Toh no dake via Yabitsu (solo) + ヤビツ峠~塔の岳 (ソロ)

Summary: I need sunglasses and crampon to climb Tanzawa between Dec to March.

  Even though I visited the same exact mountain in the last week, I wanted to climb up there from the other side my myself.
I originally planned to start from the bus stop at Yabitsu peak, but I heard the bus stop was temporarily closed down due to the snow fall last week. So, I decided to get off at the alternative bus stop at Minoge bus stop. It left Hadano station at 7:05 and reached the destination around 7:30ish.
     It took 1 hour extra walk to get to Yabitsu peak using Kashiwagi path. The path is peaceful with natural fountain and old remains of villages. That was good. However, when I reached Yabitsu peak, there was a bus. Geez, the bus line was fine and operating. I should have taken the bus line to Yabitsu bus stop to save my energy for an hour's walk, but well, Kashiwagi path was beautiful and useful connecter between Yabitsu (sparsely operated) and Minoge bus stop (frequently operated). So, that was a gain of knowledge after all.

    The entrance to the mountain is a bit away from the bus stop. The starting part of the path requires steep climbing, but rather enjoyable. On the other hand, some remaining snow creating a frozen path was not enjoyable for me at all. I should have brought my crampons and sun glasses. My bad.

From Sanno toh

Shin Dainichi
     The weather was beautiful. This path was great to see the whole Tanzawa cluster of mountains. But parts of the narrow ridge were even narrower due to several harsh storms in this year, and a bit dangerous to path through.

     I saw people who are enjoying para gliding and parachuting.
From Omote-one
     The notorious vertical gap with chains that make climbers to use their upper arm strength was scary as hell. I regretted I should have waited until my left arm completely healed. Also, I have to admit having weak upper left arm break my balance whenever I had to pass a shady part with snow on the ground.

Top of the Toh no dake

     I reached at the peak around 13:00. The place was packed with climbers. I only had a sweet bean bread and a rice ball. I crave for a warm meal. I will bring my gas stove next time! 

The Southern Alps were visible

Tokyo looked so small from here.
     There was a trail running group who apparently a westerners father, a Japanese mom, and their teenage daughter and their friends. As an another international family, who run trails, I was ashamed of their behavior lacking consideration for the other hikers.

     The basics of trail running from the textbook are :
1. If you are running crowded trails, you are supposed to slow down and walk when you pass other hikers. Meaning, you cannot run crowded trails in weekends.
2. Do not casually scream at each other. This is peaceful mountain, not a training track. 
Hanadate Sansou


      I used the Ohkura "stupidly stairs" path to go down, and reached Ohkura bus stop 15:20.



Komadome hut

Kannon hut


Toh no dake via Baka ridge with dog 塔ノ岳 バカ尾根 with 犬+家族

    Even though I am still under my rehabilitation regimen, I was craving for hiking. So I decided to climb up Toh no dake. This is the first attempt of the long hike after my injury.
    I usually prefer Mt. Hiru in Tanzawa, located in the north side of the area, however, since my left arm is not completely recovered yet, I decided to climb more popular and well-managed mountain than rusty Mt. Hiru, so that the risk of tripping over on the route is relatively less, presumably.
    The Ohkura route has steep stairs literary forever to the top of Toh no dake. The route is called Baka-O-Ne (A ridge with simple, stupid stairs) Since this route is quite well-known, well administrated and have huts and bathrooms.
    We left home around 4:45 am, and reached to the 24 hour parking lot nearby the entry point of the hiking trail in Okura around 6:15 am. The parking fee is 800 yen for a day. The parking lot machine only accepts 1000 yen bill and coins.
    It was cloudy on that day, but no rains. The Ohkura bus stop has a bathroom and the post you can submit your climber registration. Please submit it here, if you have not done so beforehand.
At the bus stop, waiting for us using bathroom in turn.
    At the 2km point, we found a camping ground. Apparently this is the only camping ground inside of the Tanzawa mountain area. Only if we could bring up water up here, we could enjoy camping in this silent environment away from city noise. Unfortunately, the hut was not in operation. They had closed business 3 years ago, according to the notice in the front door. The camping ground is still free to use. We had a breakfast here looking down the great view of Sagami Bay.

From the front yard of the abandoned hut, we could see Sagami bay.

Right after Miharashi Chaya, the course changed to have series of brutal steep stairs.

Miharashi hut
I had my dog on my chest string, and my dog pulled me forward to her excitement from climbing. So I had an accelerating force to step forward. On the other hand, my husband had hard time to keep stepping up these forever-assertion of stairs. Naturally, as we climb up, the temperature goes down. Meanwhile, we get sweat from this vigorous exercise. This could be a problem as soon as we stop for rest, since our wet cloth immediately cool down our muscles.

Hanadate hut; Closed. The bathroom was in operation.
  At the top of the Toh no dake, icy gust of wind welcomed us! It was foggy, no view of other Tanzawa mountains, and forget about Mt. Fuji view! I managed to change my upper clothings in the bathroom at the Sonbutu hut. The usage of the bathroom is asking for 100 yen. Since we did not have changes, I bought a memorambia pin for 500 yen, and gave the rest of the change to the bathroom for my small donation. 



   One of the party of 2 ladies at the top talked to us and the conversation was memorable. They looked like a mother and daughter, seemed to love dogs. The mother figure said "Did you carry your dog up to here?" I replied. "No, she... wait, what is the question?" They said they have just lost their 14 year old doggie. I imagined that doggie would have been a happy toy breed.
   We decided to use Komaru route, rather than going back the exact same Ohkura route, which is getting busy in the middle of the day. Komaru route is a bit quieter, but does not have get served by huts along the side of the route, meaning no bathrooms. We enjoyed the quiet, deep autumn mountain though. The end of the route is the prefecture park without any hard-to-walk rocks on the ground nor knee hurting slopes.


Quiet Komaru route
We reached back to the parking lot around 15:00.

Dogs