Cold wind rain cold snow ice crampons more wind Blueberry Crunch Clif Bar in the rain strong wind heavy rain cold did I mention rain?
Even by the first weekend of May, the start of the Golden Week holiday here in Japan, the weather on main-island Honshu remains unstable: winter's last breath mixed with summer's first hot and humid blush results in the occasional mild and sunny spring day -- perfect! -- but just as often a temperamental kind of weather that scatters cherry blossoms and pins crows to their rookeries. It can be tough to get out of doors. This time last year, for example, snow-choked trails forced R. and I to stay off the mountains of the north Alps and instead stroll along the banks of the -- admittedly still quite scenic -- Azusagawa River in Kamikochi.
We learned our lesson from that Kamikochi trip. This Golden Week when the weather gods seem even more fickle than usual -- especially in the mountains -- R., my wife and travel companion, and I strapped on crampons and joined a group (from the travel company Club Tourism, if you wanna know) of more experienced mountain trekkers on an overnight trip to Oze National Park, and a one-day climb of Mount Shibutsusan.
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