Posted on May 14, 2017
74 0

Posted on May 14, 2017

74 0
Reading time: 1 min
8.6km

Distance

3.5 hours

Time

540m

Ascent

1153m

Highest point

4/10

Difficulty

Snow Icon | Hokkaido Wilds
Dec-Mar

Best season

This classic close-to-Sapporo route provides a unique view of the Jozankei topography. On a clear day, you'll be treated to a full-frontal view of Mt. Yotei to the northwest. We did the route in mid-May, and there was just enough snow left to make it a bit of bush-bashing fun.

Last updated Jan 18, 2019

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

This backcountry ski touring route up to the Senjaku Plateau starts and finishes in the Toyoha Mine area (here) above Jozankei Village in the western outskirts of Sapporo City.

General notes

The destination for this route is the Senjaku Plateau, but in essence it is a wide saddle between Mt. Nagao and Mt. Onuma. In any case, this is essentially the first half of the popular ski touring route up Mt. Muine that starts from the Toyoha Mine (see the alternative Muine Hut route here). It still gives excellent views of Mt. Yotei on a good day. It is one of the last areas around Sapporo that can be skied before summer kicks in. If you’re lucky you can still have some fun here up till mid-May.

Hut

None

Route markers

This route it not marked.

Route Timing

Up | 2.5hrs
Down | 1hrs

Expect around 2.5 hours from trailhead to the saddle, then about 1 hour back down. If doing this route in late spring, timing will depend somewhat on how much snow is still around. In May, it is best to assume some time will be lost to removing skis to stomp through sasa.

Transport

Public transport:

There are no public transport options for this route, although note that there are buses that run to Jozankei. From there, it would be about a 30 minute taxi trip (14km).

By car: 

The mine road is usually cleared in winter up to the start of the summer route up Mt. Muine, here: https://goo.gl/maps/qpFb8Z1hoBK2

Physical maps

Official Topo Map: Muineyama (無意根山) – map no. NK-54-14-15-3

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).

Snow and route safety

Note that the route time indicated above is only to the Senjaku Plateau. Add another 3 hours if you intend to go all the way to the Mt. Muine summit.

  • Mt. Muine boasts the largest number of avalanche fatalities of any mountain in the Sapporo region (see the Hokkaido Institute of Avalanche Research and Education database map here). This is primarily due to its popularity, but also due to the steep eastward slopes and overall tight, deep run-out gullies. Make conservative decisions on high-risk days.
  • Notify the police of your backcountry plans online using Compass – instructions here.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Senjaku Plateau

Onsen nearby

To get to the trailhead, you’ll pass through the Jozankei Onsen area. Out of the numerous onsen in this area, I’ve been to Hoheikyo Onsen (massive outdoor bath, but can be busy on weekends) and Keiryuso Hotel (smaller outdoor bath area, but not as crowded).

Extra Resources

See the write-up (in Japanese) from p. 140-141 of the Yuki-yama Guide (ISBN: 978-4894538047).

Photo Gallery

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

Mt. Muine is a platform-shaped mountain that can be seen southwest from Sapporo City’s Ishiyama suburbs. It is Sapporo City’s second-highest mountain after Mt. Yoichi. From Senjaku Plateau to the summit of Mt. Muine is a long, flat, easy-to-lose-one’s way ridge. During unstable weather in mid-winter, that part of the route demands some serious mountaineering skills. The Senjaku Plateau, however, can be accessed even in bad weather and can be very satisfying, so this part of the route is worthy of its own route guide.

 

Hokkaido Yukiyama Guide (2015), p. 140.

A back-country ski trip in mid-May, 30 minutes drive from central Sapporo. I didn’t really consider it possible until a guy from my workplace outdoor club suggested we check Mt. Muine out. A week later, we were skinning from the trailhead on the last wisps of snow left on the forestry-road approach, and threading our way along labyrinth-puzzle tracts of snow that weaved through towering sasa bamboo.

Before long, the snow was thick enough to cover most of the sasa bamboo, and it was relatively easy going. Flaky-barked trees dot the hillside as the route climbs out of the gullies. Before making the final half-hour push to the plateau, we stopped at around 920m for lunch. We dug seats and a table in the snow, and the ultra-prepared Prof. Tsunoda got his jetboils cranking. Boiled sausages were quite the treat, as were toasted marshmallows.

The final push up to the plateau is punctuated by a steep “step” up, which requires some patient kick-turn-traversing. After that, it is plain sailing, along a wide ridge to the top. Expansive 360 degree views await. Strong winds for us on this day too. From the plateau we took a different ridge back down, slightly to the south of the ridge we were on on the way up. A large bowl at the upper reaches allowed some well-earned turns before we started picking our way across undergrowth. Considering how late we were in the season, we were quite happy with only having to walk about 20 minutes from the last bits of snow to the cars. A thoroughly enjoyable last hurrah of the season.

As with each ski touring, cycle touring, and hiking route guide published on hokkaidowilds.org, should you choose to follow the information on this page, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road/track closures. While traveling, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow leave-no-trace procedures. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this information, associated GPS track (GPX, KML and maps), and all information was prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. hokkaidowilds.org, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals following the information contained in this post.

hokkaidowilds.orgに掲載されるすべてのスキールート、自転車ツーリングルート、ハイキングルートと同様に、本ページに掲載される情報を利用し行動する場合、必ず自己責任で利用することを条件とします。出発する前に現地の天候や状況、通行止め情報などを確認しましょう。行動中は、公有地/私有地に関係なく必ず現地の利用条件を守るようにし、適切な安全装置や、コンパスや地図などのナビゲーション道具を身に着けてください。いうまでもありませんが、自然に与える人間の影響を少なくし、ゴミの持ち帰りをはじめ環境を傷をつけない(Leave No Trace)ようなアウトドア行動にしましょう。本サイトに掲載される情報はあくまで計画を立てるための一つの情報源に過ぎなく、行為者の先んじて払ってしかるべき正当な注意義務及び努力と合わせて利用することを条件とします。本ページのGPSトラック(GPXとKMLと地図)を含む情報は提供者のできる限り正確な調べにより提供しているものの、その情報の正確性や、提供者の行動判断は、hokkaidowilds.orgは一切の責任を負いかねなく保証できません。また、本ページに掲載される情報を利用することによるいかなる怪我、器物損壊等、その他事件 ・事故等においてhokkaidowilds.orgや本サイトの関係者は一切の責任を負いかねます。

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this route to Senjaku Plateau, 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