Volcanic ascent – Climbing Mt Youtei.

After a fine evening in a notorious local hangout with a couple of scotch’s we retired to our cabins in the lower village. The alarm clock buzzed at six o’clock and we crawled out of bed and rounded up the crew for an epic day of climbing. A quick breakfast of a coffee in a can and a dumpling or two and we were set for an adventure.

Above the tree line

Above the tree line

A ten minute drive later we were at the doorstep of Youtei, a 1898m dormant volcano. Our crew were lead by Esser on his new home made split board, Micky on skins and us two boarders on snow shoes. We were lucky to have clear skies with a beautiful sunrise over Youtei and the surrounding Niseko mountains.

After five hours we made it through deep snow and broke through the tree line. We spent another couple of hours climbing aiming for the peak hoping to break through the inclement weather to blue skies and a sunny peak but the failing light meant it was time to turn around at about 1600m. With huge snowfalls lately on top of mixed early season conditions we were cautions of the avalanche risk and followed a ridge down to the trees, perfect powder turns all the way!

Cutting under trees

Cutting under trees

Open face

Open face

View down to Kutchan.

View down to Kutchan.

Tress and light

Trees and light

Almost conquered

Almost conquered

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