iceclimbingjapan catalyzed on the slopes of an erupting Asama Yama in 2009. Despite thousands having been evacuated, a small team wanting the experience of a mid-winter ascent in unique conditions acted on careful calculations and started what iceclimbingjapan was to become.
Today iceclimbingjapan is a project run to expose climbers to alpine climbing in parts of Japan and Northern Asia. Part of this project is to provide an R&D platform for groups developing equipment and training for use in the same environments.
The interface of iceclimbingjapan is Ed Hannam, who came to japan initially in 2002 between bouts in China and Central Asia. In 2007 he returned to stay.
In 13 years and over 25 trips to remote areas Ed has covered much of the Asian Continental Divide. From the Himalaya foothills of the Yunnan/Myanmar border, thru Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal, Nepal and NW India to the Karakorum and Pamir in Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Much of it from both north and south sides. Hes also been into many of the secondary ranges like the Pamir Alay, Hindu Khush, Kunlun, Altun and eastern Tibet ranges in Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. These trips include multiple first ascents of ice routes and +/-6000m peaks, along with attempts on K2 and training at high altitude.
Along with climbing trips Eds ridden down valleys and crossed plateaus on horses, paddled the rivers of Laos, crossed deserts in Mongolia, Xinjiang and Iran and survived the quakes, floods, wild animals, volcanoes and tribalism that affect the area.
Away from Asia he has climbed and run trips in Scotland, Turkey and the Talesh region of NW Iran.
Outside of climbing and expeditions Ed works developing specialist responder applications for rescue and disasters, work that has taken him into some of Asias most dynamic conflicts, crises, scenarios and catastrophies. From tribal conflicts and geopolitical instability to technical rescue, Eds responder experience includes 100 days co-coordinating a special logistics team deep inside the critical zones of the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster. For this his team received commendations from several government and international bodies.
the photos on this site we taken by Tom, Nori, Matt, Ryu, Ian, John, Beau and Ed.
behind the scenes: setting the anchors at yatsugatake ice wall. despite all the crazy vertcal ice and pump-inducing overhangs, behind it all lays bomber safety standards and in-built contingency.