.
If only there were more snow, it was more comfortable...

this is the Masago Ridge

From the 2nd tent site, looking behind where we climbed.
Yamasaki Curl.

The time 

Day 1  6.5 hours
Start Kurobe dam station 8:00 - Kuranosuke creek meeting point 10:00 -Bivi site(2100m) 14:30

Day2 9 hours
Masago Ride 2100 m 5:10 - to the end of the ridge 14:20

Day 3 4 hours
Tent 5:30 - Tateyama 3 mountains - 9:30

Goto Ougisawa Terminal then get on a bus to get to the Kurobe dam station.

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