Погледана 962 пут(a), скинута са сервера 2 пут(a)
близу Tōnoki, Yamanashi (Japan)
The day finally came, I went for outdoor rock climbing. I think I had to try 4 times before the skies presented a window of opportunity (read as it was cancelled 3 times due to rainy weather). When I left my place around 4:20 AM it was raining so my enthusiasm went down for a while, it got better as I got closer to Kawaguchi lake, we even had nice views of Mount Fuji from the train but its cap was occluded by a small cloud. I was surprised to see that much snow on it.
From Kawaguchiko station a short ride lead us to the trail head. After a few kilometers on a forest road (with no cars allowed) we got near the top of Mitsutoge, the sky was at that time mainly blue and we could discern the cluster of ugly antennas characteristic of the place. A few minutes later we got to the first practice spot and we were expecting rocks to dry fast.
After a short rappel to go down we started training for the rest of the morning. There were easy routes on one side and then we moved to a more delicate face of the rock. I tried and failed the first 2 meters repeatedly, then opted for the crag route just 1 meter to the right. I found the first 3 meters challenging but had no problem with the rest. I had fastened my camera case to the harness and so I managed to take a few shots while resting during my climb.
We then moved to the main rock climbing area on the East side of Mitsutoge. We met several other groups as the skies were getting more threatening. We started ascending towards the top via a 4-pitch route. Our group of 8 was split in 3, 3, 2. Having no experience of lead climbing I followed suit as second climber while carefully observing the lead climber. The first pitch was the most technical for me and after passing the first half the rest was significantly easier. As I was nearing the end of the 4th pitch it started pouring heavily and we got instantly drenched. I took shelter under a rock which shielded half my body, I took advantage of that to pack my camera and put sensible stuff inside waterproof bags.
We were readying for the rappel descent when the top of Fuji emerged in a small window of blue sky while a mass of clouds was occluding the rest of the space, still pouring rain heavily on us. Gradually the rain abated and by the time we got back to the bottom of the rock it had stopped raining. All wet ropes were particularly heavy and it took 2 of us to pull them down after rappelling down.
A careful jog not to slip on mud or wet rocks and I was back to the car, soon after to be met by the other guys.
Once more my GPS was faulty and switched off uncontrollably 3 times… that just after I contacted customer service and was guided through a way to reinstall the software, which was supposedly going to solve my problem.
Overall it was a pleasant experience, and a very long day as we ended around 6 PM and we had traffic jams on the way back towards Tokyo.
More pictures here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ex53i9x4p4gwilm/AADTy1d2vlyvl3Tmmy1d4FkHa