- Jan. 2011 – 1st try, unfinished
Started in Takasaki at 5:30 am, I met my friend Takashi Tomioka-san in Tomioka at 6:00 am. We took the highway, had a short breakfast rest and reached the hiking starting point “Sugadaira Ranch Management Office parking 菅平” at 8.30 am. The roads have been covered with snow; it is a beautiful winter day. Temperature: -11°C, no wind.
We put on all our clothes and started the hiking tour at 9.00 am at 1.590 m. Besides us, two other Japanese men wanted to hike Azumaya-san. We were the first who hiked in the fresh snow.
Even if we have been wearing snow shoes, it is tough for all of us to walk because the snow was fresh and it seemed that we have been the first who hike this trail during that winter.
Slowly we walked through the forest in about 60 cm deep powder-snow.
In summer, it maybe takes about two and a half hours to the top. After four hours and 2.9 km we reached Naka-Azumaya (中四阿). From here it is still 1.7 km to the top.
I wanted to try to continue the hike and cross a valley to the slope of Azumaya-san. The snow was more than 1 meter deep; the trees have been completely covered with ice and snow.
The hiking path was not visible at all and there was no other way through the forest to the top. It became 1:30 pm and still no way visible. I stuck about 2.180 meter – less than 200 meter below the top but there was no chance to reach it on that day.
I returned to Naka-Azumaya (中四阿) where Tomioka-san was waiting for me. The other two hikers already were back down.
We reached the car about 3:30 pm, just in time before the weather changed. A cold wind was blowing and grey clouds covered the sky. At 4:00 p.m. we reached Azumaya-Onsen and took a relaxing bath, insides and outside with a beautiful view on Asama-san.
Next time I want to try a different trail and maybe I will start at the parking place at Azumaya-Onsen. At 7:00 pm we arrived back in Tomioka.
四阿山 Azumayasan (unfinished) 03. Jan 2011
Start Sugadaira Ranch Management Office parking 菅平 8:45 am 1.590 m
Trail up Naka-Azumaya (中四阿) 1:00 pm 2.106 m
Top West slope of Azumaya-san四阿山 (not top) 1:30 pm 2.180 m
Trail down Same way back
Finish Sugadaira Ranch Management Office parking 菅平 3:30 pm 1.590 m
Duration: 6 h 45 min Distance: 6,6 km Height: 600 m
5. Jan. 2011 – 2nd try, finished
Departure in Takasaki at 6:00 am, arrive at Azumaya-Hotel (103 km from Takasaki) at 7:45 am.
Start hiking at 8:00 am, temperature was about -12 degree, no wind, clear sky.
That day the hiking path was easy to find and lead almost strait up to the mountain. I could walk in the footsteps of two or three other person, who hiked the mountain one or two days before me.
Also the snow was a little bit frozen; only a few times I sank into the snow which then was about 1 meter deep.
Compared to the hike two days before, it was much easier to climb the mountain on that day. I reached the top of Azumaya-san (2.354 m) around 12:00 pm. Until then the weather was great, but from noon on some clouds appeared and a cold wind started to blow. I guess the temperature was about -15 degrees. I was the only hiker on this mountain on that day.
I took some pictures on the top and then decided to climb down a bit to find a wind-shaded place between the snow-covered trees for a lunch break.
Lunch contained of one energy pack, chocolate bread and lemon tea. This time I have carried the tea in a big thermos-can on my back, another 0.5 liter thermos-can and a cup I had clipped with a karabiner to the breast-belt of my backpack. So I could easily access the hot drink during the hike, there was no need to take down the big backpack.
At 3:00 pm I reached the car and then took a bath in the 四阿高原ホテル温泉 (Azumaya Hotel Onsen). At 5:00 pm I was back in Takasai and I felt like I have caught a cold on the cold mountain.
四阿山 Azumayasan (second try) 05. Jan 2011
Start Azumaya Hotel 四阿高原ホテル温泉 8:00 am 1.450 m
Trail up Direct way on ssw-side of mountain
Top Azumayasan四阿山 11:50 am 2.354 m
Trail down Same way
Finish Azumaya Hotel 四阿高原ホテル温泉 2:15 pm 1.450 m
Duration: 6 h 15 min Distance: 10,0 km Height: 904 m