Monday, October 5, 2009

Bring on the mountains...

I like climbing mountains. Luckily for me Japan is pretty much covered in them and our island is no exception. They're not particularly big down this way but they're still a hard slog and most of them are still active volcanoes!!! Last week i headed out with a couple of other staff from my school to climb Kuju-San, the 2nd highest mountain on the island. At 1787m it provides a good days tramp and some stunning views, not to mention the thrill of watching smoke rise from the active crater!!!
We arrived at the 1330m car park (they like building roads quite high up) and were met by a fully loaded car park, my hopes of a quiet wilderness experience quickly over. The track climbed steeply for the first 30min before easing off along a ridge and then into a alpine basin followed by the finally climb to the summit, about 2hrs to the top. A perfect spot for lunch and off again just in time to pass the school group (that's right a whole school!!!) making there way to the top.

The clouds came in as we headed down and climbed a side peak in total whiteout, putting full trust in my 2 experienced Japanese friends. A great day out and i was so buggered afterwards i fell asleep in the car on the way home-luckily i wasn't driving!