Monday, July 23, 2007
The plan was to trek the entire way from Murodo to Kamikochi, the classic North Japan Alps traverse, but many elements made us change our mind. With typhoon and earth quake happened just before we started our walk, we had not idea what the 6 day routes will be like. Also the snow patches have been very resilient this year, due to short of rainfall. The trek may not be too enjoyable for Martina. Maybe a project for future years. So our hiking trip became a two parts affairs, we did a one day walk in Murodo a plateau at over 2o00m attitude then transported to picturistic Kamikochi to climb the highest mountain on our original route, Hotakadake at 3190m.
To do that Martina had to walk up an one hour long snow field to get to a beautiful mountain hut in the Karasawa valley. Complain of the harshness of the condition as she may, she did find the valley to be incrediblly beautiful, with towering peaks cradling three sides of the snowfield. The hut, Karasawa Hutte sits right in the middle.
The next day, I went up the peak on my own, over an interesting rock scramble to another mountain hut that sits at a saddle point on a ridgeline. Climbing up ladders and chains, I finally got to the top. On a good day, I will be able to see every single peaks from Tatayama to Hotakadake, the journey that we planned to have taken. But the cloud rising from the valley, I have to be content with the sea of cloud beneath my feet.
Hiking in Japan is an enjoyable experience, the mountains are beautiful of course, but the huts located at the remote mountain top and alpine meadows provided us with comfort and good food is what impressed me the most. Got to come back some other time.