Snow Mountaineering Training at Dakesawa

Last weekend, the Shinshu Matsumoto Mountaineering Association Yamatami held an intermediate-level training session at Dakesawa. The session focused on skills required for mountaineering in the remaining snow of spring, mainly correct walking practice, self-arrest technique, ropework, and glissading. While the weather started off quite rough with heavy rain, the sun finally managed to poke its way out from behind the clouds to greet everyone by the time the actual training began.

Climbing Up Dakesawa

Although it’s almost the start of summer, you can see that Kamikōchi still has quite a bit of snow up high. It looks like it was a lot of fun out there, except for the morning rain, of course. The contrast between the blue of the sky, the white/gray of the clouds and snow, and the mixed green/brown of the plants and trees makes for interesting scenery. And if you really go far into the mountains, seeing just a small bit of blue sky above makes all the difference and fills you with hope and the drive to continue on. That’s really when you can feel your human nature.

Climbing Up to Dakesawa

Practicing Ropework


Actually, these pictures remind me of a few weeks ago when I was doing similar training in Omachi when a typhoon was just rolling in. This kind of weather doesn’t make the list of top picks for a great time, but what can you say… It’s rainy season. Seeing these girls glissading down makes me want to do some more sliding myself. 

And if you don’t know Japanese mountaineering very well, I’ll tell you that the Yamatami group kept with tradition. After the training was all said and done, they didn’t forget to spend a little time with their dear friend, beer. I think my dear friend is calling as well. See you next time!


Source of Information:

– Shinshu Matsumoto Mountaineering Association Yamatami (