Jeff and I did this trip in early August 2014. We had a forecast for three days of decent weather, and a pickup arranged from the car park at Bogakudai. After a day travelling by train and bus from Sapporo, we set up camp at the trailhead, eagerly anticipating the next three days. It would turn out to be a great trip, memorable for both its highs and lows.
- The early morning panorama of the Tokachi peaks emerging like a chain of islands from a sea of clouds below a flawless blue sky.
- Remote campsites and tasty mountain pasta.
- A kumataka (Hodgson’s Hawk Eagle) at the trailhead – not completely sure though.
- A pika darting among the rocks below Maetomudaira.
- A sighting from the summit of Tomuraushi of a bear trundling across a distant snowfield.
- Meadows of flowers below Tomuraushi and on the broad open ridge to Sansendai.
- The narrow summit ridge of Oputateshike in the mist, then the long high traverse to Beifuji.
- Arriving at the pickup point hungry and thirsty to be greeted by our spouses with an organic takeaway curry and ice cold drinks.
- A major gear failure when BOTH soles of Jeff’s cheap hiking boots came off completely; hardly amusing a few hours into a three-day trip. My emergency duct tape was useless in this case. Luckily he had a pair of sandals with him.
- The long, rough and claustrophobic trail through the juniper between Sansendai and Futagoike, a lot of up and down on a hot and sticky afternoon. Not ideal in sandals.
- Stressing about water, partly due to me underestimating the amount of fuel needed to boil the copious amounts of drinking water required by Jeff (he’s a big guy). We barely had enough – the first thing I did on getting back to Sapporo was to go out and buy a water filter.