Stage 3 – Mt. Nakadake & Takadake – the continuation

The second and final part of the Mt. Nakadake & Takadake summit hike from Sensuikyo…

15 minutes along the narrow ridge and we were on top of the first summit, Mt. Nakadake finally conquered.

It was time to stop for a well deserved victory picture and energy refill while enjoying the views from atop. There were many climbers on the day so a queue had formed of people waiting to take their summit pictures.

nakadake_summit

Trying not to get too comfortable and being somewhat time constrained, we soon set off for the final ascent to the highest point in Aso, Mt. Takadake summit.

Standing at 1,592 meters, it is only a short 25 minutes hop between the two summits.

The path is again quite steep and full of hazardous loose rocks.

takadake_summit_trail

Enduring a bit of a scramble over the rocks and after waiting behind a long line of climbers, we reached the summit.

I noticed immediately that the terrain on top of the mountain was a complete contrast to that of Mt. Nakadake despite being so close. The red barren rocky terrain was replaced with lush green grass, flowers and again my enemies/friends, the insects.

takadake_summit

Being quite pushed for time due to my slow pace and multiple stops for breath, we made our way back to Mt. Nakadake to start our descent down to Sunasenri.

The descent is extremely rocky and steep with a lot of arm work needed to lower yourself down some of the higher drops.

sunasenri_rocks

In all honesty I was extremely relieved to be down as navigating the rocks without falling had forced me to use muscles that had not seen the light of day for many years.

We were however soon rewarded as stepping onto Sunasenri was like walking on a soft sandy beach, an excellent alternative to the bone shattering rocks.

sunasenri_sand

Whilst walking through the ash of the Sunasenri, we came across a reminder of just how powerful past eruptions have been. Looking like some prehistoric dinosaur egg, there is a huge rock alongside the path that was once blasted out from the center of the crater.

dinosaur_egg

Exhausted, dehydrated and somewhat mentally broken, I walked along the final wooden path to mark the end of the hike, a kind of stairway to heaven.

pathway

Elated with my achievement and relieved to be back down in one piece, I could not help to feel a little dejected that it was all over. It is strange sensation to be back down among civilisation and to see everyone going about their normal day.

Despite being an epic 6 hour undertaking that will take many days to recover, I would highly recommend the trail for those who like a moderate to hard hike.

Thank you for reading and joining along on this experience. I have set my sights next on the final accessible climb in Aso, Mt. Nekodake but the climb is quite dangerous and may require a guide.

In the meantime I also plan soon to start the magnificent looking hikes in the nearby Kuju mountain range.

Stay safe and hope to see you in Aso!

Oliver

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