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Trek: Mt.Hiuchigatake walk that went by over-night bus

Dscn0635Dscn0521I went to Mt.Hiuchigatake (燧ヶ岳) last Sunday.
Mt.Hiuchigatake has five peaks near a crater. It's Mt.Shibayasugura (柴安嵓) (h=2,356m), Mt.Manaitagura (俎嵓) (h=2,346.0m), Mt.Minobuchidake (ミノブチ岳) (h=2,201m)  and other two mountains.

The weather was not clear and the rainy clouds were coming close to the area on the afternoon. I got a bus ticket the day before yesterday. At that time, the weather of Sunday was clear while on the morning.
So, I decided to buy a over-night bus ticket to Oshimizu (大清水) of Oze. It's a express bus to Oze of Kanetsu Kotsu (関越交通).
The one-way ticket from Kawagoe to Oshimizu was 3400yen. If you ride from Shinjyuku, it costs 3700 yen. The URL of the Kanetsu Kotsu is the next.
But the day, the weather was not clear and the rainy cloud was moving closer to the area on the afternoon. So, I had to climb the mountain as soon as possible.

Dscn0399Dscn0401I rode on a night bus at 23:10pm from Kawagoe-Matoba stop on the Kanetsu express way. The bus operates from Shinjyuku to Oshimizu Oze every day on all on-season. But it needs to buy a over-night bus ticket in advance. My height is 174 cm tall. An anteroposterior width of the seat was sufficient for me even when it tilted full angle.
When I rode on the bus and moved to the rear part of it, I found a woman who was occupying full width tail seat and asleep. Almost all the passenger seized about two seats each.

Dscn0404Dscn0406Dscn0409The bus arrived at Oshimizu bus terminal at 3:40am. I rode off the bus in the dark night. I ate two rice-balls as a breakfast in the dark.
After that, I started to walk to Ozenuma at 4:15am, but the environment was still dark.
I had to need a light to walk. The sun dawn gradually began, the birds trilled out around me.
A road from Oshimizu to Sanpei Pass is uphill for a while.
Dscn0417Dscn0418At the Ichinose rest house, I passed in 5:10am. It takes about 1 hour walk from Oshimizu.

Dscn0423Dscn0430Dscn0471Dscn0484I passed Sanpei Pass at 6:03am. A road to Sanpei-shita is downhill. The Ozenuma-sanso is located near the waypoint of "Sanpei-shita" and close to the pond. I passed Sanpei-shita at 6:17am.

Dscn0509Dscn0518Dscn0528Dscn0542When you walked a little along the pond, you can see the Ozenuma and far away from the pond you can see Mt.Hiuchigatake. And, I could see a lot of pretty flowers around the boardwalk.
Dscn0551Dscn0561Dscn0557Dscn0571I walked on the boardwalk along the edge of the pond till the branch connection of Hiuchi-shindou. I passed the branch connection at 6:44am.

Dscn0593YagurumasoGozentachibanaAfter the branch point, the boardwalk pass out of the trail, and the path was gradually steepy and difficult to get a foothold. My walk speed lost its speed rapidly. I got the reason why the course time is very slow.

Dscn0621Dscn0607Dscn0610I arrived at the Mt.Minobuchidake at 8:40am. The altitude of the point is 2,201m above sea level.
It has a wide and smooth area and you can see Ozenuma and see Mt.Manaitagura behind.
I took a break for few minutes, and walked to Mt.Manaitagura.
It had many big rocks around the top of the mountain, so I felt difficult to get a foothold while climbing up.
Dscn0628Dscn0635_2Dscn0639I got the top of Mt.Manaitagura at 9:12am. The altitude of the point is 2,330m above sea level. It took 5hours from Oshimizu. At view from top of the mountain, I got a wonderful Ozenuma and Ozegahara view. I could command a panoramic view of Ozegahara and Ozenuma. I felt cool wind that flows at the top of the mountain.

Dscn0646Dscn0650Dscn0652After a short break, I went to Mt.Shibayasugura that is the highest point of Mt.Hiuchigatake(h=2,356m). To Mt.Shibayasugura, you have to walk steep downhill 50m and climb up 60m. Many hiker leave their luggage on the Mt.Manaitagura, and climb to Mt.Shibayasugura. I thought that it's a good way, because the mountain path is narrow and steep. I got the top of Mt.Shibayasugura at 9:36am.

The weather was gradually bad situation, so I decided to go back to Mt.Manaitagura, and to go to Miike.
I returned to Mt.Manaitagura at 10:03am. I took a short break and went to Miike.

Dscn0666Dscn0673Dscn0625When I downed about 150m, there was a scree about 70m long and I crossed according to the indication. Soon after, I encountered the snow patch of 100m long. It had a long snow patch on the route. I guess it was 100m length.
I moved down with slowly and carefully making the edges on the snow patch by shoes.
After I passed through the snow patch, I could see the beautiful view of Kumazawa-tashiro from the trek path. But, I had to watch my step because the boardwalk was the state of obliquity to the right for over 100m.

Dscn0681Dscn0689Dscn0695Dscn0703Around the Kumazawa-tashiro, there were a lot of beautiful pretty white flowers.
I passed Kumazawa-tashiro at 11:04am.
Dscn0715Dscn0679_2Dscn0701_2Dscn0538I passed Hirosawa-tashiro at 11:35am.
After passed Hirosawa-tashiro, the path was downhill again. It was steep downhill that has difficulty of getting footholds. The mountain path was wet, easy to slide, coated with moss and clay, so difficult to find a safety foothold without slip. At the downhill, I had to get down on the treacherous narrow space or on the rock many times.
When I made a small jump on the rock to avoid slip, I dropped a digital camera on the rocky ground from my belt pocket. Fortunately, it got a small bruise, but it was like intact state. Especially, I thought that the route was very tough path.
Near the end of the trek, I exhausted myself, I guess that I had lost the balance ability to land on a safety foothold.
Today I have a pain in muscle of foot when bending it for a change.
Dscn0721I arrived at Miike at 12:15pm.
I asked a staff about the time table of bus departure time. He told me "It's 12:45pm", so I'd 30 minutes leeway. I was very lucky space of time to get refresh. I wiped the sweat and changed to a new T-shirt.

Dscn0720I bought a iced candy and a new water pet bottle of 2litter, and drank almost half. When the train time of the over-night bus was coming, too many person that cannot ride on one bus vehicle lined up beside the bus. The people who want to go to Ozekogen (尾瀬高原) station was many, so bus staff arranged an additional bus vehicle. It was lucky that was the express bus. The bus drove with great speed without a stop, but it took about 85minutes to Ozekogen. So the bus arrived at Ozekogen at 14:10, and it was 10 minutes before the train coming.

Dscn0725I could not buy a ticket before boarding. So, I took a train, and bought a ticket in the train.
When the train started, the hard rain began to fall.
The train was a joint operation with JR and Tobu railway to JR Shinjyuku station. The train named "Spacia", made me feel a high ride quality performance, so I felt a good closing of this trek.

Trek Route
Hiuchi_mountainOzenuma_and_hiuchiOshimizu "大清水" Bus Terminal; h=1200m; 4:12am  -> Ichinose Kyukeiyo "一ノ瀬休憩所"; 5:05am -> Sanpei Pass "三平峠"; 8:58am -> Sanpei-sita "三平下"; h=1730m; 6:07am -> Oze Visitor Center "尾瀬ビジターセンター"; 6:14am -> Oze Shitsugen branch "尾瀬湿原分岐"; h=1672m; 6:35 -> Hiuchi Shindou branch "燧新道分岐"; h=1674m; 6:43am -> Mt.Minobuchi "ミノブチ岳"; h=2207m; 8:40am -> Mt.Manaitagura "俎嵓"; h=2338m; 9:13am -> Mt.Shibayasugura "柴安嵓"; h=2348m; 9:34am -> Mt.Manaitagura; 10:05am -> Kumasawa-Tashiro "熊沢田代"; h=1965m; 11:03am -> Hirosawa-Tashiro "広沢田代"; h=1767m; 11:35am -> Miike "御池"; h=1525m; 12:15pm

Key Notes
Location          Southern part of Fukushima Prefecture
Destination      Mt.Hiuchigatake (燧ヶ岳)
Date  walked    July 29(Sun.), 2012 (Cloudy)
Map                 Garmin GPS + Japan RoadNavi 25000 v2 produced by UUD Co.,Ltd.
                      「尾瀬をあるく」(大人の遠足BOOK 東日本#10)JTB Publishing Inc.
Walk type         Mountain walk
Difficulty          Tough
Distance           about 18.4km
Time taken        about 8hours ( includes short breaks )

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