Blues skies, snowy hills

6:17 a.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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My snowshoes have arrived, so I decided to try 'em out on a steep hike up Mt. Ibuki. It's considered one of the "must-climb" mountains in Japan, and if not for the abandoned ski area midway up and parking lot near the summit (closed for winter, thankfully), I would agree. Good snow cover, fairly mild temps, and 3700ft of vertical ascent.


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Looking up toward the summit, steep going from here up.


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The triangular bit in the middle is what's left of a ski area--it's like a ghost town now with old lodges and rusting ski lifts.


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The summit illuminated and another hiker up ahead. Lung-busting climb begins.


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Shelter along the way, perfect place to get out of the wind for lunch.


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Almost at the top...


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A shrine building on the summit, covered in frost. It's unlocked all year round and has standing room for about 6 people inside. I think everyone who climbed that day was inside when I got there, it was packed!


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Some clouds rolling in and the wind picking up.


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Buildings on the summit, mostly used by vendors during the summer to make a buck (yen?) off the bus loads of tourists. Kind of nice to see them buried in snow.


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Statue of a hero from old Japanese mythology who apparently tried to rid the mountain of demons. I'd say he's just freezing his butt off up here nowadays.


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View of the mountains to the north. On really clear days you can see the 10,000 footers way off in the distance.

 

12:37 p.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

How were the new snowshoes? And which kind did you get? Looks like an 'Ascent' design might have been helpful here.

Fascinating to see scenes from a different location, with a (supposedly) 'warmer' climate.

3:17 p.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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I am much more interested in the frost encrusted shrine and the monuments than snowshoes.  Thank for some great photographs. 

3:41 a.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Thanks for the comments. I should've taken more shots at the summit, but it was just too cold and windy to hang around for long!

peter1955--I used Tubbs Wilderness 25, not really ideal for this type of hike (I usually stick to easier terrain when I snowshoe), but they worked well enough. The heel-lifters helped on the steep terrain, but could have used a little more grip, or something with a sturdier frame.

8:47 a.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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This is such a cool trip report. One of my favourite I've ever. The photos can only really be fully enjoyed if you go view the originals.

Thanks for sharing these bigup!

5:21 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Very cool bigup...thank you for showing us.

October 1, 2014
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