23. Dec 2009 – 1st try, unfinished
This was my first winter hike – one day before Christmas.
I bought snowshoes to hike during winter – it was the first try. In the beginning I did not need them because snow was not deep. After 2 hours hiking I meet another hiker and the snow became about one meter deep. I used snow shows but the other hiker did not bring any, so he had to return soon. But before he went back, he explained the way / direction – which was very helpful for me. I continued hiking alone. Suddenly a strange animal appeared in the snow – first I thought it might be a bear – but bears are sleeping in winter…
It was a “Kamoshika” – a Japanese mountain goat.
It crossed a valley close to a iron water spring. Above the spring there was a mountain hut. A ranger stays here during whole year. He invited me for a hot tea. After warming up I continued hiking. But it became more and more difficult. There was lots of fresh snow, even wearing snow shoes I sank often about 1 meter into the snow. It took a long time to go 100 meters. Really tiring. About 1:00 pm I only hiked about half of the way up to Asamasan. Not realistic to climb this mountain and return before darkness this day. I decided to return and try again another day. On the way back I meet another Kamoshika. Even if I did not climb this mountain that day, it was a beautiful hike and I was really happy to meet Kamoshika so close.
浅間山 Asamayama 23. Dec 2009
Start 天狗温泉浅間山荘 Tenguonsen Asamasansou 8:30 am 1.408 m
Trail 浅間神社 Asamajinja 火山館 Kazankan mountainhut 11:40 am 2.020 m
Top 賽の河原 湯の平 Sainokawara Yunodaira (Crater of Mt. Kurofu) 1:00 pm 2.060 m
Trail Same way back
Finish 天狗温泉浅間山荘 Tenguonsen Asamasansou 3:45 pm 1.408 m
Duration: 7 h 15 min Distance: 8 km Height: 652 m
30. Jan 2010 – 2nd try, finished
3rd. try to climb this mountain. This time I left early in the morning. When I drove to Karuizawa the night was clear – beautiful stars and a red moon above the mountains.
In the beginning I was able to hike with hiking shoes, after a while I used snow cramps (eisen), then snow shoes again.
I had a break at the nature protection mountain hut and again I received a delicious hot tea. This time there was more snow than last time, but snow was heavier and I did not sink so deep into it. From the foot of Asamayama I had to use “eisen”, the snow surface became very icy. From the top I had a beautiful view – I was able to see Fuji-san – and lots of other mountains.
Temperature was about -20 degree. My lunch box (noodles with tomato and meat) was frozen. I filled it up with hot tea, which might sound strange – but taste is not so bad.
After return I went to the local onzen – it offers a bath in orange water. After the bath you can relax in front of the fire place. It was a beautiful hike and I would like to do it again, someday, but then with ski.
Hiking-Keydata: 浅間山 Asamayama 30. Jan 2010
Start 天狗温泉浅間山荘 Tenguonsen Asamasansou 7:00 am 1.408 m
Trail 浅間神社 Asamajinja 火山館 Kazankan mountainhut 9:00 am 2.020 m
Top 浅間山 避難壕Asamayama Hinangou (shelter) 10:50 am 2.478 m
Top 前掛山 Maekakeyama 11:30 am 2.524 m
Top 浅間山 Asamayama 12:30 am 2.568 m
Top 浅間山 避難壕Asamayama Hinangou (shelter) 1:00 pm 2.478 m
Finish 天狗温泉浅間山荘 Tenguonsen Asamasansou 4:15 pm 1.408 m
Duration: 9 h 15 min Distance: 14 km Height: 1.210 m