hokkaido and yatsugatake are the famous areas but theres a lot more than thatWith so much ice to climb, you need to decide what suits you best, which is usually dictated by where you want to go and what experience you have.
TRIP COMPARISON CHART
click on the topo for current yatsugatake weather conditions
The perfect introduction to ice climbing yet also dozens of options for hard and mixed routes, making it also ideal for big mountain training.
A trip to Yatsugatake can be anything from training on the ice wall to multi-day trips linking several peaks and ice fall routes via the gullies and ridges. Combining Amitadake, Akadake, the Do-shin escarpment, the Mine-no-matsume runzes and pillars, the ice wall and the gullies running off the eastern side, Yatsugatake has enough climbing for an entire season.
along with the famous ice and alpine routes, Yatsugatake’s Akadake kosen is home to the well know Ice Candy icewall
Easy access from tokyo and Hakuba, a bomb-proof ice wall, beautiful surroundings, a cool vibe and a friendly lodge to retreat to when its time to warm up. its easy to spend weeks at yatsugatake ice climbing and avoiding civilization.
A good option if you’re coming from Tokyo or Nagano
click on the topo for current kai komagatake weather conditions
accessible and steep: lower kaikomagatake has dozens of classic ice falls
LOWER KAI KOMAGATAKE
easy access, lots of icefalls ranging from single pitch to multi-pitch stuff up the sides of a steep ravine. the top section has several days worth of straightforward routes, or descend to the valley floor for the big stuff further off the grid.
a good place to learn if Yatsugatake is too crowded, youve done everything across the valley, you have limited time or you’re ticking classic Japanese ice falls.
looking direct into Kaikomagatakes NE ice routes: a guarded world of rarely visited ice falls
UPPER KAI KOMAGATAKE – THE LOST KINGDOM
If remotness is your thing and you like big alpine routes then Kai komagatake is an amazing mini-expedition into Japans ‘lost kingdom of ice’. Upper Kai komagatake is revered amongst Japanese climbers as a step towards serious alpine climbing. No lodges, no busy camp sites, no quick way in or out – a trip into Kai komagatake almost guarantees having the entire area to yourself.
So what’s in there? literally dozens of ice routes and ice falls. some are short overhanging pillars, others are literally mile-high link ups of ice falls, rock and frozen gullies, others still are wide frozen waterfalls. this is an amazing place to head with a small team, set up a base camp to climb out of for a few days, then leave via the classic alpine route.
This trip runs at a 3 day minimum. 4 or 5 days is even better. a week or more gets you to the more formidable routes and qualifies as a micro-expedition
If all that sounds a bit too ‘on the grid’ and youre already an experienced climber then theres hundreds of other ice climbing options across central Japan, much of it focussed in the Minami Alps due to the relative low snow fall that makes access possible.
senjogatake in the minami-alps: 3000m peaks hiding countless winter routes
Most of these options will be multi-day and require total self-sufficiency after leaving the roadhead, and it’s here that you enter the world that formed Japans world class climbers like Ichiro Yoshizawa and the Giri Giri Boys. With enough time in the area its possible to link together several ice areas via the high alpine ridges.
Arranging trips into these areas requires a bit more detail than the trips above and becomes a MICRO-EXPEDITION. contact us and start the process.
click on the topo for current Mt Fuji weather conditions