Karamatsu 2696m (唐松岳) is an intermediate winter hike from the Happo One ski resort. It's very scenic with beautiful views and good to practice use of crampons and axe.
Weather at the peak is often bad in winter with high winds. Full winter gear including crampons and axe is needed. I would also recommend to bring goggles.
The hike is possible year round and during weekends always very busy.
Location: Hakuba, Nagano
Elevation Gain: 950m
Start with the lift from Happo One ski resort in Hakuba. You can only buy tickets on the day and it will be busy. Line up at least an hour before opening if going on the weekend.
First lift 2022: 8:30
Last lift 2022: 15:20
Happo Alpen Line Ticket: 3.800¥ return
Don't forget to submit your climbing itinerary by the ticket office and double check the time for the last lift.
After taking two ski lifts to Happoikesanso it's a straight 4-5h hike in winter to the peak. Keep the time of the last lift in mind, as its a tight schedule depending on how long you have to wait to get on the gondola.
First part of the hike is not as steep and soon you can see the flat plateau of happo pond. After that it will get significantly steeper until the peak and through a small forest part. This is a good spot for a short break as it's sheltered from the wind.
The winter route is not quite the same as the summer and more to the left so stick to where the other climbers go up instead of following Yamap.
Once your up to the ridge the wind will pick up so be careful in the more narrow and exposed sections.
When you reach Karamatsusanso (closed in winter) turn right and you should have a clear view of the peak.
If you want to avoid the line for the lift in the morning you can stay at happoikesanso (12.500¥ incl 2 meals) the night before.
Elevation Profile & Map
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