this is why we call it over by mid april. winters arent what they were 10 years ago, when the spring holiday was still stable and cold. especially in years like this with a lot of extra snow and several warm spikes late in the season.

another +/-60 people needed rescue/assistance. note that the ages are across the board, and a mix of skiers, climbers and walkers. note also that this spring holiday had near perfect weather.

red zone applications japan NE asia rescue service

been there: away from recreational climbing iceclimbingjapan has other applications that put us at the less-fun end of working in the mountains. click the image for details.

most of these accidents were from avalanches, but part of the equation is the extent of japans approaches – more often than not japanese peaks are a long way out, compounded by lots of roads still closed which seriously puts a hole in the ‘golden hour’ of rescue.

yatsu training

know when to call it a day: there comes a time, every year, when the risk formula can no longer be overcome by skill and committment. in the end the always mountain wins.

whatever the reasons for winters getting warmer faster, these days it may be better to start on the rock routes earlier.


between the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido lays a huge, mountainous region with ideal ice forming condition – its just little ventured into during winter. all across the region we have come across reports of isolated icefalls that only the locals know about and amongst these is an area near Sendai.

futakuchi keikoku ice climbing

it took a lot of looking and trawling thru old guidebooks but we found it: the  area map