Location: Yoichi, Yoichi-gun
Altitude: 872m (~700m elevation gain)
Length: Half day+ (~11km roundtrip)
Hiked on: March 21st, 2016
Another “Tengu” mountain. Not as well known as similarly named peaks in Jozankei and Otaru, Yoichi Tengudake is a minor peak accessible only during the snow season. Like many sub 1000m peaks in the area, the mountain commands little attention during summer, however winter its wide, sparsely treed peak stands out above the other mountains in the area.
The hike begins at Yoichi Dam, about a 20 minute drive from the center of Yoichi town. After crossing the dam there is a maintenance building where you can park (may not be possible on weekdays but you can park lower down and hike up). You will see the gated logging road right next to the building which will take you around the dam reservoir and into the mountains.
The logging road continues deep into the mountains, slowly gaining elevation. You can take some short cuts across but it’s probably easiest/best to just follow the road all the way. Eventually the road will divide in two. Take the road to the left, which goes down hill a bit. There is a ridge you can get onto a few hundred meters before the road ends.
Once on the ridge, you have to traverse across a couple ridges to the left as you go up. While the gullies run deep, there are spots where you can get onto the next ridge over. Aim for the ridge that will take you to the low point on the main ridge to the summit. Best to use a map!
When you get to the col, go left and you’re just a couple hundred meters (vertical) to the summit. The summit gets corniced heavily and your best bet is to go around to the left side and retrace back to the high point. There is no marker but it’s pretty obvious when you are at the top.
I won’t go into too much detail about how great the view is (it’s great.) Now for the fun part, going down. There is a nice little treed bowl just to the northeast of the summit, which drops you off to the other side of the summit ridge (meaning you have to climb back up). Dropping in straight down the east side of the summit offers some nice runs as well. As long as you don’t go too far to skier’s right you can get back to the logging road at the bottom. Safest to stay on the ridge, but some of them drop off quite steep at the end through very tight skis and can be sketchy in spring with cracks and slides all around. Once back on the main road to the dam, it’s a cruisy ride all the way back to the dam.