First Niseko walk of the season a great success
The niseko Walkers tackled the snow covered peak of Iwaonupuri on the 4th of April 2019. It was our first walk for the season and also our first event as a walking group.
We meet at the carpark and after a brief meet and great began the slow careful climb. The Snowcover was a lot more than anticipated with a only a few steps briefly revealing their hiding place from the long winter before ducking under the snow back again.
Fortunately the late spring snowpack actually made for very easy walking and it was pretty easy for the follow the track up the steep start of the walk. Only occasionally did one of your feet manage to break through reminding you that actually you were still 3ft above the ground for most of the journey.
The Niseko walking group made quick progress and before we knew it we found shelter under a large rock formation. Here the group stopped for a quick bite and water break.
The section above this road proved a bit more technical than we anticipated. It probably really required Ice axes and crampons but given the firmness of the snowpack and the gentle lower slope to eventually pull you up if you did manage to lose your footing a few of the more confident walkers continued the steeper section to be greeted with spectacular views.
From the ridge of Iwaonupuri you can see Lake Toya and the ocean in 2 directions. It was amazing to see the snow actually retreat so quickly on the upper peaks. The loose rock warms up quicker than the vegetation so it accelerates the snow melt.
The day was finished off with a nice long soak in the Yukichichibu Onsen by far my favorite Onsen in the area. As soon as you step out of your car you know you are in a very special place. The mistakable smell of sulphur hits your nostrils and the onsen water at Yukichihibu is thick and soupy in texture like a well made ramen. Your skin has scent for days after a visit to this onsen but whenever I go here I always feel refreshed in a way that other onsens just don’t seem to match.
The group hopes to repeat this summit later in June this year so please join our mailing list on the main Niseko walking and hiking page if you would like to join us on this.
Thanks to all those that made this a special day and look forward to walking with you all again.