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Safe to climb Mt. Kita-dake in early April?

by Justin
(Singapore)

Hi Gary,

Is it possible (and safe enough) to climb Mt. Kita-dake in early April (first week)?
Will I be needing crampons and ice axe? I will be climbing solo.

I will be Japan for 6 days in early April, and north and central alps are both out because it's not safe enough... seems like Mt. Kita-dake might be the last chance to climb...

Thanks!
Justin

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Feb 20, 2015
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Thanks
by: Justin

Thanks Gary.
Really appreciate you taking time to reply.
I'll heed you advice.

Will look for something to do while I'm in Japan in april,probably the pilgrimage route of Omine Okugake-michi at kumano kodo.

Feb 18, 2015
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Don't think so.
by: Gary Wolff

Justin, I'm not a big fan of off-season climbing, especially in winter, and in fact due to the inherent dangers, I've never, ever done it in Japan.

So, in short, IMHO there are NO safe peaks to climb in April in the Japan Alps. :-)

There has been a RASH of climbers who've perished in Japan's high country in the past year, and EVERY year due to the lingering wintry conditions, many alpinists die climbing during Golden Week, a 1-week national holiday period in the first week of May (1 full month AFTER you'll be here in early April).

I'd encourage you to do some serious soul searching about whether that's what you really want to do (especially by yourself), and as a minimum look over this section of my Climbing Mt. Fuji FAQ page: http://www.garyjwolff.com/climbing-mt-fuji.html#2.

In particular, in that section please read "Three Deadly Reasons to Stay off Mt. Fuji in the off-season," then watch the 93-sec. video, and then read the very important warning linked from there by Wes Lang, the founder/administrator of the "Hiking in Japan" Facebook group: Winter Hiking Tips

Best wishes for an enjoyable trip to Japan!

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