Rishirisan – HOKKAIDO
- Jun 2011
I took the 11:10 am ferry from Wakkanai -port and arrived at on Rishiri-Island in the afternoon. The Rishiri-mountain was covered by clouds. It looked scary because almost 2/3 of it was covered and there was snow even below. I could not expect which conditions are on the top of the mountain. After arrival, I drove to the other side of the island. Then suddenly, for a short time (approx. 30 min) the it cleared up and I could have a look at the top. Some snowfields are left but it should be possible to climb.
I checked in at the mountain entrance campsite and received all necessary information. Eisen are not necessary but lots of warm clothes. It was the best mountain starting check in I have experienced. All necessary data, including colors of my clothes (all layers), route, starting time, equipment, amount of water, …. was collected. I spend the afternoon relaxing, with barbeque, and a cold beer and went to bed early because it started raining about 8:00 p.m. and I was tired from driving.
I wanted to start hiking at 6:00 am, but I woke up at 4:00 a.m. because several hikers already arrived. After short breakfast (some leftover ramen with vegetable and steak) I started hiking at 5:00 a.m.
The trail passed one of Japans best spring. The water was delicious! It was very humid and after a while it started raining. Anyway, hiking was nice, the trail very good customized (the best I have experienced so far) and many hikers on the way.
About 1.200 meters it became cold and I put on second trouser, scarf, gloves. I was already wearing 4 layers. Still we walked in the clouds and there was no view. Suddenly there was ice on the bushes, it started to melt and fall. There was some strange sound of crackling and falling ice. Then it became more ice and a cold wind blew. It looked like in a fable, “Maerchen” – walking in an miracle ice palace. Or in a fantasy story where the ice queen has created the ice cristal castle on the top of her mountain.
Wow, what a scenery! Perfect timing! The sky suddenly turned blue, there was a view, we were above the clouds. The shrine on the top was frozen, too. It was to cold for a long rest with cooking lunch. Only short rest and thanks for the great moment! Then I descended while weather was clearing up more and more. Mainly I walked back in the sun. This was a great hike with lots of different weather and feeling.
I visited Rishiri-Onzen, relaxed in the outside bath and then took the ferry. Because of leaving early this morning, I was able to catch an earlier ferry and drive back to central Hokkaido – to hike the next mountain.
利尻岳 Rishirisan 25. Jun 2011
Start 利尻北麓野営場 Rishirihokurokuyaeisyou 5:00 am 290 m
Top 利尻岳 Rishirisan 9:50 am 1.719 m
Finish 利尻北麓野営場 Rishirihokurokuyaeisyou 1:00 pm 290 m
Duration: 8 h Distance: 12,2 Km Height: 1.534 m