Saturday, November 23, 2013

New website!

hachinamngu (1 of 1)
Inspired by the blue skies which are the norm for eastern Japan at this time of year, I started work on our new website this week – seems quite good. I tried a couple of others, but they mostly seem focussed towards simple display of piccies rather than useful things like uploading and linking to PDFs. Next step is to try to get the blog posts to forward to James' Empty Blog - so if you see a few weird things there in the next few days, that will be our experimentation!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blue skies research

Since that was (sniffle) the last Japanese mountain adventure ever, and soon we are off to do blue skies research in the land of famously cloudy skies, here are some unashamedly gratuitous bonus blue skies!!



Saturday, November 9, 2013


The aim of the day was climbing Akadake, Yatsugatake's highest peak. With Fuji-san visible from early morning, we set off expectant of blue skies.

Deciduous leaves were already gone at this altitude, leaving the berries to flaunt their red-ness against the sky.
As it was a public holiday (exercise day, no less), there were plenty of stumbling grockels around. Knowing the fun scrambling that lay ahead, we felt quite sorry for one woman, when her legs started to visibly shake before the first ladder of the day. But she carried on, so I expect she followed the all white circles all the way to the top, eventually.
The top is, of course a bit wrecked, with some bits of concrete shrine things and a hut just over the summit.
With plenty of people milling about on the top of Akadake, we didn't hang about for long.
Over the other side of the mountain, the far end of the Yatsugatake range was visible...that somewhat Fuji-san shaped mountain in the distance is the last peak. We once spent several days walking the ridge the other way from that end, but that time we didn't make it to Akadake, due to being blown off the mountain by a blizzard.
After coffee at the second hut over the summit, it was a romp through changing seasons, 1500m down the valley.
We had a bath at the hut next to the bus stop before catching the public transport home.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Importance of Verticality

Another view of Yatsugatake, for those who have forgotten the story so far (sorry for the delay in posting).

There was a hut just over the peak, where we had stayed before,
but from the peak we could see in the distance another hut so we decided it was our goal for the night. It took only about 90mins to get there. I'm not very good at taking level photographs (but I note that neither are some great artiste photographers), but how come the people are vertical while the hut is not? None of my camera lenses have that much distortion!
The truth became very clear when I tried to walk up the little corridor inside the hut and fell over instead. The hut was vertically challenged!
Actually most people seemed to not have as much of a problem walking straight in a crooked hut, and perhaps some didn't even notice. There was a newish looking diagonal wire on the outside of the hut. Perhaps it was helping slow down the rate of slide, but it seemed likely that the ground was moving under the hut, causing it to tip down the mountainside.
Actually, at altitude, I quite like to have my head well above my feet while sleeping, so it was quite comfortable in some respects. In others it was not so good, as the sleeping theory of this hut was access to the upper sleeping floor from one end, with everyone sleeping in a row, such that everyone further from the door had to step over your body when they wanted the toilet in the night.


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