Sapporo (札幌) is the major city on Hokkaido Island (北海道). It is paradise for those who like mountains, the ocean, and want to find time for themselves and get away from the stress of bigger cities. There are many small (やま) and medium (だけ) sized mountains around Sapporo City ranging from around 300 to 1300 meters high. Among all the mountains, Sapporo Dake (札幌岳), also called Mt. Sapporo, is one of the favorites of many trekkers. Sapporo Dake is around 1250 meters high. Since the altitude of the base is almost 0 meters and the mountain is uneven and tricky to climb, the difficulty of the trek is above a moderate level.
However, there is a hut in the middle of the mountain where you can cook, eat, and take a rest, which makes the trek easier. Necessary utensils for cooking and sleeping bags to sleep in are available there, so if you plan a trek up Sapporo Dake, you can plan your trip over two days, which will make it easier.
Follow this simple plan, and you will be able to see the awesome view of the lights of Sapporo city and a breathtaking sunrise.
- Start climbing the mountain in the evening (the day before).
- Take a rest in the hut at night (you can make a campfire outside of the hut if you like).
- Start climbing again so as to reach the peak ten to fifteen minutes before sunrise. Leave about two hours before. For example, if the sunrise is at 5:30 in morning, start climbing at 3:30.
- Start descending when you wish.
- Depending on you and your group’s fatigue level, decide whether to take rest on descending.
- Congratulations! Your trek is complete!
Here are some things you should take with you on your trek.
- Clothes according to the season. Even in summer, take a warm coat. Avoid climbing during November to May if you are not a confident trekker.
- An adequate amount of water (at least two liters per person).
- Food. A gas stove, oil, utensils, and water are available in the hut. It is recommended to carry a spare gas can.
- It is advised to take a bell while trekking to let other people know that you are climbing. The bell also keeps wild animals, such as bears, away. The probability of an encounter with a bear is one out of a hundred, and even less with a bell, so, don’t worry.
- Headlights, a flashlight, and additional batteries for when you’re climbing at night.
- It is worth noting that there is no electricity in the hut. There are few solar power lamps and traditional kerosene lamps that give a great vintage feeling of being away from the city and peace of mind. If you want more light, then you should carry an additional battery power light source.
There is not really enough flat ground on the mountain top to pitch a tent and stay there. Sufficient flat ground is there for about three people to sleep on top of the mountain, but it is not the safest or most comfortable way to spend the night. It is recommended you take the suggested route detailed above. Stay safe, and have a great time!
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