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Goblin Ridge (天狗尾根)

Steep, craggy ridgeline on the hike from Shirouma (白馬岳) to Mt Karamatsu (唐松岳) (upper left corner, hidden in clouds), just before the "Gap of No Return" (不帰キレット) (starting from the closest ridge top, approx 2600m) - as the name implies, this section consists of three very steep descents and ascents that have you scrambling on your hands and knees. Looks easy in this shot, but when hiking it it is a little daunting.


This was one of my toughest hiking days ever! Early morning start at 白馬大池, over 白馬岳, intending to stay at the hut at 天狗平 only to find it was being closed up for the season (website said it was open until the following week). The only option was to turn back or continue on to Karamatsu, across the Gap... a 3-4hour literal climb to Karamatsu with backpack was completed well after the Sun had gone to bed, and with my favourite hiking boots chewed to pieces. Great, rewarding, exhilirating 12-hour hiking day, once it was over!


I was alone on this whole section - can't imagine doing it with more than a few people on the trail as progress would be painfully slow. And I wondered how many people start off on this route, and get stuck part-way along, unable to continue!?

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Taken on September 24, 2009