Yufure-goya Hut

ユーフレ小屋
Free Hut
Has stove/heating
Has water source
Has toilets

Posted on Mar 29, 2021
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Posted on Mar 29, 2021

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It's said that over 70 years ago a hermit by the name of Taro Kaku built the Yufure-goya, and spent his days living there year-round. The extraordinarily well-built stone hut has received a new roof since Taro Kaku's days, but almost everything else is original - solid concrete and stacked river-stone walls, massive roof beams, and gorgeous wood-framed windows. In winter, the hut is extremely remote. Getting there requires either a 3 hour arduous ski in (including river crossings), or a 4 hour hike up and over a saddle, with a 500m descent down to the hut. For those who make the journey, they'll be rewarded by prime access to some of Hokkaido's most secluded, steep, and remote skiing terrain.

Location

Yufure-goya Hut sits here, half way up Ashibetsu-dake’s Yufure-Hontani gorge, on the old trail (旧道) up to Ashibetsu-dake’s summit, near Furano City in central Hokkaido.

General notes

Yufure-goya Hut is a spacious, dirt-floor stone hut apparently built by Taro Kaku (覚太郎), a hermit who lived there most of his life, over 70 years ago. It is currently maintained by the ageing Furano Alpine Association, who outsources some of the hut’s maintenance to other mountain associations in the area. The hut has two sleeping platforms, but the structural integrity of the upper sleeping platform is arguably suspect, so in reality the hut can comfortably sleep up to 10 people. In winter, the 5m+ high hut becomes almost completely buried in snow, so some GPS use and/or probing may be required.

  • Access to the hut: The hut is not locked. In deep winter, access to the hut requires digging – the hut is buried in snow. The hut can be accessed via the second floor window at the southwest end of the hut. The main first-floor entrance is at the northeast end of the hut. In summer, the approach is via the Ashibetsu-dake old-trail route (see details here).
  • When we visited the hut in March 2021, we were very surprised to see our acquaintance Yassan from Tree Life there with his team, doing the annual roof snow-clearing. It was great to help out and spend the night in the hut with them. A great example of local guides and mountain professionals tucking in to maintain these places.
Capacity
Sleeps 10 people.
Official contact
Furano City Council Tourism and Commerce Department (富良野市役所商工観光課)
TEL: 0167-39-2312
Maintenance
Furano Alpine Association
富良野山岳会
Booking

No booking is required, and there is no way to book.

Hut Fees

No hut fees.

Facilities

Heating: The hut is heated by a small but quite effective wood stove. There is no wood supplied, so visitors will need to forage for windfall and other dead branches etc. around the hut. We recommend gathering and processing some dead, dry wood on your way to the hut – options around the hut may be sparse. Bring fire-lighters – when we were there, there were some firelighters left behind by other users, but no kindling or newspaper. It’s best to assume you’ll be getting the fire going yourself (BBQ firelighters are usually available in supermarkets). Note that in deep winter, the exterior chimney will not be attached to the stub of the interior flue extending out of the roof. Furthermore, the interior flue stub will be completely covered with at least 2m of snow. Shovel this stub out before attempting to light the fire. It should be easy to climb up on the roof, particularly from February onwards.

Water: The Yufure River runs right past the hut. Boil or filter all water before consuming.

Kitchen/cooking: There are no cooking facilities in the hut. There are no frypans, pots, or kettles. The wood stove will quite happily bring water to the boil, and we used it for all our cooking.

Bedding: There’s no bedding in the hut.

Elecricity: No electricity.

Toilets: There’s one long-drop, accessed from outside the hut, to the right of the first-floor main door at the northeastern end of the hut. In winter, it will be completely snowed in.

Cell reception: There is no mobile reception at the hut.

Hutkeeper

There is no hutkeeper present at the hut.

Related Maps

NOTE: For number references to official printed topographical maps, check the main route report ( Ashibetsu-dake Shindo Route (plus Yufure Hut) ).

Special Yufure-goya  Hut Notes

Yufure-goya Hut is no exception to the fact that the vast majority of huts in Hokkaido are 100% maintained through passionate volunteer time and effort. The Furano Alpine Association does their best to upkeep the hut as much as they can, but you may find it in less than ideal condition. If you make a visit, please give the place a clean. Always leave a hut cleaner than you found it.

Yufure-goya Hut Photo Gallery

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Yufure-goya Hut Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

D

25

Time ascending

D

0

Technicality

Altitude

D

0

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

25/100

GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.