Route Name: Gamma runze (岩間ルンゼ)
Mountain: Hinata-yama (日向山)
sheet: 41 [Yama-to-kougen-chizu (山と高原地図) series]
Grade: Overall route grade 4- (WI4 IV+ cruxes)
of Mt Kaikoma is famous for the depth and breadth of the ice-climbing
opportunities that abound there. It ranges from epic large-scale alpine routes to
more Scottish-style ice and mixed gullies. Once the first big snowfalls of the
winter arrive though, the alpine routes lose their edge, as much of the slab
ice is buried. Then it can be time to turn the attention to some of the gullies
up above the Ojira-gawa river below Mt Hinata.
Gamma runze is one of the most enjoyable of them, covering a full mix of
terrain; water ice, slab ice, delicate mixed pitches, and even the chance to
climb through a tunnel behind a massive chockstone!
If travelling by car from Tokyo (東京), take the Chuō Expressway to Sutama
and then exit onto route 141. A combination of local roads will bring you
within about half an hour to the Yatateishi-tozanguchi chushajou carpark (矢立石登山口 駐車場). This small parking
area is the end of the road for vehicles, and there is a metal barrier across
the road, so from here you will be on foot.
Several minutes up the road you will come to the entrance to
the hiking trail that leads up to Mt Hinata (日向山), but you should
continue walking along the rindou, or dirt road, for around 30-40 minutes,
crossing a small landslide with fixed ropes, until you reach the Nishikitaki waterfall (錦滝). This waterfall freezes in winter and can be
Continue past the viewing platform, across a bridge which
spans the river below the Nishiki fall, and keep walking for about 5 minutes.
You will soon come to the entrance to Gamma runze.
If you find Gamma runze frozen and in good condition,
there will be no confusion about where to go. Just follow the sawa and you
cannot go wrong. The topo shows up to 10 pitches for the gully, but this will
depend on conditions, rope length etc.
Here are some of the highlights of the route:
Simply rappel the gully to get back to the rindou, and
then walk back out to your car.
A varied outing, taking in slab ice, vertical ice, mixed rock and ice pitches and steep snow. This is an excellent route and will not disappoint. A rack of 8 ice screws, quickdraws and slings, and 50m double ropes should be enough.