FATMAP difficulty grade
Mount Rishiri is a Volcano island situated on the North West coast of Hokaido.
It’s 1721m high and offers many different lines, on every face. You will find steep and technicals lines on the south side escpecially but also easier line all around. The particularity of this place is the wind exposure. There is everyday a different wind direction and so you will always try to go under the wind to be a little beat protected. On our ascent the wind was pretty strong from south ouest that’s why we decided to climb up on the north east side trying to be protected. In the ascent, there is no particular or technical difficulties.
appart the weather conditions. On that day it was totally cloudy and snowy but a local Guide told us that there was a chance to find the summit over the clouds.
At around 1400 Meters. That’s why we try. In Bad weather you can easely lost yourself or miss the ridge you decided to climb. The first part part of the escent is a long flat in the forest where is quiet easy to lost a lot of time, there is no trail, you have to find your way trough this forest to get to the beginng of the ascent . We used FATMAP on our phone to be sure to get out of the forest at the right place. At around 500 meter we came out out from the forest and start to follow the first ridge wich bring us to 900 meters high where we will end up on a new ridge wich will bring us to 1400 meters on a flat where there is a little refuge. That first part of the ascent is pretty easy we manage to keep our skis on all the way to the refuge even if in some parts the snow was pretty hard. We decided to stop at this refuge to see if it was a good idea to continue in such a bad weather. The wind was pretty strong the temperature was freezing around -25 and the visibility was still really low. But at only 400 meters of the summit we don’t wanted to turn back. We decided to continue all the way to the top, on this last part it’s getting steeper, around 40° we had to take of the skis and put on crampons. Once again the snow was really hard and it’s a lot more comfortable with crampons. At the top there was still no visibility and it was impossible for us to ski the ouest face as plan. We decided to ski down the same way we hicke up as long as there is no visibility. We finally ski down the the ridge all the way down to 1100 meters where we finally find back a little beat of visibility wich allow us to ski the last part of the Volcano on a South east face. Unfortunately the weather dosen’t allow us to ski down the faces we wanted but on a clear blue bird day there is so many lines to ski. Easy line but also steep and technicals lines. You wont find a lot of people out there in winter time, there is only one local guide there Toshiya Watanabe who run a very nice lodge at the bottom of the volcano and bring people skiing. It’s pretty hard there to count on the weather but as Toshya told us the best period for good weather and snow is March and begining of april.