died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

hotaka dake

My company gave us obon vacation at the end of last week and the beginning of this week. So I decided to go to the expo in Nagoya, and hotaka dake, the 3rd tallest mountain in Japan.

The expo was good. An eco epcot center feeling to it all. An in-company magazine which I am counsel to had been writing an article about the expo, and in addition to the fact that the Mitsubishi group had an exhibition at the expo, all made me want to go and see what it was all about.

From there we took a train to matsumoto in Nagano to head to Hotaka Dake mountain. The access point, Kamikouchi, is only accessible by bus (it's a preserved area, and this is supposed to reduce vehicle emissions)

Kamikochi was beautiful. There was a big lodge there, and all of the other infrastructure was top notch (we discovered later that this is somewhat of a tourist destination, but we arrived around 6 am (catching the 4:30 am train/bus) so there weren't very many people when we arrived)

The trail we took to the ascent was simply awesome. It was almost too beautiful. The trail leads along a river without a single speck of human impact. We burned through this section.

The ascent was pretty rough. The first section was fairly easy. It led up to a beautiful alpine river cascading down. We ate a little bit, washed our sweaty shirts in the freezing alpine water. The rest of the ascent was killer. Through my lack of sleep (4:30 train, and no sleep from the night before) sun exposure, and simple lack of physical fitness for the pace we were going at, my body started fighting back.

Before we reached the next hut on the path it started raining, so we hurried to the area. You could either pay to sleep in a communal room, or pitch your tent in the camping area.

The tent area was really cool, all made from a natural stone field. The stones were formed into paths and removed in some sections to fit a tent. It rained the rest of the day and all night so we stayed in the tent.

The rain wasn't forecasted to stop, and I was exhausted, so we decided to head back down. The peak was only about 3 hours away, but I just didn't have the energy to do it as it was all vertical.


At 12:03 AM, Blogger McBrideFarm said...

Wow, sounds like a great trip! I am jealous of the extreme "preservedness". Could it have snowed more while you were up there? -John

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Travis said...

I can tell you more about it later, but the snow was only left over crusty snow. There were really cool staircases they shoveled through some of the remaining snow fields.

We can go if you are ever able to come over here (late summer or early fall is probably the best time for the mountains).


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