On 20th March 2018, Nate and I set off from Hakuba to ski Mount Hiuchi. Hiuchu (2462m) is nestled next to Yakeyama volcano, a volcano that I skied with Robert Lindberg a few weeks ago. Hiuchi is also classified as an ultra prominent peak, meaning that it’s relief above the surrounding area is more than 1500 vertical metres, one of just 21 other ultra peaks in Japan.
Nate and I arrived at Sasakura onsen at 5:15am in the dark and the rain, but slept out the worst of the wet weather in the car before starting hiking at 6:30am.
As we ascended up into the clouds, the visibility greatly reduced.
But we finally broke out above the thick valley cloud and into area below the broken upper-elevation cloud masses.
Our objective for skiing Hiuchi was to ski one of the north-facing couloirs leading from the summit of Hiuchi
The ski down had surprisingly good snow, with the upper section being about 10cm of new snow on top of ice and then from the entrance of the couloir, the new snow was on top of a wet-base.
We had a good day out in better weather and snow than we thought we would get and a decent walk to get there too.