Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mt. Asahidake: Shapes in the Mist

The cable car goes part-way up Mt. Asahidake in central Hokkaido. I took it to reduce my round-trip hike to the summit to 3½ hours.

When I started out from the cable-car station, I could not see the summit, but I expected the sky to clear as the day warmed up. Sulfurous steam vents did their noisy best to create vog (volcanic fog) and change my expectations.
As I ascended, the clouds slowly descended. Hikers became shapes in the mist.
At the summit, the highest point in Hokkaido, I was not rewarded with a view. But I didn't need a reward.
On the descent, the shrouded trail became my narrow world as rocks slowly revealed themselves.
Then the cable-car station took form. (See photo at the top of this post.)

A video monitor showed the summit. While I had seen so much, it saw nothing.

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