golden week is here. the highways are jammed, the trains are booked out and the carparks are full.
Yatsugatake’s Ice Candy. perhaps in Honshu’s most stable winter environment at 2200m in a shaded amphitheater, its usually still pretty solid in late April. photo from the Akadake Kosen blog.
every year it seems winter gets a bit shorter – certainly shorter than when the aging guidebooks were written – so those old favorite late spring routes are now really early summer ones. every year sees a few more accidents as climbers find out the hard way. the snow pack isnt what it once was, the slopes arent as stable as they once were, the rock isnt as frozen as it usually is, the 24hr temperature fluctuation can be broader.
add to that the undeniably weird weather over the last winter and theres real unknowns out there. be careful where you camp. be careful where you climb. be careful of the bigger picture.