Arriving at the car park below the ski slopes one Sunday morning in October, we could see that the gondola was running to allow people easy access to the autumn colours on the mountainside above. Naturally, being made of sterner stuff we ignored the temptation and headed up the forest road to where the proper trail left the ski slopes behind. A curious fox observed us as we took a break. Up on the ridge we encountered the first snow of the year, slippery among the rocks and tree roots on the path. On the summit plateau the wind was bitingly cold so despite the views we didn’t linger too long before heading down.
On our last visit it was even colder. The first snows of winter had arrived though we could still make out the line of the path easily enough through the trees. Once out of the forest the snow was deeper and unconsolidated, lying loose over the sasa, leading us to break through frustratingly to our waists every other step. We had left our snowshoes in the car as there was no snow at the trailhead (not the first time I’ve made that mistake) but up here the snow was so loose over the undergrowth they probably wouldn’t have made much difference. After struggling up to the col we were greeted by a viciously cold wind so called it a day and turned around. We felt that we had well deserved our onsen and ramen nonetheless.