Mugikusa looped

 

This had not been the plan. Not one of the 100, and already climbed. But as the Azusa sped out west, the hill-tops on either side became progressively whiter, and the plan to tackle Kobushi-dake now without crampons or ice axe seemed unwise.

Instead, the day was spent on a 20km loop from route 299 below Mugikusa-toge, along to Pilatus, piston up Kita-Yokodake, and down over the saddle to Amaike, where 20 snowshoers were basking in the midday sunshine on the frozen lake.

The climb back to Mugikusa was a long battle in the melting snow with no other tracks.

 

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