Wet Dreams in the Hida Mountains: Shiradake Diagonal Couloir

Lee Lyon | BackcountryBackcountry
Can you see it?
Can you see it? Zach Paley photo.

Due to the complete media blow out coming from Japan this winter,  I’ve been hesitant to share anything from over here. I know I’m sick of hearing about how awesome Japan is; I can’t imagine how annoying it is if you live somewhere suffering through a rough snow year.

Turns from the top. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.
Turns from the top. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.

However, I thought it might be appreciated to see a different perspective on the skiing and mountains in Japan. Everybody knows about the deep mid winter powder season. It is a lot less common to see what Japan looks like in the spring when weather and conditions are more variable, but periods of stability allow access into the high peaks and big lines.

Pitch One. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.
Pitch One. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.

The first bigger line I’d like to share is a little link up on Shiradake I call the Diagonal Couloir. It consists of three nice steepish northeastish pitches, the last of which is a neat looking couloir with a big rock wall on one side. From the valley, it is hard to imagine that it will go, but with a few different perspectives it becomes more believable.

Headed for Pitch Two. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.
Headed for Pitch Two. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.

When conditions are right, Shiradake is a leisurely three hour ridge walk from the lifts. The real danger is significant and extended exposure to major slide paths on the way out, so timing is key.

My intention is to keep adding reports from big lines in the Hida Mountains as the spring goes on, so stay tuned for more.

PHOTO TOUR:

Pitch Two. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.
Pitch Two. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.

 

Connecting pitches. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.
Connecting pitches. Lee Lyon photo, Zach Paley skier.

 

The Slot. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.
The Slot. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.

 

Under the wall, pitch three. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.
Beneath the wall, pitch three. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon skier.

 

Running home. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon swimmer.
Running home. Zach Paley photo, Lee Lyon swimmer.

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