Toyonidake トヨニ岳

Location: Urakawa-cho/Hiroo-cho
Elevation: 1493m (~900m elevation gain)
Length: Half day+ (~9km roundtrip)
Hiked on: April 9th, 2017

There are two mountains named Toyonidake in the Hidaka Range; one is further down south in the town of Erimo (its name is written in kanji 豊似岳) and the probably better known and more climbed peak this post describes (its name written in katakana characters).

The hike begins at Notsuka Pass, which connects the Hidaka region to the southwest of the Hidaka Range and the Tokachi Plains to the east. The pass sometimes closes due to avalanche danger so check the status before heading up there. On the Tokachi side of Nozuka Tunnel is a large parking area which serves as the trailhead for Toyonidake and the nearby Nozukadake.

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The standard route is the cross the creek directly to the west of the parking lot and climb up to the main ridge connects Toyoni and Nozuka. You can either climb up the gully (which was full of avalanche debris when I was there) or get onto the smaller sub-ridge. The gully will make for easier hiking.

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The climb is quite steep until you get to the top of the ridge at around 1100m. From the top of the ridge you will see the peak of Toyonidake to the north. You will steadily gain elevation walking along the ridge which is narrow with hair-raising drops on either side, typical of the Hidaka Range. Some bits can be quite sketchy especially when winds are strong and/or when the ridge is heavily corniced.

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There is one last big climb over the last kilometre and you’re at the summit. To the south you will see the Hidaka Range going down to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Erimo and to the north it seems to just continue on infinitely.

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There is actually a “North Peak” of Toyoni (the sharp peak closest to the peak to the northwest) which is actually higher than the main or “South” peak, add another hour or two to get there and back.

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You can also continue onto the coveted Pirakanupuri (elevation 1631m) however it’s another 10+km roundtrip from Toyoni and is better left for the more ambitious/experienced (you’re probably looking at around 10~12 hours, possibly an overnighter).

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During winter some ski down the big chute that runs down to the southeast, however it was full of debris when I was there. Speaking of skiing, this is not really a mountain that I’d want to come up on skis as the ridge has lots of up and downs and is very narrow at times unless you’re used to doing that stuff. For those on skis coming up the ridge to the east of the peak seems to be more popular.

The snow was quite soft when I went (think more slush than powder) however crampons + axe are necessary for this one. No summer route up this one unless you do sawanobori.

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