Day 8 – Out Of The Valley To Where The Alps Begin
Kamikochi Valley Sunday, 10 July 2011
The last minute change from yari-ga-date to Karasawa hut ended up being a very good choice, the hut was great and I didn’t have ice axe or crampons with me – the mountain would have been impossible.
My pack is far too heavy for Japan, with the huts I only really need something to sleep in and snacks – no tents, stove, sleeping bag, mat etc. All these Japanese running past me with not much more than a day pack in the mountains 🙂 Even the food, the huts have such good food available and really not expensive. With my full pack and my injured quads, my legs are killing me, they keep trying to slip back down the mountains when I’m crawling up the snow.
Today I arrived by 1pm, relaxed , had fresh udon, a beer and read a book. What could possibly be better, I love Japanese trekking!
That night I had an unexpected surprise, a local had just bought a new hotel in Matsumoto and was doing an “introduction” night.
They invited me along as the only Ausy (and pretty much the only Gaijin!).An outdoor yakiniku party, 2800m from the valley floor is a very cool place to have yakiniku! Drank, way too much saki, local wine (really good!) along with even more food. Unfortunately I knew that breakfast was at 6 am! The party was about 40 people from Matsumoto and the mountains, hotel owners’ bank owners, tourist information etc. Matsomoto already was one of my favourite cities in the world, now it’s even better.
I keep being surprised at the age of trekkers and mountaineers here, really young and just as many women as men, totally different to Aus.
ps. The next day all the Japanese were up before then looking like they’d been to bed at sunset drinking water – how do they do it!