What hiking gears are needed for a summer hike up Kita-dake?
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What hiking gears are needed for a summer hike up Kita-dake?

by Shiela
(Kanagawa)

I will be climbing Kita-dake this July, right in time for summer and I'm pretty sure there will be no snow...or so I think.

Do I need to bring special equipment?

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Jul 17, 2017
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Thanks!
by: Gary Wolff

Thanks for your report, Shiela, which I'm sure will be helpful for future early season climbers of Mt. Kita-dake.

So happy to hear you had a good trip.

Feel free to share your full story with up to 4 pics here, at the bottom of my Mt. Kita-dake page: http://www.garyjwolff.com/mt-kita-dake.html#INV

Thanks again for sharing...

Jul 17, 2017
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Snow still present in certain trail
by: Shiela

Hi Garry,

Thanks for your tips!

I pushed through with the hike last July 15.
Fortunately, I found this site that gives regular updates about the trail conditions and the weather on the mountain. (Unfortunately, it's written only in Japanese.)
http://www.yamakei-online.com/mt_info/info_detail.php?info_id=1032

I was able to know beforehand which trail to avoid and how cold it would be on the day of the hike.

Until late July, the Okambasawa trail is covered in snow, so crampons and other winter hiking equipment are required. Since I didn't have one, I took the trail on the right on the fork to Shirane-oike-koya. Also, some parts of the Kata-no-koya campsite are still covered in snow, which means if anyone wants to get a good snow-free and level spot, one has to arrive early in the campsite.

The mountain is relentlessly steep. I was very fortunate for the clear weather during my hike. The views were so beautiful.

May 09, 2017
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Don't think so...
by: Gary Wolff

Shiela, I think it depends on what part of July you're talking about. You're probably pretty safe in late July, but in early July, it's anyone's guess as every climbing season is different.

Three of the 4 climbing trails on Mount Fuji, only 56 km away as a crow flies, generally don't open until at least July 10, and as recently as 2014, some of them not until the 3rd week of July.

One good thing about Mt. Kita-dake, though, in the event of any late-lingering snow, from Hirogawara you have 2 climbing routes to choose from.

To be on the safe side, you might want to contact one of the 3 mountain huts near the summit referenced on my Mt. Kita-dake (北岳) page and inquire about the latest trail conditions before you set out.

As a side note, I've had the pleasure of scaling 38 of Japan's 50 highest peaks and have never had to use any special equipment besides the crampons I rented to hike up the Daisekkei Valley snow field, en route to the summit of Mt. Shirouma-dake.

Best wishes on your trip...

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