Spring-Skiing Japan 2015 | Teil 4

Wet Dreams in the Hida Mountains, IV: Goryu Diamond Couloir


Rather than a dreamy peak observed from our window, Goryudake hides a bit farther back with a less straightforward approach. When observed from the correct angle, its diamond shaped rock formations become obvious, revealing a couloir seemingly cut by Zorro himself. It’s a tantalizingly close, deceptively far objective that usually requires a tent and some luck.

Goryu literally translates to the ‘Five Dragons’, an adequate name for a peak that’s constantly mauled by the wind. Opting for sweat on the skintrack over sleep on the mountain, we gave chase to the dragon expecting only snow affected by a malignant March. The soft spot in the dragon’s scales held surprises: powder in all four pitches. Despite good skiing…

As it happens with lines not visible from the valley, all the five dragons withheld were their facade during the after-ski beer. Not that it mattered much, our memory served us just fine.