Rock Climbing Routes at Sawaguchisawa
Aspect and Location
The rocks are located on the west side of Mount Ryuusou, overlooking Abe River, about 13km to the northwest of Shizuoka city centre.
The hillside is mostly densely wooded. Once you enter the woods above the wasabi farm, the paths are not well defined or established and, especially higher up, prone to collapse.
The best time of year for climbing here is between November and May, with February, March and April being the best months.
The rock is friable in places, but the first ascensionists have generally ignored the worst of it.
In addition, the thick tree cover means that the rocks are slow to dry and quick to moss over. Take a wire brush if you have one.
- From Shizuoka, follow Route 27 (Abe Kaidou) north through Ushizuma towards Umegashima.
- Go through Shizuhata Kita tunnel and past a left turn that takes you to a bridge crossing Abe River on your left.
- 100m after this is a small crossroads with a factory (Nihon Panel Kougyou) on the right.
- Turn right immediately after the factory and follow the narrow road up past a water treatment centre.
(If you turn left at the crossroads, you drop down to a big, free riverside parking area.)
- The road steepens and winds up through tea fields. Continue, past a dirt road breaking off to the right, to a dead end at a wide turnaround/parking area at the start of a wasabi farm, just about here.
The wasabi farm is private land. Good relations with the owner are crucial for parking and access. So:
- Park on the side next to the high wall, as close to the wall as possible. If you are worried about debris falling onto your car, park down by the river and walk up - do not park on the side next to the tea field or near where the monorails begin.
- Leave no more than 2 cars here. If there are already 2, park down by the river. If necessary, you can shuttle people and gear up from the river.
- When walking through the wasabi farm, be extremely careful not to damage the path, walls and steps. Drop no litter and do nothing to dirty the water in the stream and pools.
This is tricky...
- From the parking area, cross the stream using a rickety metal bridge and walk along the wall (i.e. on top of it) with wasabi on your left, the stream on your right, to a boulder acting as a partial dam.
- Cross this leftwards and follow the path to another wall with monorail (wasabi now on your right).
- Walk along the wall till about 10m below the level of a shack on the opposite side of the wasabi.
- Cross the wasabi field along the concrete divider before the monorail crosses the wasabi beds and follow a path up past the shack and along another wall with the same monorail to where 2 thick black pipes run across the wall (about 30m after the shack).
- Drop down right off the wall after the second pipe, then cross the shallow stream and pull up a short wall into a bamboo thicket.
- Climb a few ancient steps and follow a path up into the woods to another decrepit shack.
- The path continues round the back of this and heads up more steeply past cairns to a small face. Zigzag left of this and pull up a fixed rope in a gully.
- After a few metres left and up, the path traverses right through fragile cedars to a bay with rocks above, ahead, and below. The first rock is overhanging and has a weird man-made basin at its base. There may or may not be a stash of climbing/bolting gear here.
It should take about 25 minutes from the parking area to the stash.
The routes are loosely divided into three areas:
- The Lower Tier - This is the section that you arrive at on the standard approach. It consists mainly of The Menagerie and Obake Block.
- The Middle Tier - This section is located a short but tiresome struggle up the slope left of Denkiya no Gyakushuu. It consists mainly of Long Slab, Suspended Slab and City Square.
- The Wild Frontier - This section is located above and right of the waterfall. It consists mainly of Sundown Slab, Sunset Face, Pioneer Face and Diamond Slab.
This is the pleasant bay that the approach leads you into.
The rock with the stash under it has one route on its solid but very green left (north) face and another two on its cleaner but looser overhanging front face:
⦾ Denkiya no Gyakushuu - Revenge of the Electrician 7m 5.10a
⦿ The very green slab round to the left of the stash. North facing and unlikely to stay clean, however often you brush it. If it happens to be clean, it's an easy 5.9.
⦿ Follow the bolts to a tree. Low in the grade, with the crux at the bottom. It's easier to finish right of the last bolt, but more fun to finish direct.
⦾ Ryuusou Hang 8m 5.11b
⦿ The steep groove in the front face.
⦿ After a very hard entry, juggy moves on suspect rock lead to a lower-off.
⦾ Tatsu no Ko Traverse 10m 5.11b
⦿ The bulges right of the steep groove.
⦿ Step off the block up and right of the bolt line and swing right to join it at the third bolt. Continue to easy ground, then step left to the lower-off of Ryuusou Hang. The direct start is in the works.
After the stash, there is a short water-worn face set back on the right followed by a couple of huge boulders very close together.
⦾ The Water Margin 7m 5.10a
⦿ A poor route up the slab at the back of the recess. Graded as for the line I took when I did it, but I can't be sure that that's what the first ascensionist intended.
⦿ Make a couple of thin steps to stand on a sloping shelf on the left. Make a scary second clip, above which the slab becomes walkable. Head back past a third bolt to belay in trees (no lower-off).
The first of the two boulders mentioned above has an overhanging back (north) face with an unfinished project and a (usually) scrubbed slabby west face with three routes:
⦾ Wolverine 7m 5.11a
⦿ A good route up the left edge of the slab, with a hard undercut start.
⦿ Make a hard pull to get your feet up onto a sloping shelf, make a scary clip (spotter advised), and then udge up and right and stretch for a jug. Continue direct past 2 more bolts to a lower-off over the top.
⦾ Chupacabra 7m 5.10b
⦿ The centre of the slab. Neat, and quite high in the grade.
⦿ Start off a boulder just right of a prominent masonry bolt. After a technical start on small holds, climb direct to a lower-off in the tree. There is an awkward move just below the top.
⦾ Goatman 7m 5.11a
⦿ Artificial, but fun.
⦿ Start in the squeeze. Make hard moves up, right and up again to gain a flake/ramp and follow this to a lower-off in the tree. 5.9 if you use the boulder behind you!
After the squeeze, the slab on the right overlooks a (usually) dry stream. There are 2 routes on the slab with a shared start:
⦾ Scuzzlebutt 9m 5.10a
⦿ The right line up the slab through the squeeze. Belay low down.
⦿ Stride left to a small foothold at the toe of the slab and make a committing pull across. Continue with decreasing difficulty to a lower-off.
⦾ Hibagon 9m 5.10a
⦿ The centre of the slab through the squeeze. Belay low down.
⦿ As for Scuzzlebutt, stride left onto the slab. Continue too easily via a short groove to the lower-off.
The next routes are on Obake Block (Bogeyman Block), the rock directly below the stash. For the first 5, scramble down carefully between boulders on the north side.
⦾ Echigoya 10m 5.10b
⦿ The blocky line on the north face of the rock directly below the stash. Loose and not recommended. I think echigoya is some sort of merchant.
⦿ Follow the bolts carefully to a filthy, slabby finish and a 3-bolt lower-off over the top (no tat). Left of the bolt line is looser than right of the bolt line.
⦾ Amanojaku 12m 5.10c
⦿ The line up the left edge of the front (west) face of the rock directly below the stash has some good technical moves. Amanojaku is a demon that makes people do wicked things.
⦿ Start by a huge tree. Pull up into a scoop. Follow the scoop up and left to the bottom of a ramp leading back right. Pull onto the ramp, move right and pull up onto the top of the rock, where 3 bolts await.
⦾ Beetlejuice 14m 5.10b
⦿ An exciting diagonal excursion up the face right of Amanojaku.
⦿ Start as for Amanojaku, pull up into the scoop, but move up and right to pull right onto a good foothold in the centre of the face. Move up and right past 2 bolts close together, then make a final crux pull left and up to a lower-off on a good tree just over the top.
⦾ The Blair Witch 15m 5.11b
⦿ Right again with an undercut start. Belay advised.
⦿ Start a couple of metres down and right from Amanojaku. Pull up and right above the cutaway, then move awkwardly right onto the face. Make very thin moves up to a short flake on the left. Pull neatly up, step right and climb a slabbier section rightwards to the top. Belay on trees over the back.
⦾ Dark Shadows 16m 5.11b
⦿ Starts as for The Blair Witch, then heads further right. Belay advised.
⦿ Follow The Blair Witch to its second bolt. Stretch right at this level to clip a third (independent) bolt and then step down. Stretch right again for a narrow ledge and mantel onto this. After an easy step up, thin steep moves lead to the final slabby section and a bolt shared with The Blair Witch. Finish right of this and belay on trees over the back.
For the next route, ab down the south side of the block to a 2-bolt belay on a small ledge overlooking the stream. Spooky!
⦾ Sleepy Hollow 13m 5.8
⦿ The slab just right of the arete, passing a wonderfully wizened tree.
⦿ From the ledge, climb direct past 3 bolts to belay on trees at the top. There is an awkward move to pass the bulge by the wizened tree.
⦿ Note that the stream is very loud for someone at the bottom of the route.
One more route remains to be described in this section, out of the way and on its own about 80m downhill from Scuzzlebutt. Keep the stream on your right as you head down. You should pass a wonderfully wedged boulder on your left. Next you should pass a big undercut slab of poor rock (very impressive when viewed from the stream) on your right. A few metres further down you should find a short steep face with a narrow ledge running diagonally across it.
Note: You can also get here by crossing the stream lower down on the main approach path. Leave the path at the big boulder/rockstep (before the fixed ropes) and head right to an impressive, constantly dripping wall. Go past this and cross the stream. You should now be in a bay with the undercut slab mentioned above towering above you.
Not really recommended unless you know the area well.
⦾ Squonk 8m 5.10a
⦿ Neat moves, but way too short.
⦿ Make a long reach for an excellent pocket and use this to swing up and mantel onto the sloping ledge. Neat moves on small holds lead up and right to the top. DIY lower-off.
The next route is located on the fiercely overhanging wall passed on the way up to Long Slab, about 80m further up the hill from The Menagerie. Zigzag up the slope left of Denkiya no Gyakushuu to the obvious bulging, crumbly face.
⦾ Big Hang 16m 5.12b
⦿ The bolted line starting at the lowest point of the face. It may not have been climbed yet.
⦿ A desperate starting move gives access to some huge holds on gradually easing ground. Best to climb quickly, or not at all.
The next venue is Long Slab, about 200m up the hill from the stash. Zigzag up the disintegrating slope left of Big Hang to the long green slab. There are currently 3 routes, all of which are better than they look (which is, admittedly, not saying much). They are in desperate need of a good scrubbing.
⦾ Akudaikan - Bad Lieutenant 18m 5.10a
⦿ The lefthand line. Start at the lowest point of the slab.
⦿ Climb the easy lower slab to a blank section right of some choss. Neat moves lead to a terrace. Scramble left to the more open continuation line. Again, climb the easy lower slab to a blank section, then make neat moves to a tree and lower-off.
⦾ Konnyoku Toshi-chan - Two in the Bath 42m 5.10b
⦿ The central line.
⦿ Traverse in from the right, then climb direct right of a groove. Continue to a scruffy ledge and make a tricky pull over a bulge to gain a weakness leading up and right into Gen Plays with Fire. Follow this with care (the rock is good but dirty) to a tree and anchor. To descend, ab to an anchor left of the bulge and then ab again.
⦾ Hi Asobi Gen-chan - Gen Plays with Fire 41m 5.10a
⦿ The righthand line. If clean, a delightful 5.9.
⦿ Start as for Konnyoku Toshi-chan, but climb straight up the slab to a small ledge on the right. Step left and go up to a blocky corner with some interesting hardware. Pull out right onto the slab as soon as possible. Excellent, increasingly technical moves up this lead to a ramp. Follow this up and right then climb with care (the rock is good but dirty) to a tree and anchor. Descend as for Konnyoku Toshi-chan.
30m to the right of Long Slab is a prominent waterchute that is usually dry, but is beautiful after heavy rain.
Between Long Slab and the waterchute, but starting about 25m above ground level, is Suspended Slab. The slab is hard to make out from below, but is actually quite open. The best approach for this is to skirt Long Slab on its left, head up the slope slightly then traverse left across a usually dry stream below a dirty rock face. Continue left to the end of the rockface then cut back right above it and continue up the wooded hillside for 30m till it is possible to recross the dry stream and follow a faint path back above Long Slab. The path narrows and leads to the trees growing out over the top of the obvious cleaned slab that is Suspended Slab. (The path continues and narrows alarmingly before ending just ahead of the waterchute. Rope up if you head out there!)
For all the routes, you have to ab in from good trees at the top of the slab. The good news is, 5m down from the base of the slab is a tree with an ab point, from which it is 20m down to the col between the base of Long Slab and the waterchute.
At the time of writing (2020), the routes are starting to moss over, but still climbable.
⦾ Shuuhen Shiya - Peripheral Vision 16m 5.10a
⦿ The leftmost line. Start by abbing to a good tree that creates its own ledge about two-thirds down the left edge of the slab.
⦿ After a tricky first move, climb the easy lower slab past 2 bolts to a break with a small tree and good small/medium cams. Pass the tree on the left and continue up the left edge of the slab to a choice of trees at the top.
⦾ Tokeru Ki no Shita ni - Under the Melting Tree 16m 5.10b
⦿ The next line. Start as for Peripheral Vision.
⦿ Follow Peripheral Vision to the second bolt, then step right and continue to the break (cams). Make a high step up just right of the tree, then trend left to rejoin Peripheral Vision just below the top.
⦾ Tsuri Tenjou - Suspended Ceilings 16m 5.10a
⦿ The cracked groove and the slab above. Start as for Peripheral Vision.
⦿ Step right from the tree and climb the obvious groove till it ends (wires and small cams). Continue direct up the slab to the left edge of a small ledge just below the top and a choice of trees.
⦾ Kuuchuu Teien - Hanging Gardens 23m 5.10c
⦿ The long central line. Excellent moves, but a little artificial. Start by abbing to a spongy ledge at the lowest point of the slab. Belay on trees, and/or good medium cams in a crack on the right.
⦿ Start right of a crack choked with tree roots. Follow the slab on good holds past 2 bolts to a short thin crack (wires and micro-cams). Move up to a notch on the left and then step right and climb direct to a ledge in the middle of the slab. Continue direct to crux moves to reach the small ledge below the top.
⦾ Klingon Country 12m 5.9
⦿ The righthand line. Start by abbing to a stonking tree about halfway down the right side of the slab.
⦿ Step delicately up, then climb direct past 3 bolts to an ease in angle. Continue easily past a short crack (possible wire or cam) to good trees at the top.
The next routes are on City Square, to be found about 100m right of Long Slab. From the base of Long Slab, head right, past the waterfall, keeping the big vegetated face on your left. After 75m of tiresome up and down on vegetated but loose ground, drop down to skirt a blocky rib and then head up into the bay of City Square. The south-facing slab on your left contains Seven by Seven, the west-facing slab up and right contains Safety in Numbers. Both slabs are now returning to their vegetated original state.
Note: Do not rely on the lone tree at the top of the Seven by Seven slab as an anchor. The situ anchors are on good trees set further back.
⦾ Seven by Seven 15m 5.10d
⦿ The righthand of the 3 lines. A good route by any standards. If clean!
⦿ Start by traversing in from the right along a wide break. From the middle of the break, make a hard high step and pull onto the slab (11a if you can't reach the crimp above the first bolt from the break). The climbing remains awkward and interesting until the last bolt. There is a lower-off set back on the right.
⦾ Six by Six 15m 5.10b
⦿ The central line. Another good route if clean.
⦿ Follow the break out past Seven by Seven to the next bolt line (just right of the big tree hugging the bottom left corner of the slab). Make a high step onto the slab, then climb neatly just left of centre to a thin crack leading to the top and a lower-off.
⦾ 43 Prime 15m 5.7
⦿ The lefthand, shortest and easiest of the 3 lines.
⦿ Step onto the left arete from behind the big tree at the bottom left corner of the slab. Follow the arete pleasantly to just below the top then head right to the lower-off of Six by Six.
City Square has a second slab, set 10m up and 15m right, approached by a zigzag up the disintegrating slope.
⦾ Safety in Numbers 20m 5.10b
⦿ The left arete. Worthwhile.
⦿ Climb steeply to mantel onto a small triangular ledge, then make a neat pull onto the upper slab using a small flake. Move up and left to the arete and follow this pleasantly to a lower-off on chunky trees.
⦾ A Fierce Pancake 20m 5.11d
⦿ The centre of the slab. Another good route with a very hard crux.
⦿ Start by squeezing between trees just right of Safety in Numbers, then make a couple of steep moves to gain shallow cracks in a shallow groove. Continue direct to where the slab steepens at a small undercut flake. Desperate moves lead past a bolt to a short crack (Friends #0~1). Step left and go up to the lower-off in the trees.
⦾ Pancake Mix 22m 5.10d
⦿ A hybrid that makes it possible to climb bottom to top up the slab right of Safety in Numbers without having to climb silly numbers.
⦿ Style your own way up A Fierce Pancake and/or The Third Policeman to mantel as for the latter route. Reach left to the good edge above the crux of A Fierce Pancake, swing across and finish up this (you'll be wanting that Friend).
⦾ The Third Policeman 21m 5.11d
⦿ The righthand line. Similar in character to A Fierce Pancake, but with a lengthier crux sequence.
⦿ Climb steeply into a groove, then continue direct to mantel onto a small ledge. An increasingly technical/desperate sequence gains a jug just below the top. Pull over then step left to the tree at the top of A Fierce Pancake.
Now all of the above is all well and good, but for an extra tasty serving of adventure, you might want to try a trip to the Wild Frontier. This is our name for the huge jumble of blocks and faces up and right of the waterfall.
When seen from any sort of distance, the two rocks at the far right end stand out: the blanched, wildly overhanging Pioneer Face and the relatively diamond-shaped Diamond Slab.
There are 3 possible approaches: the Long, the Short and the Ugly.
- The Long: The safest approach is also the longest. Skirt Long Slab on its left, as for Suspended Slab, but then continue slogging up the slope, passing a large boulder with slab and roof on your right. There is no established path for this section, but there is some red tape to mark the approximate way. After about 10 minutes, you should reach a narrow but obvious path running up from the left. This path is marked by white plastic string, and, if you're in the right place, you should be able to see a small red and white signpost about 10m up from the path. Follow this path rightwards across a steep dry stream bed, then on to friendlier ground. Pass a narrow section with a fixed rope and continue till the path drops into a prominent (but usually dry) stream bed. This is the stream that runs into the waterfall right of Long Slab. Cross the stream and follow the continuation of the path marked with white plastic string back right up the slope for about 50m. Fork right and follow a less distinct path marked with red tape. This contours around the hillside, losing height gradually. Keep an eye out for a couple of natural clearings down and right that are conveniently located at the tops of Pioneer Face and Diamond Slab.
- The Short: The shortest approach is also the dodgiest, requiring trust in fixed ropes.
Be prepared to clip into fixed ropes or rope up completely. From the top of Suspended Slab, continue traversing to the waterfall along an ever-narrowing path. The last section, to reach a large step in the waterfall, is particularly hairy. Traverse around the back of the step, then cut left between a dirty slab and a huge split boulder to more wooded slopes. Sunset Face and Sundown Slab are immediately on your left. Continue countouring in the same line for Pioneer Face and Diamond Slab (with more roped sections).
- The Ugly: There is an alternative (unrecommended) approach contouring right from Long Slab, past City Square to a huge muddy slab overlooking a stream. Follow this stream up past a huge boulder (or small face, take your pick) on the right to where the stream forks. Take the left branch, which soon pans out into the hillside, and then head up and left to another stream, in the direction of a monster pine that stands out among the puny weedy snot-filled cedars and cypresses. After you cross the stream, Diamond Slab is about 60m off to the left of the monster pine. For Pioneer Face, continue round the corner past Diamond Slab to fixed ropes, then look up. For Sundown Slab, keep countouring past the fixed ropes, sometimes climbing or descending slightly, to the bay under the slab.
- Bonus Approach for Erebor: Through a crafty link-up of old paths, it is possible to approach Erebor from below right, without crossing the wasabi farm and without needing fixed ropes. Apart from 2 nasty steep slogs that make up about 3 10ths of the journey, it is actually quite pleasant.
First, drive to the end of the track that branches right from the last bend before you arrive at the wasabi farm. Park as close to the end of the track as possible without blocking access or the turnaround point.
Now find the maintenance path to the electricity pylons. This is marked with small metal signposts. Approached from the very end of the track, it is about 150m back and on the right. Follow this path past Pylon #49 on the left and continue into abandoned conifer plantations.
Continue steeply up and right to a short horizontal section at another pylon signpost and an oval metal plate attached to a tree stump.
Slog straight up the hillside (no path - follow various bits of coloured tape) for 100m to the remains of old forestry paths which lead to the right end of a 100m-long horizontal section (obvious). Follow this back left to its end, then keep going in the same line (no path, but tape) for about 100m to the tip of a huge fallen conifer (yes, I know, which one? - Look for the tape!)
Skirt round this tree, then zigzag up behind it to a mysteriously obvious path heading left.
Follow this path very pleasantly as it gently rises to emerge 50m under Erebor.
The Short is now the standard approach, so the Wild Frontier crags are described as approached from the waterfall.
Note: Remember, when you are up here, you are never far away from a 60m drop. Be careful!
The first route you see is the enticing slab of Saint George on your left. This is the left end of Sunset Face. The routes are described from left to right, starting with the slabby front (west) face:
⦾ Saint George 13m 5.10b
⦿ Pleasant, fingery moves up the left side of the slabby front face. 5 bolts.
⦿ Start at some dodgy tree stumps. Step off the righthand stump onto a slightly recessed slab and make a series of delicate moves to where the angle eases at the 4th bolt. Head slightly right to a lower-off.
⦾ Sunny Q 12m 5.9
⦿ A steep start leads to another delicate slab. 5 bolts.
⦿ Start just right of the tree stumps. Pull through the bulging start on big holds, then climb pleasantly to the same lower-off as Saint George.
⦾ Tequila Sunrise 12m 5.10d
⦿ Slightly artificial with a cruddy start, but good thin moves. 4 bolts.
⦿ Start at the right edge of the face. Step up onto the block on the right and pull left onto the face immediately. Follow the bolts direct, with a particularly thin sequence to step up and right onto a scallop on the top slab. Smear carefully to a lower-off.
⦿ Dipping in to Sunny Q for holds reduces the grade to 10b.
The next 2 routes climb the short, steep south face:
⦾ Dragon Foot Left 10m 5.11c
⦿ Short, steep and reachy. 4 bolts.
⦿ Start in the centre of the face, by a jug at head height. Pull through to another good hold, then pull even further to the next one. Step up and mantel, then skitter right to a lower-off.
⦾ Dragon Foot Right 9m 5.11b
⦿ Short, steep and mazy. 4 bolts.
⦿ Start just right of the centre of the face, by a decent hold at head height. Pull up (a foot on the wedged block on the right is allowed for the start), then head left and back right to a good side hold. Use this to step up and mantel onto the slab, practically under the lower-off.
⦿ Can be climbed direct (without the wedged block and deviation left) at 11c.
The next route climbs the upper arete, linking the anchors of Sunny Q etc. to the anchor of Half Way:
⦾ Dragon Ridge 10m 5.8
⦿ From the top of Sunny Q etc., step right and climb the slabby rib past 2 bolts to the anchor of Half Way. Quite insecure.
The next 2 routes climb the steep east face:
⦾ Half Way 12m 5.10b
⦿ Powerful moves based on the left arete. 6 bolts.
⦿ Start on the Balcony, with your back to Sundown Slab. Step up to reach a high hold on the left arete, then move up the arete (on its right side) to a ledge. Step right and pull up to good holds taking you up to the arete again. Step up in balance to a lower-off.
⦾ Ryuu no Su - Dragon's Nest 12m 5.10c
⦿ More powerful moves, but this time the holds aren't as empowering as Half Way. 6 bolts.
⦿ Start on the Balcony, at a big crumbly (gradually disappearing) jug. No bridging against Sundown Slab! Step up onto the jug, then follow spaced holds that are never quite juggy enough to a good incut and half rest. Proper jugs now take you up onto the arete, where a balancy pull gains the lower-off.
Next we come to Sundown Slab which is partly tucked in behind Sunset Face. Although it is a pretty impressive sweep of rock, it is barely visible until you bump into it.
⦾ Mirror of Illusion 27m 5.11b
⦿ An excellent, long, sustained pitch up the left side of the slab. Using trees to back-and-foot past hard moves is naughty and reduces the grade to 10c. 13 bolts.
⦿ Start on the balcony, at the centre of the slab. Pull up on good holds then step left to a high first bolt. Technical moves between good holds take you to the left edge of the slab. Jugs now lead right and up to where the slab becomes a face. Crux moves up and left get you back off vertical, from where insecure moves right lead to the easier-angled finishing slab. Follow this to a lower-off in a good tree. Probably no 11b move, but the crux sequence is long and hard to read.
⦾ Daresokareso 27m 5.11c
⦿ Good fingery moves on the lower slab followed by some insecure climbing through the steeper section. 12 bolts.
⦿ Start on the balcony, at the centre of the slab, as for Mirror of Illusion. Pull up on good holds then step right onto a good hold. Very thin moves lead diagonally left to the base of an unhelpful flake. Struggle up this to mantel onto a jug on the left. Follow spaced holds out right up steeper ground, then pull onto the top slab using hidden holds. One scary move up the slab leads to the line of Hurry On Sundown. Follow this to finish.
⦾ Hurry On Sundown 31m 5.10c
⦿ Another good long pitch, this time with one move much harder than the rest. 12 bolts. You can still have an enjoyable 5.9 by using the 3rd bolt for aid or stepping in from Ryuusou Promenade.
⦿ Start on the balcony, at the centre of the slab, as for Mirror of Illusion. Climb straight up to a bolt, then foot traverse right as far as possible. Make a hard move up, almost into Ryuusou Promenade, then step left and climb slabs into a groove. Follow this till level with a scruffy hang on the left, and then pull out into a ramp leading left and up to the lower-off of Mirror of Illusion.
⦾ Dragon Head 28m 5.11c
⦿ More fingery climbing up the right side of the steeper part of the slab. 16 bolts. (Apart from the bolts shared with Hurry On Sundown, the bolts on this route are the hanger type.)
⦿ Start on the balcony, just left of the crack start of Ryuusou Stroll. Delicate moves lead to the crux of Hurry On Sundown. Climb this then step left and follow spaced holds diagonally left to a junction with Daresokareso. Follow this to finish.
⦾ Ryuusou Stroll 24m 5.9
⦿ Basically a series of variations on the next route. Cams, wires and 5 bolts.
⦿ Start at the right edge of the the balcony, at an obvious handcrack. Climb the crack to the podium, and then climb another, shorter crack to a higher podium. Pull left into Ryuusou Promenade and follow it to the bulge, then step up and right into a recess. Arrange gear in a thin crack, then swing out left over the bulge and move up to a bolt. Step up, then move left to join and finish up Ryuusou Promenade.
⦾ Ryuusou Promenade 18m 5.9
⦿ A pleasant meander near the right edge of the slab. 8 bolts.
⦿ Start on a podium overlooking the balcony, gained by a brief thrash up the slope on the right. Step up and left onto the slab, then mosey happily up to a bulge. Traverse left under this, then back right above it using a break. Start the top slab using a very shallow groove on the right, then step left and climb direct to a lower-off.
⦿ You can climb the top slab left of the bolts at a very pleasant 10a.
This is the name of the cluster of faces and slabs halfway between Sundown Slab and Diamond Slab. You basically can't see them until you walk underneath them. The lone route to date climbs the centre of the southwest face of the lowest wall (just after the short fixed rope).
⦾ Nagarjuna Crack 17m 5.9
⦿ Climbs the obvious crack snaking up the centre of the face before petering out. Take a rack up to Camalot #3.
⦿ Climb the crack to the tree - excellent jams, holds and gear. Step up behind the tree, place the best gear you can find, then swing left on suspect jugs and pull up to a good tree. No lower-off.
This is the big white face that stands out most when viewed from afar. It features one of the original Ryuusou routes, an ancient aid route up a thin crack which looks absolutely terrifying. This branches left out of a gobsmacker of a hand/wide crackline that cries out to be climbed. There are also some decent bolted routes.
The face is set back from the path that traverses from Sundown Slab to Diamond Slab. The routes are described from right to left, as approached.
⦾ Dragon Talon Crack 21m 5.11a
⦿ Worth 3 stars anywhere. The big crack is relentlessly steep and requires every sort of jamming technique you can think of. Imagine Crazy Jam tilted forward about 7 degrees with the friction scrubbed off. There are 2 bolts on the bottom slab and you will need a full rack with at least one big cam.
⦿ Start below two bolts in a short slab to the left of the line of the crack. Follow the dainty little slab, think of it as the calm before the storm, to a handrail leading right to the crack. Make a difficult pull into a slot then jam to a kink right. Pull out onto a good foothold, then udge up the off-width to better jams (and a crafty no-hands rest, if you can find it). Exit onto the terrace as gracefully as you can. The move into the slot at the bottom is probably the hardest single move, but it might not feel too bad because you're not knackered yet.
⦿ There are 2 bolts at the back of the terrace which you can lower off, but there will be a lot of drag on the rope.
⦾ Pathfinder 16m 5.11a
⦿ Good moves up the face (not the slab that you think it is!) 10m left of Dragon Talon Crack. 8 bolts.
⦿ Start where some weird carpentry hangs down from a discontinuous crackline. Pull onto the slab, which immediately throws you off balance. Move up and swing left to a flake. Make a hard step onto this to reach better holds. Pull right awkwardly to a real slab and a lower-off.
⦾ Ryuusou del Sol 16m 5.10c
⦿ An enjoyable climb at the far left end of Pioneer Face. 8 bolts.
⦿ Start at the top of a short gully, below a short slab. Climb right then left up the slab. Step left to dodge a loose section, then follow the line of a shattered crack. Where this ends, shimmy right past some iwamatsu to a little overhang and heave over this to a lower-off.
⦾ Scout 18m 5.11b
⦿ A devious climb that works its way to exposed, technical moves up the face right of Ryuusou del Sol. 9 bolts.
⦿ Start just left of Ryuusou del Sol. Climb a shallow groove to Ryuusou del Sol's 3rd bolt, move up to its 4th, then stretch right to a crack. Climb the crack for a couple of moves, then traverse right to a shallow scoop. Get your thinking cap on and weave up to stand on the left end of a break. Shuffle left, stretch to a jug, then pull up to a lower-off in a tree.
⦾ Crazy Diamond 35m 5.11c
⦿ A long pitch that does what it takes to get to the 3-star top slab. Unfortunately you have to climb a minus-one-star slab and a no-star face to get there.
⦿ Start at the centre of the lower slab, directly under the antapex of the diamond. Pull up between trees to a spongy ledge. Step left to a crack and follow this up and right to a trough running up under the steep right face guarding the Diamond. Climb the trough (bolts on the left) then follow the bolts out onto the wall and across to the right edge of a ledge under the left side of the Diamond (possible belay). Pull back right onto the top slab at its lowest point and follow the centre of the slab to the top in a superb position. Originally done at 5.11a, with the 6th bolt used for aid.
⦿ Note that it's pretty much 30m straight down from the trees at the top of the slab.
Out right of Diamond Slab, a new area is under development. The first venue is:
From Diamond Slab, contour right to the giant pine and continue at the same level to a usually dry stream. Cross this then follow a marked path that zig-zags up to a clutch of scrubbed slabs. It should take about 5 minutes from Diamond Slab.
The main section is a 20-metre slab with a ledge at half height, but the first feature you see is an attractive slim slab on the left.
⦾ Orcrist 16m 5.11b
⦿ Very fingery climbing. Unfortunately, the route does not follow the centre of the slab all the way. 6 bolts.
⦿ Start below the slab and pull up a couple of blocks to a thin tree (sling). Pull onto a ledge at the base of the slab proper, then step right and climb using the arete till level with a hold in the centre of the slab. Pull onto this then make a thin pull to a jug on the left arete. Continue to the top of the slab and a lower-off set slightly back.
⦾ Glamdring 16m 5.11b
⦿ More fingery climbing up the segmented slab right of Orcrist. Continuing the dwarf theme, the crux mantel on the top slab seems to be easier for the short. 6 bolts.
⦿ Start below the slab on a sculpted terrace. Climb the initial easy segment to tree roots. Step up and left and climb the left side of the middle segment to an overhang, traverse right and make a high step back left onto the top segment. Mantel onto the hold you've got both hands on then make a couple of thin pulls left and up to a jug. Step up to the top of the slab and a lower-off in a tree.
⦾ Dwarf Planet 10m 5.10a
⦿ Nice climbing up the centre of the slab between 2 handcracks. 3 bolts.
⦿ Start in the centre of the slab and climb to the ledge with the help of a flake on the left. The handcracks are out of bounds. There is a lower-off on the tree stumps on the ledge.
⦾ Lonely Mountain Crack 20m 5.10a
⦿ Follows the righthand crack to the ledge, then another crack to the top. Take a rack.
⦿ After an easy start, climb the crack by satisfying technical moves to the ledge. There is ample gear, but remember that the rock is soft. Climb up tree roots to the top crack and jam quickly to the top. No lower-off yet. The bolts on Dwarf Planet are out of bounds.
⦾ Sarunameri 22m 5.10d
⦿ A slanting line making the most of the disjointed slabs right of Lonely Mountain Crack. 7 bolts.
⦿ Start as for Lonely Mountain Crack, but clip and span immediately right to a good flatty. Mantel this then move up to a fragile overlap. Step right again then make a long reach to another good flatty. Step right again and use a handy tree root to mantel and reach through to a jug. Swing up right then make a tricky pull up the centre of the final slab to a lower-off.
The rocks have been climbed on since the early 70s at least, in particular Long Slab, but I can't find any details of who did what. In 2009, members of Shizuoka Kinrousha Sangakkai began to take an interest in the area.
||Akudaikan, Echigoya, Beetlejuice
||Denkiya no Gyakushuu
||Hi Asobi Gen-chan
|February 6th, 2011
|February 20th, 2011
||Wolverine, Scuzzlebutt, Hibagon
|March 6th, 2011
|April 16th, 2011
||Seven by Seven, Six by Six
||Neil Harrison, Francois Burgisser
|April 24th, 2011
||Nick Shannon, Neil Harrison
|January 28th, 2012
||Neil Harrison, Arthur Terauchi
|February 18th, 2012
|March 16th, 2012
||The Blair Witch
|May 5th, 2012
||Neil Harrison, Susumu Takano
|March 24th, 2013
||Safety in Numbers
|April 20th, 2013
||A Fierce Pancake
|March 23rd, 2014
||The Third Policeman
||Not climbed yet - Be my guest!
|March 22nd, 2015
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|March 22nd, 2015
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|March 22nd, 2015
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|March 22nd, 2015
||Under the Melting Tree
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|March 22nd, 2015
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|February 3rd, 2018
|June 17th, 2018
||Not climbed yet - still the would-be FA's project
|March 15th, 2020
||Hurry on Sundown
||Neil Harrison, Gen Satou
|March 15th, 2020
|April 5th, 2020
||Gen Satou, Neil Harrison
|April 5th, 2020
||Mirror of Illusion
|April 18th, 2020
||Crazy Diamond (Aid)
FFA Toshiyuki Kobayashi, 19/12/20
|May 24th, 2020
|May 24th, 2020
|May 24th, 2020
||Dragon Foot Right
|May 24th, 2020
||Dragon Foot Left
|May 24th, 2020
||Neil Harrison, Francis Newman
|May 31st, 2020
|May 31st, 2020
||Ryuu no Su
|December 19th, 2020
||Tatsu no Ko Traverse
|February 7th, 2021
||Dragon Talon Crack
|February 7th, 2021
||Ryuusou del Sol
||Francis Newman, Neil Harrison
|February 11th, 2021
|February 14th, 2021
|March 20th, 2021
|April 3rd, 2021
|April 3rd, 2021
|May 3rd, 2021
|May 3rd, 2021
|May 23rd, 2021
|November 6th, 2021
||Lonely Mountain Crack
|December 5th, 2021