Thursday, 25 December 2014

Yatsugatake (八ヶ岳) ice-climbing - Jogosawa (ジョーゴ沢)

Mountain: Iodake (硫黄岳 Yatsugatake massif)

Mapsheet: 32 [Yama-to-kougen-chizu (山と高原地図) series]

Jogosawa (ジョーゴ沢) is the northernmost of the ice climbing areas around the Akadake-Kōsen (赤岳鉱泉) hut, below Iodake (硫黄岳) and Yokodake (横岳).  Unlike the Uradoushin (裏同心ルンゼ) and Sansahou (三叉峰ルンゼ) gullies, it is not composed of a single frozen sawa, but rather a network of branches that feed into a main sawa, and each feature icefalls that can be climbed for most of the winter.


[Note: This topo is from the Japanese "Challenge! Alpine Climbing" guidebook (ISBN4-8083-0793-6). Buy this book if you can, it's the bible of Japanese alpine climbing outside of the N Alps.]

It is generally regarded as a training area, good for beginners as well as more experienced ice climbers, so it can get pretty crowded in there when the weather is good.  To get there, head up into the forest from outside the entrance to the Akadake-kōsen hut, and follow the trail for about 15-20 minutes, past the entrances to the Daidoushin and Uradoushin gullies. They are all signposted, so you shouldn't get lost.

The terrain in Jogosawa is absolutely stunning, including a lovely canyon flanked by steep rock walls, with a fun and gentle icefall (F3) running down it.

Above the upper falls (Niagara, Ōtaki etc.) steep slopes lead up to the summit ridge of Iodake.

Here are some of the highlights of this lovely sawa:

Entrance to Jogosawa:


Above F2:

F3 in the canyon:

Coming up to F3:

Icefall above the canyon:

Looking back at the canyon:

View to Amidadake:

Jogosawa Ōtaki (大滝):

Otome-no-taki (乙女の滝):

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