Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paradise found.....and lost

Heavy snows up high recently, and not too bad down below.

Heading up the lower portion of the first pitch up Darumagamine
 the snow here is almost ready, the base is not quite firm enough.
Feeling good and confident from all the MTB riding.

surfs up on the top

a good 2 meters worth

good skiing ahead

This is Hyogo (or Japan)  weather in microcosm.  To the right (north) the heavy weather from the sea brings snow.
on the left the sun prevails. We are smack dab in the middle.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Inland Sea is visible from this distance.

The three sentinel pines at the foot of Futougamine

The trailless peak of Hachimansan, which supposedly has some
other-wordly significance.

3 hours of climbing and a well deserved lunch break at the cache
Just behind the lunch and cache spot it opens up into this beautiful
glade when the snow is deep enough.  The plan is to ski right down the center
and follow the ridge down all the way to the logging road.  Then take the
logging road back to my house, about 4 km. and get my car from the trailhead tomorrow.

After an hour semi-lost, exhausted, and  thankful to be back at the trail.
I came out just above the 3 pines at 3pm and a long way to go back down.

The red line marks my decent approximately.  The yellow
rectangles were planned ski routes.  As I got lower the woods became impassible on skis.
The snow depth was more than sufficient, but the brush was too
thick to ski through.  The blue line marks my retreat back
to the trail.  It was only 300? meters or so, but was so difficult
that at times I was crawling to make any headway in the  sometimes thigh deep snow.
My skis provided no help in the traverse as the brush was too thick
and the terrain  too steep.  I have to admit that there were two moments
when it seemed I'd be spending a long cold night up there before finding the trail.
 Retracing my tracks 600m. or so back to the cache uphill  was my last resort,
 going laterally 300m. was difficult enough.

And miles to go before I sleep, halfway home.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Now that winter is nearly here it's time to hike again
too much fun with the crew

We got hit with and exhilarating corn snow squall on top

first snow of the year

If you go off trail when it's warm you get this

and these

Time to sample the clover wine and berry liquor 

the ride is is totally pimped out, getting ready for some backcountry ski touring