Step Outside

Video

Unable to go to the mountains, I used one beautiful sunny afternoon to make a video compilation from trips throughout 2013.
So far people seem to like it. I hope you will enjoy it too!
It is very sad watching it and knowing that I might not be able to stay in this wonderful country for more than a next couple of months.

Bits and pieces

Climbing day on Gozaishodake

Climbing day on Gozaishodake


It has been a long time since I wrote something and I am sorry for that. Frankly, things have not been easy lately. Not in personal life, not in business. Getting to the big hills has become more and more difficult.
Apart from one short trip to Mt. Houken in the Central Alps this January, I have been mainly just keeping up fitness on the small hills around Osaka and practicing climbing technique at local crags. Just trying to keep together the bits and pieces, so to speak.

I had one bigger project in mind for the beginning of 2014, but then I probably freaked out and put up various excuses, until I finally got it out of my head. Perhaps it was really not wise nor safe to attempt the Hayatsuki ridge of Mount Tsurugi, solo, in full winter. I don’t know. If the conditions were reasonable, I am sure I could have pulled it off, but since I am still missing on some crucial gear like serious winter mountaineering boots, I let prudence and safety win this time the battle with desire for adventure in my heart.

Tsurugidake - Hayatsuki ridge

Tsurugidake – Hayatsuki ridge


Instead we climbed the Houken with Katou-san, but that was way too short and easy to be really satisfactory in any way.
And so the best part of that trip turned out to be the night in the open at the eve of the climb itself. The cold winter air flowing through my nose smelled so good as I was laying there in silence, the stars flowing through the sky ever so slowly and peacefully. How long has it been since I felt like this. I let my mind drift aimlessly through the night, sleepless, not sad, not happy, just at peace.
Senjoujiki curl

Senjoujiki curl


Looking down from Houkendake summit. Katou-san is on the way up.

Looking down from Houkendake summit. Katou-san is on the way up.


On top of Houkendake

On top of Houkendake


Katou-san

Katou-san


The normal hiking routes seem to be slowly losing their appeal to me. I dream about the real climbs, mixed terrain, steeper ridges, spurs and faces… and altitude.
I know I am total newbie in all of that, but the fire keeps burning me!