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Trip Report: Mt Shiraoi & Mt Tokushunbetsu (Hokkaido, Japan)
Finally getting round to posting the info about my trip last weekend with my good Kiwi buddy.
On Sat morning drove SW out of Sapporo past the Teine range and went to a couple of mountains close to Kimobetsu town. The drive took about 2 hours to get to My Shiraoi (950m). We had beautiful clear blue skies, which is rare for Japan, and perfect conditions for shooting some pics.
The blue skies also meant it was a bit easier for the sun to melt the top of the snowpack, giving us a crusty top about an inch thick wish some softer snow beneath. At least we were lucky for a few patches of powder in the shadier glade sections of the mountain. It was such a beautiful day there were a few other locals out snowshoeing and skinning to the top. Actually I was the only snowboarder.
The climb was a bit steeper at the top, maybe a 50-60° degree incline, all of the skiers turned around here. Had lunch and a tea at the summit before riding down. Actually I was the only one who rode down from the summit, my mate left his skis about 200m vertically down the mountain.
The ride down was awesome. Not powder, but man it was a beautiful day and I could see for miles. The adjacent mountain had had 2 avalanches within the last 48 hours (my estimate) and my mate thinks he heard a whoompf on the way up, so I had to try and remember to ride safely which is kinda tricky when you're having an awesome time.
The mid-section of the mountain sucked a bit as we hit a flat and my mate, on skis, left me for dead. There was a nice little run at the bottom with some steeper terrain and a couple of cool little mushrooms to hit.
In the evening we camped out near the base of Mt Tokushunbetsu (about 1350m).
The weather on Sunday was a bit crappy and overcast, though we got maybe a centimetre of fresh stuff. We decided to the ascent quits at about 1000m because everything above us was super icy, and my mate's leg was a bit shot after he fared off worse than a tree the day before.
The ride down was, again, awesome. Not as steep as Saturday but the glades were really nice, a bit tighter though and I whacked a tree pretty good. More mushrooms and a few logs to ride over too.
Looks awesome man.
I cant help but ask about the other slides you saw, were they on a slope the same aspect as the one you rode and had there been any recent snow, rain or strong winds? Im keen to learn anything I can about slides in japan.
Looks quite freakin' awesome! Way to slay it.:thumbsup:
No different aspect. I dropped in down the North face, which is a bit shadier. The adjacent mountain had slides on the South face. I can only guess that it was one of those wet sludgy slides. It didn't look like a dry slab, at least from where I was standing.
I'm guessing that it looks like there was a small trigger, maybe single point, just along that run of trees and it then flowed down into that gully.
Thanks for the feedback on the avy. Its hard to tell from the pic but it looks like a shallow angle.
Looks like a slide that was either a wet slide or the slab release due to warming temps. We've been getting a lot of that lately. Look at the Shuksan thread in the BC forum for a monster of a release just experienced at Baker.
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