Ascent of Kisokomaga-take on 2012-09-24

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Duane Gilliland
Adam Helman -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Adrian Rayner
Andrew Tibbetts
Date:Monday, September 24, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
    Elevation:9698 ft / 2955 m

Ascent Trip Report

The day after our Iwate-san ascent we travel by train via Omiya, Nagano and Okaya, to Komagana: 2 bullet trains and 2 local trains. The last connection is only 3 minutes between trains but, with typical Japanese punctuality, goes without a hitch. Alan and Andrew walk a mile uphill to a sort of campsite; the remaining four of us take a hotel in town, enjoying an excellent meal in the "Japanese Kitchen" a block uphill from the station.

Monday we take the 07:00 bus to the Shirabidaira cable car station. We get talking to a Japanese couple in the ticket queue, one of them Sachiko Mochizuki. Adam and I are on the first cable car as I'm struggling with my left leg and am given a head start. We start hiking from the top station at 08:27. There are a lot of people (it's a public holiday to mark the autumn equinox) who are mostly heading for our summit.

Immediately outside the upper cable car station Senjojiki (N35.77774 E137.81353, 2655m) is a trail fork at N35.77778 E137.81321. The L fork climbs directly for the ridge then it's possible to turn R and follow a scrambly ridge (YDS 3, polished, chain protected) which crosses the imposing spire of Mt Hoken (2931m). We take the R fork, which is the direct route to the summit. The trail is very well defined throughout. There are a few minor ups and downs, then a junction (N35.78071 E137.81259) where another trail comes in from below and we turn L. Our trail now zigzags steeply up a steep gully, with many roughly constructed steps.

We reach a wide stony saddle at N35.78310 E137.81031, 2847m at about the same time as the rest of our party catch us up. We turn L towards two large mountain huts. Mt Hoken's spire is now up to the L and quite a few folk are visiting it. The route to Kamagatake is directly beyond the huts (best to pass to their L). Shortly there is a fork: we keep R, passing close by Mt Nakadake 2925m (P30m approx) then descending to a saddle with another hut. The more efficient route which we use on the return, keeps L, skirting Nakadake with some easy scrambling (YDS 2+). The two trails join at the farther hut and the summit is now a short easy ascent, marked with a sign (N35.78957 E137.80453, 2955m), a viewfinder, a boundary post and a trig block; there are a few outcrops in the vicinity, of similar elevation.

We are up at 09:45 in 1hr18 and enjoy warm sunshine and nice views, although clouds prevent any distant views. I start down at 10:00 ahead of the others as I'm moving slowly, although my damaged leg is gradually loosening up. Adam and I take the direct route, arriving back at Senjojiki at 11:25; the others visit Mt Hoken, and Andrew and Alan continue along the scrambly skyline route before descending to Senjojiki.

After enjoying a few refreshments in the sunshine we take the 12:00 cable car down, which connects with the bus back to Komagana. We recover our bags from the hotel and take the 13:45 train back to Okaya then onward via Shiojiri to Kiso-fukushima where we camp, planning to climb Ontake-san, our 6th trip ultra, the next day.

Komagatake photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1183 ft / 359 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1183 ft / 359 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.9 mi / 3 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1085 ft / 330 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 987 ft / 300 m; Extra: 98 ft / 29m
    Loss on way in:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:from SSE
    Start Trailhead:cable cartop station  8711 ft / 2655 m
    Time:1 Hours 18 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1085 ft / 330 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 987 ft / 300 m; Extra: 98 ft / 29m
    Gain on way out:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    End Trailhead:cable cartop station  8711 ft / 2655 m
    Time:1 Hours 25 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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