Utsugidake 2864m (空木岳) is a beautiful and gruesome dayhike in the central alps. I would not recommend doing it as a dayhike, unless you're very fit. It's possible year-round with winter hiking gear and there are two shelter huts available on the way up.
Elevation Gain: 2050m
The access road to the trailhead has been closed for a while which means you need to walk along the forest road for an hour.
Park your car at Kojo park.
If coming by public transportation you need to walk from town which adds another 30min.
First off let me start with saying that I would not do this hike as a dayhike and with snow again. It was extremely exhausting, no tracks in the snow/deep snow at the top and I hated it on the way down.
It's a beautiful hike but for winter I would recommend staying in the shelter.
After about an hour you'll get to the official trailhead.
From there it's up through the forest and bamboo. Not much to say about this part until you get to a spring and the Ikeyama shelter hut (toilets available). Took us another hour.
After that it gets steeper and soon you'll have a couple of exposed sections with ladders and chains. In winter they might be more tricky because you have no help from the chain. In mid-November we could still use them.
Once you get to the second shelter hut (utsugidakehinangoya) you're almost there. Up to this point was almost 6h.
After the hut the trail had a lot more snow and it was deep with no tracks.
Took us another hour to the peak. The last bit was steep and icy. Axe definitely needed in winter. We then looped back over the ridgline and made our way back down.
We started at sunrise and walked the last bit in the forest/on the road in the dark with headlamps. Only saw one other person that day.
Again be prepared for a really long day. We are fast walkers and are usually between 1-2h faster than the estimate and it still took us 12h.
Ikeyama Shelter: Donation based and quite big. Has toilets and water.
Utsugidakehinangoya: 1000¥ per person. Open year-round, maybe 20 people max, has toilet but not always water.
Komaho Huette: 6000¥ without meals, reservation for weeeknds and holidays required. Not open in winter/off-season.
Elevation Profile & Map
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