The mountain gear I look for the most is: very light but durable protection for my limbs. That means gloves and boots that are as light and breathable, quick-drying as possible so my hands and feet don’t rot in sweat in the summer heat, while being durable enough not to fall apart scrambling over rocks in the Japanese alps.
A koronavírus az én terveimet se kíméli. Tavaly nyáron Indonéziába terveztem menni, megmászni Óceánia legmagasabb hegyét, majd ősszel egy duplát terveztem a Himalájába, ahol egy egy hónapos túra során másztam volna meg a Mera Peaket és az Island Peaket. Először a nyári út úszott el, ami helyett még próbáltam másik vezetővel megszervezni ugyanazt, de persze a vírus jobban tudta.
Így arra már számítottam, hogy ősszel én már nem megyek majd a Himalájába, de hogy még a ritkaságszámba menő családi lagzira se jutottam el, az egy kicsit fájt. Az őszi duplát végül sikerült átszerveznem 2021 tavaszra, de erről is a minap szóltak, hogy nem lesz megtartva, mert nem jött össze a szükséges létszám.
Mi lesz így akkor idén?
One of the 100 famous Japanese mountains in reach for a day hike from Tokyo is Mt Nasu (which in Japanese is a homophone with “eggplant”) in Tochigi. It’s easy (though not particularly cheap) to get there by (bullet) train and bus. This time I went for a quick hike to the Chausu peak (which is a much shorter climb than the highest Sanbon-yari). The weather wasn’t exactly great, cloudy and extremely windy, but at least it wasn’t dumping on me.
Using supplemental oxygen for high altitude climbs is common. I’ve even seen people use mini oxygen tanks on Mt Fuji. While it’s highly unlikely you’d need extra oxygen around that altitude (unless you go there with absolutely no training and the lung capacity of a goldfish), it can keep people alive and let them succeed above 8000m.
I don’t know who came up with the idea that climbing without supplemental oxygen is the only “fair means” to reach a summit (maybe Messner?), but I beg to differ. It is definitely a bigger achievement but that does not make using it cheating or doping.
Mt Tate is a pretty famous tourist destination. Sure with the coronavirus going on it’s only dedicated people (like me) there, but usually the place is buzzing with tourists to the point you’re more likely to hear Chinese than Japanese. Now it was quiet though. And unlike the last time, now my destination wasn’t Mt Tate itself.
I went to climb Mt Tsurugi (“sword”), a mountain that’s considered maybe the most technically difficult of the 100 famous Japanese mountains. The reason is that it’s a steep, rocky mountain where the “trail” often turns into climbing straight up a rock face (with the aid of chains). To make it even more exciting, the weather was bad too.
Sadly this year the southern Japanese Alps are very difficult to access. All the mountain roads are closed, the buses aren’t running and some municipalities outright announced they don’t accept any climbing notices. So basically you either have to walk in all the way from one of the still accessible mountain passes, or go for the mountains “at the edges.” Since I wasn’t in the mood for a 30km approach just now, I decided to take the latter choice and climb Mt Kai-koma.
Much rest wasn’t planned. Maybe eat something nice, drink a beer and enjoy a hot spring and get some sleep in a bed for a change. More important was doing my laundry and refilling water. The previous four days in the Ushiro-Tateyama range were fun, and I was up for more.
I was confused why the Ushiro-Tateyama mountain range (from Jiigatake to Mt Shirouma) is called what it is. It means “rear Tateyama” which is weird from my point of view: isn’t it in front of Tateyama? The name of course would come from the other (Toyama) side, but it still feels weird.
A while back I walked into a bookshop and I spotted a mountain magazine focusing on the so-called kiretto of the country. These are gaps in the mountain range, often very “deep” cols with pretty tough terrain. This magazine named three as the “big three” of Japan: the Hachimine col between Mt Kashima-yari and Mt Goryuu, the Kaerazu col between Mt Karamatsu and Mt Shirouma, and the “great” dai-kiretto between Mt Hotaka and Mt Yari.
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