Let it be known that Sapporo City, a city of around 1.3 million people in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan, must be one of the best cities in the world. Amazing food, chilled out locals, easy to get around by bicycle (very important), and so close to the outdoors it is ridiculous. Haruka-yama (春香山) is a prime example of what is sitting on Sapporo locals’ doorsteps. Just a half hour drive out of the city to the trail-head, a three to four hour snowshoe hike, and you’re at a one-man-staffed mountain hut in the middle of nowhere.
The foothills around Sapporo. Their danger lies in their accessibility. The winds blow straight from Siberia here, so it would be easy for the uninitiated to get thoroughly, dangerously lots in a white-out. Lucky for us we had Leon Roode (aka The Hokkaido Push Pig) to guide us to the hut (although the day we went, it didn’t snow enough for the trail to disappear). From the hut it is a short 40 minute hike to the top of Haruka-yama mountain, followed by a 10 minute ski down to the hut again. Just perfect for a quick weekend overnighter.
Below is a mash-up of footage I took on the overnighter. Perfect conditions, great companions, a very nice weekend away from the grind.
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