TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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Cloudy mountain hikes

Yesterday was a reminder that you don’t climb mountains just for the view. We climbed Mt. Shogadake on one of the ridges of Mt. Chokai, and it was quite a good hike, apart from the fact that we couldn’t see very far most of the time.

Thankfully, I guess, Shogadake isn’t known as much for its views, rather the rare flowers that grow in fields up there, that we were able to see. The cloud cover and cool snow we had to walk on as well meant we could stay much cooler than down below, which is great during this time of year. If it were a sunny day, we would have boiled.

The clouds also meant we almost got lost, we were taking a different shorter way back, but didn’t know where the path was because we couldn’t see it in the cloud. Almost fortuitously though, the clouds opened up at just the right time to reveal the path to us. That part was quite something, we were getting worried for a while there.

So, in the end it was a good experience, we got to cool off and check out a part of a mountain not many people get to, as well as a whole variety of plants that only people who have been to that mountain can see. Overall, it’s worth a visit to Shogadake.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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