Mizugaki + Kinpu – Night raid


Work was unusually quiet for the last day of the month and the weather forecast was good, so I was out of the door by 6 pm and at the foot of Mizugaki by 7.

I knew the route so was not concerned about doing it in the dark, but it was still unsettling. Pairs of eyes, probably deer, reflected an eerie blue in the LED headlamp and the path was steep, up through massive boulders that make Mizugaki look so dramatic during the day.

Hopes of fine views of the Kofu basin by night were dashed by thick mist at the top, and the dog struggled to find her way down through the rocks on the descent. She preferred to take detours into the forest than make large, bone-jarring leaps from high boulders. But it caused me concern several times to turn around and find no dog behind me. I would call and call, and eventually spot two ghost-like eye reflections in the blackness, and she would make her circuitous way back to me.

I drove the short hop to the north side of Kinpu and rolled out the sleeping bag in the car. The stars were now out, promising a good day ahead. We were away by 3.30, walking along a forest trail by the river. I could see the morning dew falling through the beam of the headlamp, and feel the coolness of the rushing riverwater.

Having started early, I was not in a hurry and had time to enjoy the richness of this route and the rewarding views. 

We returned to the car exactly three hours later, and the first hiker was just about to set off. We had already bagged the best part of the day.



4 thoughts on “Mizugaki + Kinpu – Night raid

  1. i like the last photo of Hana basking in the morning sun. was Mt. Fuji hiding behind cloud?

    i guess you’ve finished all of the other peaks in Chichibu-tama-kai national park, so where to head next?

    Hakusan should be feasible now, as well as the Chuo Alps. Fuji is also “officially” open to hikers now, but you might want to wait until September so no one tries to confiscate Hana.

  2. I was a little tired from lack of sleep when writing up the post and forgot about Fuji.

    The Chuo Alps are probably next, but Hakusan is such a long and awkward drive from here. I knew I would regret it later when I abandoned going up in the rain!

  3. Thank you, Chris, but my photos will never compare with yours. I don’t have the eye for a picture. And I don’t want to imagine trying to run with 1 kg of camera and lens bouncing in a pack!

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