Wednesday July 30th 9 km (5.5 miles) 8 hrs
A rough nights sleep due to the continual rain and wind left with sleep deprived and in need for rest. The constant thoughts going through my skull was that today would be the last of 5 straight days of hiking before getting a much needed day of rest tomorrow. Hit the trail at about 6:30 and the weather was very shaky. Although I could see across the Kurobe Valley the storm clouds in the distance looked very threatening. I quickly scaled and passed Tengu’s Head at 2812 meters (9,223 ft) but was feeling good so didn’t stop. The trail was much more rocky and tougher to get a grip on the slippery rocks than I thought they would be. The climb up Karamatsudake was the most difficult climb I made up to this point in my trip. In fact due to the rain, high winds, mist I decided to wait for a group led by a more experienced climber from Osaka. In my mind it was a good decision as the route up the mountain was studded with chains and small narrow paths along the cliff. A fall would definitely be fatal. However, against a cold biting wind we summited Karamatsudake at 2694 meters (8,836 ft) in about 2 hours. By the time I took a rest at the other side at the hut I was soaked, freezing, and very hungry. Although feeling much more fit my pack seemed heavier due to the rain soaked gear inside. Got to Goryu Koya around 2:30 in the afternoon and with the drenched out day behind me I decided to grab a room at the hut for an astonishing $50 per night. Not thinking about the price I treated myself as a belated birthday gift and was happy that I was able to wash and dry my gear. I’m also wondering how friend is doing who I met way back on the on Shirotori-san. Ichikawa must be way ahead of me but I wonder how he’s been doing in this treacherous weather! I also need the sun badly!!!