I’m a city girl and though I have always looked up to doing all the rugged stuff, I have never done it. I have never slept in a tent outside in the wild or gone backpacking alone in other countries. I always thought mountain climbing is pretty cool, so on the 3rd day after I arrived in Hokkaido, I was brought along for a mountain climbing trip to Mount Tokachi, probably the 2nd tallest mountain in the island, after Mount Asahikawa.
Being a seasoned mountain climber herself, Nao-san lent me her yellow Parka and trekking shoes since I had no idea I was gonna climb mountains here.
And so we set off.
The initial part wasn’t difficult at all. There were small rocks all over and it feels like you’re just walking on a stony path and that’s it. Mayu-chan and Nao-san were like telling me to take small steps if not I’ll tire out easily. Finally we reached this small little house which signifies that we’re already about halfway through.
At the little house, we rested and ate our food that we brought. Eating on a mountain does indeed make the food taste better. Well, we had yomogi mochi and oolong tea.
Then, we saw smoke billowing out from a part of the mountain. (well, I gather that it’s smoke from the active crater since this is an active volcano.) So we decided to go a little further since I’m not so tired yet.
Along the way, the path became rougher. The stones became rocks and rocks became boulders. And as I climb further up, I began to wonder how am I gonna to climb back down since we have already gone so far up. The slope became steeper and I began slipping off.
I kinda freaked out and I began to wish for a helicopter to bring us back to ground. I know it sounds stupid but I really was terrified as I didn’t know how are we gonna go back down.
We just moved on and on and along the way, we met other climbers who told us how beautiful the scenery is up there and they egged us to continue going up.
SO WE DID.
HERE WE ARE.
Seeing all this just makes me feel that the climb is worth it! But… I’m still worrying how we are gonna make it back down. At this point, Mayu-chan and Kazu-san wanted to continue on to the peak of the mountain whereas Nao-san and I are already burnt out and wanted to start our descent.
So we went on our separate ways.
Indeed, going down is harder than coming up. I slipped and fell for about 3-4 times and I almost sprained my ankle. At this point in time, my ankle already felt like a towel being wringed dry clockwise and anti-clockwise and my thighs and calves already didn’t felt like mine.
It has been 5hrs since we started.
Things got pretty bad when I was at the top and I had fell twice through the rocks. I didn’t really get hurt but I was pretty traumatized. The rocks was shaky and I didn’t know how to get pass them. I plunged my stalker into the rocks and they really saved my life. I was trying to cling on to big boulders for support every time I see one.
Seriously I could cry. I felt like giving up. I wondered which part of this was fun. But then if i were to really stop now, everything would be over.
I CAN’T STOP.
And so i continued.
The sky got dark and we finally reached the small little house again at evening time 6pm. I was afraid that we would not make the descent by night time because there’s not a single light out here since it’s in the wilderness.
As the sun set, i did get a pretty good shot of the scenery.
At about 7, we finally reached the carpark. We were already enveloped in the darkness and if it wasn’t from the light of the mobile phone, i doubt we could even see that we reached the carpark. Animals had already started coming out and we saw deers coming out from their hideouts in the bushes.
I slumped on the car seat and I’m amazed that i am still alive.