Climbing the Daisekkei

posted in: News, Summer | 0

First of all what is the Daisekkei? Roughly translated the Daisekkei is a large snowy valley. Maybe a large snowy river gorge would be a better translate.

The perennial snow valley is about 3,500 meters long from the Hakuba-jiri mountain hut and climbs for an unrelenting 600 meters until it reaches the lower part of the Shirouma Massif. Being about 100 meters wide, the Daisekkei is classed as one of the three large snowy valleys in the whole of a snowy Japan.

The trail head actually starts a few km at Sarakura Lodge. Here is ample parking as well as public bus drop offs. In front of the lodge there are forms to fill out to let the authorities know of your intended journey times and routes.

Upon reaching Hakuba-jiri mountain hut it is best to take a breather before tackling the Daisekkei that starts about 15 minutes above the hut. The mountain hut is also rents out crampons or eizen as they are known in Japan. The rentals are 1000yen and have 4 spikes. Crampons make the Daisekkei at lot easier to climb, the spikes dig into the snow to stop you slipping, you could climb without them but we recommend you don’t.

You will see many climbers wearing mountain helmets. This is due to the amount of rock slides that frequent the valley. Boulders as big as 1 square meter are not uncommon to see on top of the snow. The course on top of the snow is marked with a red powder, but on foggy days, and there are many, the course is a little difficult to trace.
On top of the Daisekkei it is another couple of hours or so to reach the mountain huts of Hakuba-sanso and Hakuba Chōjōshukusha and then a further 15 minutes or so to the top of Hakuba’s highest peak, Mt.Shirouma at 2932 meters.