Posted on Mar 11, 2021
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on twitter
Share on google
0
WSW
Posted on Mar 11, 2021
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on twitter
Share on google
0
WSW
15.5km

Distance

7 hours

Time

1040m

Ascent

1459m

Highest point

7/10
Difficulty
Snow Icon | Hokkaido Wilds
Jan-Apr

Best season

Dairoku-yama 大麓山 (1459m) is a lofty and distant objective on the southwestern border of Daisetsuzan National Park in central Hokkaido. Fit and strong ski tourers' seven plus hours of toil will be rewarded with grand views across the Furano plains as well as the entirety of the Daisetsuzan Range to the northeast. Best suited for the firm snow of spring, this is a deserving peak-hunt for those seeking a fresh perspective on the central Hokkaido mountains.

We visited this route on Feb 19, 2021

Many thanks to Nisade for putting us up in their new Fenix Furano accommodation in Furano on this trip.

Last updated Apr 2, 2021

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

Dairoku-yama sits at the southwestern end of the Daisetsuzan National Park in central Hokkaido. It’s right on the border of the national park. The trailhead is about 30 minutes drive from central Furano City, via the hamlet of Rokugo.

General notes

Dairoku-yama is the highest point in the University of Tokyo Hokkaido Forest, and as such, this route travels through forest that officially belongs to (or is at least managed by) the University of Tokyo. While this route is a vaguely popular (i.e., it might see a few people on it per season), ski tourers should obey any instructions from forest research staff. On this trip, I didn’t encounter any staff, but snowmobiles were clearly active on the lower approach road. Take care and give way to any management staff.

  • Difficulty: This is a very long route, particularly so if taking it on in deep winter – expect deep snow and plenty of trail-breaking required. For that reason, we’d recommend this route for spring, when the snow will be more hard packed.
Hut
None
Route details

Park well to the side of the road near the bridge over the Ponnunobu-gawa river (ポン布部川), around here. Follow the forestry road to the north of the fence separating the field from the river – you’ll pass a forestry management house on the left. At the far eastern end of the field, you’ll encounter a rope mesh gate which you can duck under. Continue to follow the road to the 427m point marked on the map. Here, head north northeast along a faint old road for just over 2km on the western (left) side of the river. At some point, find a suitable snow bridge to cross the river and head up the spur to the broad forested slope. Head now in an east northeast direction towards the summit access forestry road, joining with the road at around 1030m. Cut the corner of the road, and join back up with the road, following it up to the flat saddle at 1178m. From here, you’ve still for about 300m to climb to the summit, steeper now. For most of the winter, this last section will be quite wind-scoured – ski crampons may be required. Return the way you came.

Route Timing
Up | 5.5hrs
Down | 1.5hrs

Transport

Public transport:

There is no public transport to this route.

By car:

The trailhead is easily accessed from central Furano City via the hamlet of Rokugo. Note that heavy farm machinery uses the road near the Ponnunobe-gawa bridge, so make sure to park well to the side of the road. Also avoid parking at the very end of the road, as this is where snow-clearing machinery turns around.

Physical maps
Official Topo Map: Rokugo (麓郷) – map no. NK-54-8-5-3
Official Topo Map 2: Honko (本幸) – map no. NK-54-7-8-4

NOTE: The official 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

Aspect
The main aspect skiers are exposed to on the descent and/or ascent is West. Other aspects that may also be encountered while following the route outlined on this page include: Southwest. Therefore, keep an eye on the weather forecast a few days ahead of your trip to monitor wind, snow, and temperature. Also, since this route is in the general vicinity of the Furano area, consider looking at the Furano Avalanche Center (on Facebook). They issue sporadic observations throughout the season which may give extra insight into avalanche conditions.

Snow and
route safety

While the terrain is relatively benign on this route, it is a long way. Make sure to allow plenty of time if shooting for the summit – a pre-dawn start is recommended. The final 100m or so of elevation gain may be on bullet-proof wind-scoured snow, so ski crampons are recommended.

Dairoku-yama Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

A

40

Time ascending

A

10

Technicality

Altitude

A

10

Hazards

C

6

Navigation

C

6

Totals

72/100

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

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Dairoku-yama
Onsen nearby

If headed back to Furano City, Hotel Naturwald Furano ホテル ナトゥールヴァルト富良野 (location, 600yen) has some nice outdoor baths. If willing to travel further afield, our natural choice would be Hakuginso 白銀荘 (location, 700yen) up near Tokachi Onsen – the open-air baths are some of the best in Hokkaido.

Extra Resources
No extra English resources that we know of. If you know of any, please let us know in the comments.

Guide Options

If you’d like to ski this route and/or explore other areas of Central Hokkaido together with a local certified guide, get in touch with Takao Miyashita. He’s a born-and-bred Hokkaido based guide. From a young age he cut his teeth on peaks around Tokachi-dake, Asahi-dake, Sandan-yama and others. He has multiple 6,000m-plus peak international expeditions under his belt (including a ski descent from 7,400m on Mt. Manaslu, Nepal). He is one of the leading senior figures in the local guiding and outdoor associations here in Hokkaido and Japan. See a full list of English-speaking Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA) guides on the HMGA website here

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

The forecast for the weekend was bleak. The previous few days had seen heavy snow and high winds. There were reports of sporadic natural avalanche activity in central Hokkaido. All together, this meant any skiing today would have to be very conservative regarding aspect and angle. Furthermore, Haidee had to stay indoors for the day with a couple of online meetings.

So I decided on a conservative but long solo mission up Dairoku-yama. I knew from the outset it would be much, much more of a walk than a ski. It was a peak I’d been interested in since last season’s Mae-furano-dake hut trip though. According to reports I’d seen online, this approach from the west seemed to be the more regularly taken winter route.

Knowing it’d be a long day, I set off from our accommodation at the new Fenix Furano apartments at 4:30am, aiming to get to the trailhead at 5am.

When I set off from the trailhead, it was still dark, only the cow minders up and working.

In the morning murk, I didn’t see that I could head along the left side of the fence near the river, so ended up skinning along the right side of the fence, between the fence and the river. The going was relatively fast, with not too much new soft snow.

Soon, however, I linked up with the forestry management road, and as I continued deeper into the forest, the snow underfoot got deeper.

After about 45 minutes of progress, I came across some forestry machinery, and four snowmobiles covered by tarps. The firm snowmobile track I’d been following stopped here, and for the next five hours or so, I’d be breaking trail through calf-deep snow on my own. After a long week at a desk at work, it was a great way to blow out the cobwebs.

As it often the case with solo trips, photos from the day were a bit lacking. Snowy forests. For seven hours. The meditative repetition of one foot in front of the other is always soothing for me though, and it’s always nice to go at my own pace.

It wasn’t unexpected, but I knew as I was climbing that the descent was going to be fairly lack-luster. I did exactly one kick-turn in the 4.5 hours to the saddle at about 1100m. It was just all very mellow. With snow as deep as this, I knew fairly early on the downhill would be courtesy of the skin-track I was setting. I focused on keeping it as straight as possible as I climbed.

The final steeper 300m or so of elevation from the saddle to the summit was a mix of nice powder, thin wind-slab on nice powder, and wind-scoured sastrugi.

I made it to within about 50 vertical meters below the summit before pulling the plug. With a worsening weather forecast for the day, very challenging underfoot conditions, and low visibility, I made the conservative decision to head down while underfoot conditions were at least marginally favourable.

Once down from the steeper summit slope, and past the only-just-steep-enough forestry management road, the rip back down the skin track was fast and fun. In the back of my mind I hoped no one else was stupid enough to hike up this mountain on a weekday with no views, as they’d undoubtedly be following my skin track.

The fun downhill lasted only back to the river. From there, it was a mix of vigorous poling and shuffling along the very mellow decline of the forestry road. I was happy to see that someone had come for the snowmobiles at around the 476m point, where I’d seen them previously. This meant I had a nice firm snowmobile track to skate along all the way back to the car.

Overall it was a pity there’d been no views, but I felt like I’d made the most of an otherwise marginal day weather-wise.

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this route to Dairoku-yama, or others nearby? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback, reports, or queries here. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See More Like this

ADVANCED FILTERS

Filter by location

About Filters

REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

DIFFICULTY: How strenuous a route is, and how technical it is. Full details here.

FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

MAIN ASPECT: Which cardinal direction the primary consequential slope is facing, that you might encounter on the route. More details here.

ROUTE TAGS: An eclectic picking of other categories that routes might belong to.

SEARCH BY LOCATION: You can find routes near your current location – just click on the crosshairs (). You may need to give permission to HokkaidoWilds.org to know your GPS location (don’t worry, we won’t track you). Or, type in a destination, such as Niseko or Sapporo or Asahikawa etc.

Please let us know how we can make it easier to narrow down your search. Contact Rob at rob@hokkaidowilds.org with your suggestions.

Dairoku-yama Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

A

40

Time ascending

A

10

Technicality

Altitude

A

10

Hazards

C

6

Navigation

C

6

Totals

72/100

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.