TWMC - Nikko 5th Birthday Walk,

May 24-25, 2003

(organised by Nicolas Delerue )

Photos by Nicolas, Roman, Bel and Archana.

Report by Archana.

The celebration of the 5th birthday of TWMC started on Wednesday at Hot Staff.

The main part of the celebration: the Nikko walk. Five years ago, the TWMC started its program of activities with a walk in Nikko, climbing Shirane-san on the first day, and doing a valley walk between Yumoto and Ryuuzu-no-taki on the second. Three people, Archana, Kouichi, and Paul, who were on that first walk, participated this year.

A bit of exoticism.


Hike report by Archana

There are no pictures on the real adventurous parts of the hike. We were so busy reveling in adventure that we forgot to take pictures. At one point when I was doing a rope trick, I asked Yu to take my picture. Hope she will send them to the list after she returns from USA. Here are my (not-so-brief) comments on the walk.

---Pilgrim`s route---

The first day hike was quite uneventful except that we kept playing lost and found game. People were missing, then we missed the route, both while hiking and while driving, and finally a carfull of people lost their way back to log cabin.

We realized mid way through the walk that we were walking the opposite side of the route. After spending much time discussing and consulting, some of us decided to make it an end-to-end walk, meaning we started at the end point and walked back to the end point. Others continued walking the route backwards. They had to almost jog to make it to the start point in 2 hours. Do I sound confusing? But it was as confusing as I sound.

Last in the lost and found game was Yu`s patience and temper. Poor Nicolas! But thanks to the delicious BBQ dinner and relaxing onsen, she regained her usual genki self. To tease the taste buds of those who missed it - the menu was - smoked sausages, eggplants, chicken, yakitori noodles, tacos, popcorns, bear, and fruit salad. Thanks everyone who helped with the dinner.

---Shirane San---

Shirane San`s hike was quite adventurous (BTW whats the difference between adventurous and dangerous?). The trails on the way to the lake were buried in 4-6 feet deep snow. One slip of step and you would cave into the hollowed snow. Anyhow with some practice we got used to it. After the lake it was rocky and the incline was steep but all of us could make it there within the map time of 4 hours.

The descent was quite dangerous. There was much more snow than what we saw on the way up. Koichi was enjoying thoroughly, sliding down the slopes and even skiing with his hiking boots. Yu and Tadashi were walking like natural snowmen. I tried some of Koichi`s stints because it was easier than walking.

At one point we had to walk across a steep ridge which was covered with snow and its slope went deep down in a valley. There were no trees around to give us a hold. Thankfully some previous hikers had tied a rope, so we had to hold on to it and walk across. One slip and this time you are sure in hell or heaven depending on your karmas. I was paranoid at the thought of skidding but once I started walking, it wasn`t so scary and difficult. At another point, we had to dig up our own steps in snow to come down almost vertically.

We were under pressure to make it before it was dark. and my energy levels were at the bottom of the pit - I had not eaten my lunch because I had breathing problem. Somehow I forced myself to munch a few bytes and chocolates and tried some yogic breathing. I felt so much better. Finally we managed to reach just before dark.

Indeed it was a great hike. It has taught me a few lessons though. I will post them in a separate mail - that is if you care to read yet another mail by me:).

Thanks Nicolas and everyone!!

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