This mountain climb was a trial and an aspiration! We headed to the familiar Genjiro Ridge, an introductory route to the variation routes of Mt. Tsurugi!
I’ve been wanting to go to Genjiro Ridge for six years, and finally, I could take on the challenge!
Genjiro Ridge is an alpine climbing route that requires rappelling on the beginner variation route of Mt. Tsurugi in the Northern Alps, with a rocky ridge walk with a sense of altitude.
Of course, equipment such as harnesses, descending tools, and climbing ropes is necessary, and general climbers are not allowed.
The day before the Genjiro Ridge attack, we arrived at the Tsurugi-sawa Campground!
We’ll spend time enjoying the mountain views until the day of the attack.
Genjiro Ridge attack
3:30 AM Departure from Tsurugi-sawa Campground.
Descending from the side of Tsurugi-sawa Hut to the Tsurugi-sawa trail.
The Tsurugi-sawa snowfield appears along the way, but we couldn’t find a good approach to descend onto the snowfield. We continued to descend the summer trail and finally descended onto the snowfield between Hezo-Tan Valley and Musashi-Tani Valley.
Arrival at Hezo-Tan Valley, with a big rock on the left side of Hezo-Tan Valley as a landmark.
Now, from a distance, the approach to Genjiro Ridge was like a narrow trail.
The climbing trail leading to Genjiro Ridge.
4:45 AM Genjiro Ridge trailhead
A fairly steep climb from the attachment(trailhead), steeper than the three major steep climbs on the regular route, almost like a cliff.
After climbing about 30 meters, we confirmed that another party was attaching to Genjiro Ridge from the snowfield.
Well, we have arrived at the entrance of Genjiro Ridge, the first rocky area after the attachment.
Since the rocky area is on a steep slope, it seems better to wear the harness at the snowfield.
If you can’t clear this, you can’t reach the summit. It’s a rocky area that can be called a bouldering or climbing experience, slightly hanging, and if you don’t have experience, it’s a rocky area that you can’t climb.
A piton for self-use was kindly struck. Even though it’s just after the attachment, there is a sense of altitude, and if you fall, it seems that you won’t stop until the snowfield.
My wife cleared it without any problems, and I was able to clear it while my arm muscles were almost cramping.
Climbing through the trees in a steep cliff, we reached the second rocky area.
Here, too, there was a piton that seemed to be self-supporting.
How to climb while taking time to think.
Climbing the ridge with a steep rocky ridge and mixed with dwarf stone pine(Pinus pumila).
Slabs that are often seen in photos have appeared!
The left side of the slab is a sheer cliff, and the right side is a steep slope with nothing to the valley.
My wife climbed up confidently like a boss monkey.
From here, the sense of altitude increased, and the fear increased.
After climbing the slabs, we continued to climb the rocks, threading through the dwarf stone pine.
Climbing the edge of a sheer cliff, the sense of altitude is amazing!
We reached a place where we could see 1st peak.
Still a steep rocky ridge and dwarf stone pine continue…
After passing through a large rocky area, there is a gravel area that seems to slide down.
In a very open place with a great view, my wife is screaming happily, but I’m crawling forward and climbing while bowing because I’m scared.
The feeling of altitude has increased from this point, and the fear has increased.
The summit of 1st peak seems to continue for a bit, and we walk on a narrow and thin ridge for a short distance.
7:45 AM, the tip of 1st peak
Took a photo at the tip of 1st peak!
As soon as we arrived at the tip of 1st peak, there was an amazing climb back to 2nd peak!
Are we going down here and climbing again!?
Descending carefully to avoid stumbling.
Almost vertical, so we descended to the col in no time.
Now, where are we going to climb… It seems we’re climbing between the white rocks and the dwarf stone pine.
Climbing up relying on the branches of the dwarf stone pines and the gaps between the rocks.
In no time, we return to the same elevation as 1st peak.
A pair of climbers is approaching 1st peak from behind.
Now, when it comes to 2nd peak, it’s time for rappelling!
Finally, we’ve come this far. We’ll climb the narrow ridge path of 2nd peak, but the last rocky area at the peak is terrifying with a sense of altitude and steepness!
8:30 AM, the tip of 2nd peak, Rappelling.
Here it is! The rappelling point!
Prepare to descend by taking the rope out of the backpack.
I bought a 60m rope just for this place! It seems you can descend with a 50m rope too…
But I don’t want to cut it too close, so I recommend a 60m rope.
The rope is likely to tangle below, so I’ll descend slowly, very slowly.
The rope descended safely without any entanglement.
Now that my turn is over, I’ll watch my wife’s descent from below.
The following party caught up, and they are preparing to descend.
As expected, the guides of the variation route were efficient and descended at a rapid pace.
Now that the climax of Genjiro Ridge is over, we’ll climb to the summit of the main peak, directly below the summit.
However, unlike before, it’s a tremendous scree field!
Be careful not to cause rockfall, so climb while being careful not to drop stones.
A rocky area that looks familiar somewhere, like the filming location of The Lord of the Rings! It’s so rugged that it makes you think that!
Despite being careful all the way, we messed up.
A loose stone is falling.
The following party is in a safe place, and the rocks stop halfway, so fortunately, it didn’t turn into an accident, but it was really scary.
Is the summit here yet?! Climbing the rocky terrain, and we hear voices from somewhere.
Is the summit close!?
I can see a little shrine!
W-We made it!!!
Wife reached the summit!
Capturing the last moment from the summit!
I also reached the summit!!!
10:00 AM, Tsurugi-dake Summit.
Huh? My wife’s eyes seem to be red.
It turns out that, due to overwhelming emotions, tears were coming out of her eyes.
Successfully conquered Genjiro Ridge!
We did it!
The party that came up after us also reached the summit! A photo battle started.
Surprisingly, the woman in the following party was celebrating her 70th birthday with this commemorative climb!
It’s so surprising that it feels like my eyeballs are popping out!
I felt this during the Gendarme traverse, but the power of women, no kidding.
1:10 PM, Return to Tsurugisawa Campground.
Well, it seems like my wife thoroughly enjoyed Genjiro Ridge, but for me, I developed acrophobia right on the edge. There were places where, if I let my guard down, I felt like I would lose consciousness, making it quite a thrilling mountain climb.
I think it’s definitely because of my age, so I’d like to visit again soon to get used to high places.
At the summit, I expressed my gratitude by bowing deeply.
Thank you for watching over us without any accidents!