The day after tomorrow I will be marching towards Mt. Yari, the 3000 meters high pyramidal peak in the Northern Alps every hillwalker in Japan craves for.
I am not happy at all.
Since autumn, somehow, together with a couple of friends from work, we had been discussing a plan to go together on some major winter climb.
My first proposal was the Komado ridge of Mt. Tsurugi. The last big ridge on the mountain I haven’t been to as of yet. A major route indeed, but unfortunately this proposal was immediately swept under the table marked as too ambitious.
Instead the standard route up the Hayatsuki ridge was offered. Without any real alpine climbing, but still a big snow climb, I accepted. Four friends, two tents, it may be a bit slow and not my style, but heck with it, why not for once.
Last month we climbed Mt. Shiomi in the Southern Alps as a group training. It was an experience that made me remember why I enjoy climbing alone or in a team of two so much.
There is so much waiting for someone, so much group politics…
Japanese have been known for huge group climbing for decades.
I don’t want to reason with an age old tradition, probably originating from the collective mentality of the nation, as well as the general toughness of winter in the high ranges of Japan and relative weakness of an individual.
I am in no place to judge or argue with the knowledge of the veterans of winter climbing here. I just cannot stand it. The superfluous order, the leadership.
And then we had a group meeting with an unwelcome outcome. The chances of summiting with just four days of time, travel included, were considered too low to potentially waist precious time on without achieving anything and the Tsurugi plan was abandoned altogether.
Thus the Yarigatake trip came to be.
As I am writing this, posts from friends pop up on social media, announcing success on thrilling climbs. Tony Grant finally finnished the famous Orendani ice climb, Jost Kobusch came to visit Japan and climbed Tsurugi in one 33 hour push!
And I am stuck on Yari with rare and precious four days of free time…
Now, not to make it sound too pussy, I am sure I will enjoy the trip. It is just… all the waisted potential!