A revisit to Mt. Kishimadake to try the off road paths

Recently it has been extremely difficult to find an opening for climbing and it has been making me stir crazy. The rainy season has begun and it has been relentless this year with extremely heavy rainfall and the closure of many roads.

Visibility within the mountains has been almost zero most days and access to the Mt. Nakadake crater has been closed many times due to heavy fog.

Despite its rarity, I was able to find a single clear day and rushed to take advantage of this lull in the weather.

Although being extremely hot and humid and quite slippery from the previous torrential rain, I was not going to miss the chance to get back out into the mountain air.

I decided to revisit Mt. Kishimadake and try the off road trails that start from the summit. I was not able to tackle them previously due to fierce wind that was present the first time I visited.

SummitStart

The climb to the summit seemed a lot easier and quicker compared to the first time I visited a few months ago. I think after the hell hike of Mt. Nakadake and Takadake from Sensuikyo, everything else seems relatively effortless now.

Leading from the summit, you will notice some small off road trails that connect to a path around the old dormant craters.

summit_trails

There are two main routes to take that both form a loop, the summit loop and the Furumiike loop.

I decided to hike the slightly quicker but higher elevation summit loop which takes around 30 minutes in total.

summit_Loop

The Furumiiike Loop, whilst descending to a lower elevation still offers spectacular views of the ancient craters and starts from a trail leading off from the summit loop.

The Furumiike Loop takes around 55 minutes and returns you back halfway down Mt. Kishimadake. A great option if you do not plan to return to the summit.

furumiike

The summit loop for the majority is quite a pleasant and easy going hike with just a few spots of rock scrambling and elevation increases.

rock_scrambling

The summit loop also offers very stunning views of Aso city and the unblemished, Komezuka below.

komezuka

All in all it was great to finally get back up into the mountains again even if it was for a very short hike this time. I cannot wait until I am able to visit the Kuju mountain range and look forward to reporting back on the amazing hikes available there.

See you all again soon and please stay safe if you are visiting Aso during the rainy season, lets hope it comes to an end very soon.

Oliver

kishimadake_map

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