We’d been at Lake Toya for an overnight camping trip the previous few days, and were on our way back to Sapporo. Mt. Orofure happens to be on the way back to Sapporo from Lake Toya, so this quick and easy hike made a lot of sense. Unfortunately, however, we were every so slightly too early for the official start of the hiking season. It was the 3rd of June, but the gate across the access road to the pass was still closed. We happened to have our folding bikes in the car, but hey, it was only a 2km walk – surely it wasn’t worth lugging the bikes out of the car.
20 minutes later after trudging up the road, we were wishing we had the bikes. It wasn’t particularly far, and there wasn’t any traffic, but the bikes would have made easier work of it.
Once at the pass we marveled at the view we’d gained already. Onwards from the pass we started the hike in earnest. The track started with some low-lying trees. We were walking through a low canopy tunnel. We were early enough to see the poppies blooming, so that was nice. And then we were thrust above the treeline, with great views across precipitous drops on either side of the trail.
The final climb up to the summit is a quite the scramble, up a very steep ridge.