After pulling the plug on climbing up Mt. Kokimobetsu last week due to high wind and snow (and then opting to ski Mt. Onuma instead), a forecast for sunny skies this weekend motivated us to head back this weekend to try out our luck again.
When we arrived at the carpark about 400m down the road from the trailhead, things were looking sunny. With three of us with skis and one with a snowboard, we made the initial trudge along the roadside. As usual, actually getting off the road and onto the snow required some scrambling…
The blue skies lasted about 20 minutes once on the trail, before clouding over completely. From the trailhead, the route climbs almost immediately up to the closest pylon, before carrying on on a 51degree bearing straight towards the peak.
The route continues on the 51degree bearing through thin stands of trees and sporadic clearings. For the most part the middle section of the route is a very gentle uphill gradient and in parts it is flat.
At around 730m in altitude, the route finally starts climbing in earnest towards the peak. In the end, this will give about 240m of easy, fun skiing on the downhill given the right conditions.
We noticed someone had set up a basic tarp shelter at the base of the hill – we would later see two snowboarders huddled in the shelter cooking something on their Jetboil stoves.
The ski down from the summit was mellow, and in the right snow conditions could possibly be great fun. We had some crusty snow which made things a little more challenging. For much of the downhill and flat sections after about 730m in altitude, the uptrack was my friend – keep the speed up was the name of the game.
Overall we felt that Mt. Kimobetsu, further up into the hills is a more exciting hill and worth the effort for the downhill. For a complete beginner, however, Mt. Kokimobetsu would likely be an enjoyable and challenging day out.