Rode JR Limited Express from Shinjuku to Ohtsuki. Rode Fujikyukou Fuhisan Limited Express from Ohtsuki to Fujiyoshida. Walked South from the Fujiyoshida train station to Fujisengen-jinja.
Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail
Started walking the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail starting from Fuisengen-jinja at 1:30 PM. Rained on and off most of the way. There was a creek on my right (West) along the trail a lot of the time. Snow started around the 2nd Station. Snow was deep enough to posthole up to my knee starting at the 4th Station. Some running water at various spots along the trail. Arrived at the 5th Station around dusk. 5th Station was open for lodging at 5500 Yen per night. There were about a dozen other climbers (all Japanese all very nice nice) and some non-climbers at the 5th Station. Slept overnight at the 5th Station.
Most climbers woke up around 4:00 AM. I left the 5th Station around 6:00 AM. Most climbers (including me) put their crampons on and got their ice axes out at the 5th station, but crampons and ice axe were not necessary until the 8th station. Temperatures most of the way were in the 40's, and steps could be kicked easily. Made it to the summit around noon. Temperatures at the summit were in the 20's, and winds were very strong. I didn't stay long.
Snow was perfect for plunge stepping until about the 7th Station, when I started postholing. I frequently postholed up to my waist between the 7th and 4th Station. Made it back to the Fujiyoshida train station around dusk.
I brought about 5 liters of water from Fuisengen-jinja, and used all of it. I could probably have gotten more along the way, but I didn't. I'm not sure if water was available at the 5th Station, but I suspect it wasn't.
I wore leather hybrid boots, and they were adequate.
A balaclava and warm gloves, crampons, and ice axe are all necessary. Ski poles were very useful. I definitely need to bring snowshoes or skis with skins next time.
A compass and GPS were necessary for me to make sure I descended the correct route and found the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail. The trail is marked, but I don't read Japanese. Without the compass and GPS I could easily have ended up in the wrong valley and would have had to traverse the road at the 5th Station level to get back to the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail.
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