Kimobetsudake 喜茂別岳

Location: Kimobetsu, Abuta-gun (Shiribeshi)/Sapporo
Altitude: 1177m (~700m elevation gain)
Length: Half-day+ (10km roundtrip)
Hiked on: April 9th, 2015

A popular backcountry route located right on the border of Kimobetsu town and Sapporo, the hike begins on Number 230 Road just before/after Nakayama Pass, depending on whether you are coming from Kimobetsu or Sapporo. There are a few different points that you can begin the hike from, but I used the fairly large clearing to where the road takes a pretty sharp turn, just before the creek crossing. Note that you can only park on these clearings coming from Kimobetsu (left side of the road.) The parking lot is right next to a steep beginning of a ridge. I made the stupid move of climbing the thing head on, but what you really want to do is go around to the right and to gain the ridge where there is a large clearing at the top. From the top of the ridge, continue on towards the target peak which is visible straight ahead of you, and you’ll soon be walking on a logging road with cute animal signage.

Follow the logging road for a while, and eventually you’ll get to a point where the road heads west (left) right before another steep(er) section. You want to get off the logging road there and start climbing at that point, which is the main ridge joining on to the broad summit of Kimobetsudake. It’s all pretty straight forward in clear weather, but be sure to check where you are going if visibility’s less than great. The trees will soon beginning getting thinner and thinner, and you’ll soon be on top of the ridge, which rewards you with great views of Shiribetsudake and Mount Yotei. As you follow the ridge, there’ll be a higher section to the right. Best to go around just to the left of that bit, as it’s redundant climbing and there are also some large cornices that form on to the right side of it. Eventually the ridge joins onto a wider section, and you get to the final climb before the summit. Note that the true summit is off to the right of what looks like the summit as you’re climbing up that section.

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From the summit, you get a great view of Nakadake and Muineyama. For the descent, the most inviting option is certainly the main gully just to the right of where you climbed up. Once you get down to a certain level, traverse to the right side and eventually you’ll be back on the ridge you climbed up just after the logging road. From there, backtrack your way to the car.

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