In mid-May, after the lively atmosphere of Golden Week had passed, I went to Mount Yari.
It’s the lingering snow season on Mount Yari!
This time, I took the route from Shin-Hotaka and climbed through Hida-sawa, staying overnight at Yarigatake Mount Hut for one night and two days.
Now, I arrived at the Shin-Hotaka trailhead late at night and departed after sunrise, following a night of sleeping in the car.
The area near the trailhead is filled with spring weather! It feels great surrounded by fresh greenery.
As a food lover, I get excited seeing the mountain vegetable paradise in full bloom.
My partner is also walking while singing “Nirin Sou Road” to the tune of a country road, riding the blooming alpine lilies. (“Nirin Sou” Japanese name of flower)
As I walked, worrying about my lack of exercise and back pain, I started seeing more snowfields.
As the altitude increased, the snowy landscape became denser.
Despite the fact that there was fresh snow on the summit due to the stormy weather the previous day, it was scorching hot.
Despite the blooming mountain vegetables in the snowscape, the sun was blazing like midsummer.
The snow was rapidly melting, and there was also a concern for avalanches…
Although exhausted from the heat, I arrived at Yaridaira Mount Hut.
From just before Yaridaira Mount Hut, we were walking on the snow in earnest.
Here, I put on crampons.
Navigating through the trees that have turned into bushes due to the snow, we aim for Mount Yari while finding the route.
The double exposure of the midsummer sun and the reflection of the snow creates a strong ultraviolet radiation.
Even though the air is cool, it’s hot!
And then, the relentless steep ascent!
Our pace slowed down significantly, but we steadily moved forward, one step at a time.
As the surroundings turned white, the sky became clear blue. I feel like I’m in space!
Climbing the slope and crossing over, another ascending slope comes into view.
The steep ascent of Hida-sawa is still exhausting to remember!
There are climbers ahead in the distance.
Ah, that person has finished the steep ascent. How nice! I climb the steps he made with all my might, but after surpassing the steep ascent, there’s another long steep ascent.
This repeats three times, and it took us hours! It was mentally draining!
To be honest, it was tough.
Finally, we arrived at Yarigatake Sanso. (Yarigatake Mount Hut)
About ten people were already climbing to the summit or relaxing around the mountain lodge.
We couldn’t make it to the summit anymore!
We put down our backpacks and collapsed into the mountain lodge.
Until dinner time, we took a nap and enjoyed the scenery, spending a special time.
Although I should have been unable to walk at all, once we arrived at the mountain lodge, we ran around to see the sunset for several hours.
During dinner, I chatted with a German woman who had come to Japan for the first time for business. We talked about how it’s not an ordinary thing to visit Mount Yari during the lingering snow season! As it turned out, she was an alpinist who had been hiking around the Alps in Europe.
She was also skilled in outdoor rock climbing, and it was a wonderful encounter.
The next morning, my energetic wife went to see the sunrise at the summit.
I saw the sunrise from the mountain lodge.
After having breakfast, I wanted to climb to the summit, so I took my wife to the summit again.
As the early morning descended and more people were descending, a strong climber came up nonchalantly…
Surprisingly, a man had climbed from Shin-Hotaka in just six hours!! (actually, we took 11hrs.lol)
Indeed, the climbers during this season are all strong.
As we bid farewell to the mountain lodge, two more strong climbers arrived nonchalantly.
Wait, don’t I know them!
It was a reunion after a long time, and we took a commemorative photo.
Now, a famous YouTuber, “the diary of mountain-loving immigrants ‘Sankaku Stand’ by the Moja-maru couple.”
Now, as we started the descent, we realized that we had lost something important. (I already knew, though.)
The ice axe attached to my backpack was gone.
Turns out, I dropped the ice axe at Yaridaira Mount Hut!
Moja-maru had found it for me.
Indeed, even after checking the photos, there was no ice axe in the pictures from Yaridaira Mount Hut…
In a critical moment, the ice axe became unusable!
Now, forgetting about the ice axe, we descended the steep Hida-sawa, where one slip would lead to a bottomless pit.
The steep slope that cannot be conveyed in photos.
We were able to descend easily without the same sense of altitude and fear as when we climbed yesterday.
During the descent, there were bear footprints traversing the area.
They weren’t there yesterday, so they must have passed through last night.
We passed a few climbers in Hida-sawa, but we didn’t encounter any more climbers after that.
Everyone was fast-paced!
We even found Moja-maru couple’s sleeping spot in the tent area of Yaridaira tent site!
A commemorative photo.
It’s a tent thinner than a plastic bag!
And I also found my ice axe! I safely retrieved it and bid farewell to Yaridaira.
By the way, due to the hot weather, the snow was melting rapidly!
The snow disappeared quickly.
The hiking trail without snow, and the gentians greet me as if saying “Welcome back”!
From the winter summit to the summer hiking trail, it was a hike where we experienced the different seasons in one day.
After descending, we relaxed in the hot springs to refresh ourselves!
My sunburn is stinging and painful!
After a long time in the Northern Alps, I’m exhausted…