After I climbed Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳) & Mt. Washiba-dake (鷲羽岳),
from mountain climbing. Actually, I do that EVERY year after coming
down from the mountains. I'm
always in so much pain, I ask myself if
it's all really worth it.
But Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳, elev. 2986m) & Mt. Washiba-dake (鷲羽岳,
elev. 2924.2m), Japan's
23rd & 29th highest mountains, were
night I stayed in the Suisho-goya mountain hut (水晶小屋), a typhoon was
past the Japanese archipelago off the coast of the Japan Sea. Even
though we were hundreds of kilometers away, with all the severe wind
and rain that night, I honestly felt like that tiny little hut that
sleeps only 30 was going to blow away.
Things were still pretty radical the next morning and if I'd had any
sense, I would've just parked it for a while. But instead, I insisted I
needed to be on my way. Big mistake. The typhoon-force winds almost
blew me off the trail on at least 2 occasions along a precarious
knife-edged ridge on my way back down to Takase Dam, my starting and
ending points for this hike.
Fortunately, my guardian angels kicked it into high gear and I got off
the mountain safely. But during the next several months, I did some
serious soul searching about the benefits vs. costs of this alpine
hobby of mine. So much in fact that I didn't even go back up into the
high country for 2 years.
One of the harsh lessons that I learned from that terrifying experience
of coming down from Suisho-goya (水晶小屋) was that I also needed to
hiking attire. Back then I was using fairly cheap and relatively
ineffective rainwear, as you can see above. It was basically just a
ground sheet that converted into a poncho, which I'd been using
forever, going back to almost my Boy
With the exception of the inclement weather up there on the top, it was
a very beautiful, sunny day when I first started out from Takase Dam
with some rather spectacular panoramas along the way, including that
very special kind of sunset you can only see from the mountains.
Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳)
Along the way up to Mt. Suisho-dake, I passed 2 other notable Japan
highpointers in the area, Mt. Noguchi-goro-dake (野口五郎岳, elev.
2924.3m) & Mt. Mitsu-dake (三ツ岳, elev. 2845m),
& 47th highest peaks, respectively. And thank God for
conveniently located Noguchi-goro-goya (野口五郎小屋) mountain hut, which
practically saved my life because it's where I
sought refuge in the midst of the typhoon rain & winds on my
way back down. Being almost soaked to the bones, I've never had a
more refreshing cup of hot coffee.
And I'd be remiss not to mention the stunning emerald green waters of
Lake Takase, which you can see in my Flickr photo album below.
I hope you'll have time to check it out, which is a
slideshow of my very eventful mountain climbing trip. Just
right arrow, then sit back and enjoy !!
Yes, when I reflect back on these more beautiful moments of the trip,
it helps balance out in my mind those dangerous moments of when the
Pics of Mt.
Suisho-dake (水晶岳) & Mt. Washiba-dake
(鷲羽岳) Japan's 23rd
highest peaks, respectively Aug. 10-12,
2003 (View entire
album at a glance here.)
My Google Map of Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳) &
Route Map of Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳) &
(Please note: the above route map and elevation profile
differ from my own route, as that course goes all the way to
Shin-Hotaka Onsen. I also started at Takase Dam, but climbed
only Mt. Suisho-dake & Mt. Washiba-dake on this trip.
For 19 years I've been methodically, albeit at an approximate
once-a-year snail's pace, trying to climb the 25 highest mountains
Japan. So it's always a pleasure when you can save time by
(or more) peaks from the list on the same trip. Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳)
Washiba-dake (鷲羽岳) were 2 of these what I've termed "couplet
list of the couplets among the highest mountains in Japan that you can
* Actually, these couplet peaks are just the 2 highest among 8 of
highest mountains that you'll scale on this route.
** You'll also scale another Japan highpointer along
this Warusawa/Akaishi route: Mt. Arakawa-naka-dake, Japan's
13th highest peak. And if you have a little extra time to
Hijiri-dake, Japan's 21st highest peak is less than
5 km south of
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And if you've already climbed Mt. Suisho-dake (水晶岳) or Mt. Washiba-dake
(鷲羽岳) & you'd care to pay it forward by sharing your
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