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BETA PHOTO: Off width. 6th pitch.
You know those warnings that kick off climbing guidebooks? The ones that say: climbing is an inherently dangerous sport in which severe injuries or death may occur?
Umikungo will drive that fact home. This humbling, rude wake up is an equivalent to the Black Canyon in Colorado; Leonard Coyne would love this place. A place where you can never be sure of the rock or your placements. A place that gets desperate and runout as you climb into nowhere but beyond the crash course in fear management are spectacular ocean views. Youll experience a wonderful feeling of total isolation high above the waves crashing on the rocks below. Summiting this route promises the best view of Fuji that tops any Hakusai ukiyo-e painting. Once the cracks at Umikungo tear away your flesh, youll soon be back for more pain and epic epiphanies.
The cracklines here are NOT the kind of cracks you might be accustomed to. The kind formed by water drainage over millions of years that form cracks in granite. These cracks of tuff are where the rock has literally split and severed. These cracks dont hold gear like granite cracks either.
R rated all over. Sketchy in places. You wont see or hear your belayer for the majority of this climb.
The area was developed as an aid climbing and traditional climbing. Several original lines like Haruna Line, Surf and Snow, Triton. November Lane and Vagabund have evolved into new lines.
Super Rain, which could be called the original route, is 7 pitch 5.10a. Pitches 1 and 2 make up the first ascent route of Vagabond. While pitches 3 to 5 and 7 are part of the second ascent route called November Rain.
Pitch 1 5.8 40 meters
From the second corner on the right of the central route travel up 40 meters with a big traverse by not means a scramble -- at the end. A pine tree will be your anchor.
Sidebar: Youll start to love trees at Umikungo as they form the majority of the anchor points.
The start involves stemming but the crack will soon shift to your left most of the way. Proceed up placing finger and hand sized cams most of the way. Youll experience a good deal of rope drag as you get towards the top.
At 25 meters youll hit a ledge which could be an intermediate belay station as you cant see or hear belayer anymore. Also, not a bad idea to bring up your belayer before the sketchy traverse ahead.
Otherwise, follow the crack on the left with a PRUPLE then over the flake for RED or YELLOW.
Now you are at the traverse and a slabby section. The crack turns into a split between the rocks with a bottomless pit and darkness. It will only hold nuts. Place a nut in the crack on the left, with a long runner on the left which is less than finger sized.
Traverse to the right to a ledge the size of a skateboard. Then down climb to another ledge and place a cam behind a dogey flake that would probably not hold your fall if you pendulmed which is a good reason to bring your belayer up to where he can see you. If the flaked does come crashing down, your belayer is at least out of harms way and can watch you.
With your left hand on the flake, place your right foot on a lower slice to the right then reach hard for hand hold.
Follow the 5.7 crack on your left then to a 5.10a crack that goes right. As you layback and finish the crack it then goes straight up.
Dont forget to look down at the ocean shore below you.
5.10a which leads to a 5.8 OW.
5.10a roof section. Nice place for a knee bar. You can also jam your back against the rock for a rest before you have to power over the roof.
After trying and failing, as you dangle some 180 meters then faintly hear the sound of waves crashing below, you might have an epiphany.
5.8 off width.
5.8 off width.
Three rappels on 60 meter ropes.
Getting there: Kumomi Auto Camp www2.wbs.ne.jp/~kumo-ac/
Shizuoka-ken, Kamo-kun, Matsuzakichou, Kumomi40-1
Parking is 500 yen.
Approach: 45 minutes which includes rappelling down to the seaside and then youll have to climb back out on the return.
Trad gear all the way. Cams finger and handsizes 2 sets, off width size if you have them. 10 quick draws and slings to prevent rope drag. The majority of anchors are trees but you can build anchors in two places with cams.
BETA PHOTO: Anchors for 2nd belay descent later.
BETA PHOTO: Start of 5th pitch.
View from the tree belay.
BETA PHOTO: Approach. Downclimbing.
BETA PHOTO: Moving up 4th pitch. Note the 5.8 off width on the...
BETA PHOTO: Another tree belay.
BETA PHOTO: Start of fourth pitch. Protect with nuts at the st...
Start of 3rd pitch looking up.
The view of Mt Fuji from the top.
BETA PHOTO: At the 5.8 off width.
After the climb. Nothing left to do but smile, smi...