Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mt. Kumotori Hike

Derek, Brent, and I tackled Tokyo's highest peak, Mt. Kumotori, on Saturday. It's just over 2,000 meters. Long trails in and out to reach it. Many people stay the night at a lodge below the summit. We had planned to do a loop, but the trail we wanted to take in had been closed for 3 years due to a massive landslide. It has been left in disrepair since then. They also posted that a man had died trying to cross the washed out section. So yeah, we forged ahead anyway.

The trailhead. I believe Derek is pointing to the sign saying the trail is closed.

Just a short ways down is a beautiful camp spot with a stream running through. We spent 20-30 minutes trying to figure out where the trail continued from here.

Derek crossing the stream

It was rough going after that point. Many miles of traversing a thin trail cut into the side of the mountain. There were a lot of these rotting wood ladders placed across portions of the trail that had been washed out. And then there were simply washed away sections that we had to find our own way across.

Eventually we reached the section that was clearly the reason for the trail closure. A good potion of the mountainside had suffered a landslide. We couldn't see to where the trail picked up again from where we were. It would be a lateral rock climb/scramble across a steep face that ended with a long vertical drop to the canyon below if we were to slip. Since it was a landslide, many of the rocks and gravel were loose, which made for treacherous hand and foot holds.

Derek and Brent had a much easier time of it than I did. I'm afraid of heights and made my way across very slowly. It was not a pleasant experience. Derek took this shot from the other side, after I was nearly finished.

And here's one Brent took after we are all across. It's a shame we didn't get a shot of the drop below, which is what made it way more scary than it looks.

These trees had recently fallen across the trail.

Brent making his way across another rundown ladder.

Eventually reached the summit

A very tame deer near the top


I love a good cairn

We hiked through a lot of clouds

and flowers

I love this shot of a birch forest Derek took

The trail we took off the mountain was gorgeous, as you can see from these photos.

This suspended bridge hangs at the confluence of several rivers with some amazing waterfalls. 

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