By morning, the gentle brook beside the onsen had turned into an angry, boiling brown torrent. If this stream was unpassable, Poroshiri would be impossible. Although it would mean several hundred kilometres extra driving to go to Shiretoko and then even further backtracking, it would give me the best shot at the river crossings of Poroshiri after an extra three days of dry weather.

Shari provided a brief interlude on the way to Rausu. The hut owner at the trailhead was surly and offensively obstructive. “You can’t go up now,” he grumbled. Why not, it was only 1 pm? “Because the city office says so. People go up and don’t come down.” I told him I was used to going up in the dark, had lights and GPS, and anyway, would be back within 4 hours. His face was sceptical, which goaded me to disprove him. When I reported safe descent 2 hours 45 minutes later, he did not even look up and merely grunted.

In contrast, the previous manager of this hut was famed for his friendliness. But one day he was stung by a suzume-bachi (giant hornet) and died. Not long thereafter, the hut burned down, and now the traditional wooden structure with its welcoming man has been replaced by a concrete structure and its unpleasant manager.

3 thoughts on “Sharidake

  1. I was wondering what happened to the old hut! I had to rub my eyes to make sure it wasn’t a dream when I arrived at the trailhead and saw that concrete bunker of a hut! I actually stayed the night there, and they don’t even have clean drinking water! I think the original hut was along that gravel forest road that you quickly descend to and follow from the new trailhead.

    Did you come back down the waterfall course, or do a loop on the Shindou?

  2. So you went to Shari years ago before the old hut burned down? What made you climb the mountain again?

    Yes, I did the loop, up the waterfalls, down the easy ridge route. Very nice, isn’t it?

  3. Julian,

    I’m planning to walk up Shari-dake the weekend after next. Do you have any recommendations as to route, info about trailhead access, parking, recommended routes, etc? I know you ran up, but do you know how long (roughly) it will take to walk up (I usually seem to match the pace of whoever did the climbs in Lonely Planet’s ‘Hiking in Japan’.)

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