Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mt Hakkoda and Iwaki

Two of the most accessible mountains in our area are Mt Hakkoda and Mt Iwaki. Both are volcanic and are still active to some degree. Because of this (and other obvious factors) we tend to stick to marked trails. Because we have hiked as many times as we have, we have come across many different trail conditions. We had a number of friends hiking with us this day, and it wasn't the greatest of hiking days.

This particular day hiking Hakkoda, the peak was so windy and hazy you couldn't see anything.
In fact, it's a miracle my camera stood up to take this picture. Watch the video below this picture if you don't believe me.

Once we got down from the higher altitudes, it was a very nice day for hiking. Since we had only seen this area covered in snow, we were presently surprised to see all the marsh land along the hike. Little ponds like this dotted the lower altitudes of Hakkoda.

Another hike we did early in the summer was Mt Iwaki. It has a number of trail heads, but this particular one starts at a Shinto Shrine and is quite aesthetic. This is actually a picture of Iwaki-san we had taken a couple of weeks earlier with the apple trees blossoming. This area of Japan is known for it's apples, so it was neat to get some pictures of the trees blossoming.

Our friends Alan, Lisa, and Matt came with us to tackle this Volcano. I'm afraid Matt might not come with us again, though. For an overnight camping/mountain hiking trip he brought Chex mix, tent, sleeping bag, pillow, bar of Dove soap, and a backpack with a broken strap.
Luckily we had some extra stuff for him to borrow, and some brat for him to eat after the hike.

Although we had pretty good weather for this hike, we ended up not being able to complete it. The snow was still too heavy towards the top. When we saw a park ranger turning around in front of us, we decided we should do the same.

Even though the trails are covered in snow for much of the spring and early summer, there are ways of staying on the trail. All the trails we hike are in our hand held GPS and are marked by rangers with the fluorescent tape (like you see in the picture below). So between the two, it's pretty easy to stay on course.

Here are the weary hikers back at the base of the mountain. Iwaki won this day, but we'll be back to conquer him.

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