2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳


Trail photos

Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳 Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳 Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳


Trail stats

11.8 mi
Elevation gain
8,058 ft
Technical difficulty
Very difficult
Elevation loss
8,058 ft
Max elevation
9,748 ft
Min elevation
2,572 ft
Trail type
9 hours 38 minutes
May 23, 2015
May 2015
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near Shirasu, Yamanashi (Japan)

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Trail photos

Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳 Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳 Photo of2015-05-23 甲斐駒ケ岳

Itinerary description

Day climb to Kaikomagatake

We got to the parking lot before 白州観光尾白キャンプ場 around 22:40 and based on the fair weather and the 2 hours left before rising time we slept without tent. We started at 1:04 and had only 3 hours and 20 minutes before sunrise. Our target was the small campsite above 七丈小屋 around 2400m of elevation (we started at 770m) and map time between these 2 locations is 7 hours. There was no time to waste, yet for some unfathomable reason at the second intersection I got confused and chose the wrong direction, we veered off to the North side of the mountain for 10 minutes before I realized my error when checking the GPS.

In pitch dark there are little clues to understand where one is heading for, a more careful check of the map and regular glances on the GPS are essential… 15 minutes wasted due to my error and our chances to get to our sunrise spot were greatly diminished. Previous training with 30 kg backpack, walking for more than 10 hours actually paid off remarkably, I could set a frenetic pace and we got to the hut at 3:10 AM, we had managed to walk it in 3h05 wasting 15 minutes on the way, while map time is 7 hours. Of course we didn't pause even 2 consecutive seconds on the way.

Around 3:00 AM above Yatsugatake the pre-sunrise hues intensified and a bright red explosion was coloring a large portion of the sky. Dense trees prevented any clear sight and no good spot could be found for a picture, also we didn't know how far was the campsite from the hut nor how far we were from the hut. So we had to give up on the red sky and push on to a secure location with no occlusions. Soon after we passed the hut, relinquished the water point judging that imminent sunrise was a more pressing matter and found a suitable spot next to a tent with his occupant also getting shots of the ongoing colorful spectacle. It was 4:15 AM and the sky was turning from red to orange with intensifying blue gaining ground. The right amount of high altitude clouds were present and at 4:35 (11 minutes later than the forecast for the summit) when we were considering the possibility the sun was occluded by a cloud it pierced the horizon just over Kinpusan.

After 25 minutes taking pictures by 3 degrees we were getting cold and it was time to get back on our way towards the summit. A few minutes and we hit a hard snow stretch, tracks were visible but crampons proved necessary, I also used my ice axe. The snow had held for a few 100 meters, apparently it has snowed 48 hours earlier but most of it had melted on the East face, yet older snow had remained on the North facing stretches.

We soon passed the tree line and the snow almost vanished, the trail was rugged with large rocks and it was steep enough to require the use of both hands. Easy climbing moves proved necessary and we made slow progress.

We got to the summit at 6:30 AM. Before the summit we could see Nokogiri, Yatsugatake, Houou, a bit of Fuji, Shirane sanzan, Shiomi dake, the North Alps, as well as countless smaller mountains to the East. From the summit the view extended to 360 degrees, uncovering Senjogadake and the Chuo Alps. Some snow was remaining and most of the sky was still clear but high altitude clouds were slowly conquering the sky.

We started going down at 6:50 and negotiated the steep rocks gingerly at a slow pace and got to the hut at 8:04. Our water supply almost gone we were happy to get to the water point, only to discover it was dry, a message indicating that water access was still impossible due to the remaining snow cover around the source. We had still 2 to 3 hours to walk with increasing temperatures and only 100 mL left in my bottle...

The downhill turned out to be particularly long, I thought we would wrap it up in 2 hours, yet it took more than 2 hours 40 minutes, almost as much as it took us to go uphill!!! and we were not walking slowly on purpose (the uphill pace had just been monstruous)

We got back to the car at 10:42, kaikoma bagged in 9 hours 40 minutes with plenty of sunrise pictures in the camera. What a great day.

More pictures here:


PictographPhoto Altitude -32,805 ft
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sunrise 1/2

sunrise from campsite above the hut

PictographPhoto Altitude -32,805 ft
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sunrise 2/2


PictographWaypoint Altitude -32,805 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude -32,805 ft
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Twin swords


PictographWaypoint Altitude -32,805 ft
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PictographSummit Altitude -32,805 ft
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PictographSummit Altitude -32,805 ft
Photo of甲斐駒ケ岳 2 Photo of甲斐駒ケ岳 2 Photo of甲斐駒ケ岳 2

甲斐駒ケ岳 2


PictographWaypoint Altitude -32,805 ft
Photo ofStairs Photo ofStairs Photo ofStairs




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