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Can I climb Yari-ga-take and Oku-hotaka-dake solo?

by M
(Singapore)

Hi Gary,I'd been hoping to do the Yarigatake-Okuhotakadake circuit but a friend of mine said that it's really dangerous and that I should at least get a guide. I'm not sure if she was exaggerating or not, but it did make me think twice.

I don't have technical climbing skills, but I have done quite a bit of trekking and mountain climbing. Do you think it's possible to do the circuit, or at least Okuhotakadake via Karasawa solo?

Thanks in advance,
M

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Aug 22, 2019
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Mt. Tsurugi-dake was a little scary...
by: Gary Wolff

As I recall, Tateyama was a piece of cake, but on the other hand, Tsurugi-dake was a rather difficult slog, including the 2 exhilarating, hair-raising "crab" sections in the last 200 m before reaching the summit.

Kani-no-yokobai (in Japanese, meaning "crawling sideways like a crab"):
https://www.garyjwolff.com/mt-tateyama-and-mt-tsurugi-dake.html#kani

Kani-no-tatebai (meaning "crawling upwards like a crab"): https://flic.kr/p/8FSDRK

Aug 22, 2019
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thank you for the warning!
by: M

Hi Gary,

thank you for the warning re: daikiretto! Reading Laura's account definitely deterred me somewhat... I'll save that portion for when I have an experienced hiking buddy. Or a certified guide.

That said, now I'm torn between Tateyama/Tsurugi and Okuhotakadake (please don't kill me for asking too many question!) Since I still can't find anyone to go with me, would you recommend going up Tsurugi solo (Tateyama seems safe enough)? Or could you recommend where to find a hiking group I can join?

Many thanks in advance,
M

Aug 21, 2019
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Not recommended
by: Gary Wolff

​M, doing the Yari-ga-take to Oku-hotaka-dake circuit requires traversing the Daikiretto, the scariest section of mountain climbing​​ I’ve ever done in Japan. If you haven’t already read Laura Dickey's humorous account of this very dangerous section, you really should: Kamikochi and the Daikiretto

Personally, I don’t recommend anyone to climb Japan’s highest peaks solo, but as far as whether you can climb Oku-hotaka-dake via Karasawa by yourself, I guess that all depends upon your own degree of climbing experience and physical conditioning, as each climber is different.

Happy trails and thanks for visiting my site…

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