Asama + Utsukushigahara + Kurumayama + Tateshina

Today started with failure. The rain drumming down on the car roof during the night became sharp particles of driving ice at 2000 meters, and Hana was not happy. In fact, she was severely disturbed and started running madly in ever-widening circles on the hard snow crust. I had goretex, she had nothing. It would be worse higher up. It was not a difficult decision, so we beat a hasty retreat. Asama will still be there later in the year.


The monstrosity that sits atop Utsukushigahara is surely, to quote Craig McLachlan, “not what Mr. Fukuda had in mind”. At Kurumayama (Kirigamine), the road almost runs over the top, and any possibility of communing with nature today was destroyed by packs of motorbikers on their Harleys. These are two “mountains” that should be de-listed.

I had failed to climb Tateshina two months ago. Even with snowshoes, the deep fresh snow without the tracks of other hikers had proved too much. Today the weather was clement and there was a good track in the snow. The 360-degree views under a cool blue sky compensated for the horrors of the first three climbs today.


3 thoughts on “Asama + Utsukushigahara + Kurumayama + Tateshina

  1. Wow, quite a day! I was sad to read about Utsukushigahara and Kurumayama. I’ve put them off for a long time, and I feel less compelled every time I read someone else’s account.. Glad to hear that Tateshina made up for it though.

    I’m planning another attempt on Kaikoma this coming weekend, and (depending on conditions, time and general motivation, or lack of it) any and all of Senjo, Hoo and Kitadake. Any chance you’ll be in the minami Alps too?

  2. Hi Chris,

    I guess you’ll have to do those two “mountains” at some stage, but they are so short that you can easily bag them while passing through on the way to somewhere more interesting.

    Good luck with the southern Alps this weekend. They appear to have received a fresh blanket of snow during Saturday night. I most certainly do not have your winter experience or courage (Tsurugi!), so I will be heading for several lower peaks in the Nikko area this weekend. I will start with Akagi on Saturday evening. If you change plans, let me know and I’ll email you the details offline.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up on the fresh snowfall! I was hoping it might have cleared a little since I was there a couple of weeks ago. I’ll probably still head up and take a look, but will scale back my ambition to Kaikoma, possibly Senjo and maaaaaybe Ho-o if I am lucky… Good luck up Nikko way!

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