Course: Ohgisawa – Kurobe Dam – Higashi Ichinokoshi – Ichinokosi – Oyama – Ohnanji yama – Fuji no Oritate – (Ichinokoshi) – Murodo
Leader: Jeremy Participants: Yukuko, Iku-chan, Miho
Day 1: We didn’t expect that many people would take the night train, Moonlight-Shinsyu. Only steady Iku-chan booked a seat and the rest of us were forced to make last minute changes. Finally each of us found a way to get to the Northern Alps area and we met at the Ohgisawa trolley bus station.
I gained many first experiences during this trip. I hadn’t been to Kurobe-Dam before. The trails extending from the Kurobe Dam was muddy. It was rather a “sawa nobori” than hike to walk carefully avoiding falling into a puddle.
Nearly 4 hours after we left Kurobe Dam, the first snow gorge welcomed us. (Later it turned out that it was just the beginning.) Since Jeremy had recommended that we should bring an ice axe in case of snow, Iku-chan and I brought one. He taught us how to use it there. Using an ice axe was one of my first experiences. Exciting! Further we progressed, wider the snow gorges got and we were forced to slow down our pace. When I reached the last bush, I, who was the least experienced in hiking among the four, was already tired of walking on the snow and chose to walk up through the bush. I made the wrong decision by taking my crampons. Contrary to my expectation, the bush area was really muddy. I slipped and I hanged by my hands from the thin branches of Kumazasa bamboo. I shouted for help, which was another new experience. The trusted leader slid down to me and helped me out of the difficult situation. Thank you, Jeremy.
We were over the hump. We reached Higashi-Ichinoseki. When I pushed down the bush and stepped on it, the wonderful scenery caught my eyes and I squealed with joy. There were a crest and a range of the mountains dappled with snow. We restarted walking after lunch and funny photos. The day 1 ended around 4pm at the Ichinokoshi hut.
Day 2: The noise of the strong wind and the heavy rain woke us up. The TV weather report said that the rain would be even harder later. We decided to leave the luggage at the hut and to head for the three peaks of Tateyama, Oyama, Ohnanji yama, Fuji no Oritate. Climbing the rocky trail under the rain was not easy, but I wasn’t scared of the heights with the help of the dense fog. After the completion of the three, we got back to a rest stop near the summit of Ohnanji-yama and had a cup of hot chocolate. The sweet delight gave us back the vigor to walk again. Jeremy, Iku-chan and I said good bye to Yukiko-san who set herself to walk up to Tsurugidake. We three started to go back to Tokyo.