Winter Hikes in Yamagata Prefecture

Mt. Chokai seen from Mt. Yonetaihei

I just released my first mountain blog post for 2022, Yonetaihei in Sakegawa Village right next to Shinjo City. I want to hit the ground running this year, but since it's still winter, it's a bit hard. Not only are the mountains far away, it takes much longer to get there because of the snow, and it takes much longer to hike the mountains for the same reason. This means you have to go for low-lying and close mountains that are open year-round, and Yonetaihei-zan was the closest to fit the bill. The search for the next mountain begins, but at this rate, I'm thinking I may have to wait until things warm up a bit in March or April.

From my research, there are 11 mountains on the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata list that are open year round. They are:

  1. Takatsumuji-yama
  2. Nadera-yama
  3. Hyakkoku-yama
  4. Chitose-yama
  5. Togami-yama
  6. Ooka-yama
  7. Takatori-yama
  8. Sakazuki-yama
  9. Tate-yama
  10. Yonetaihei-zan
  11. Takadate-yama

As you can tell, I have already climbed two, the two closest mountains to me. Takadate-yama is here in the Shonai region, and Yonetaihei-zan is in the Mogami region. Of the other mountains, six are in the Murayama region, and the last three are in Okitama.

This makes things quite challenging, as Murayama and especially Okitama is very far from here. If I was to go to any of these mountains, I would want to either stay in the region, or try and get multiple mountains in on the same trip. Since these mountains are low it should be possible, but snowshoeing takes a lot out of you, and the time it takes to climb them is also unpredictable.

So, I'm going to contemplate how to continue from now. If the chance to go to these places arises, I will probably go, but I think I may have to make a special effort if I am to achieve my aim of 50 mountains this year.

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