Mt. Yotei Crater Domination

Something I have never done

For one reason or another, there are a few things I have never been able to pull off here in Niseko. Hiking Mt. Yotei and then snowboarding into the crater was top of my list.

On previous ascents to the peak I have been preoccupied by the amazing views, taking photos and slowing down the group. Normally by the time I had finished my ascent, I was exhausted or my fellow hikers had frozen whilst waiting for me. Either way, the thought of hitting the crater and hiking out was never very appealing – but not this time.

And it begins

Last weekend I set of with Ned from the Makkari side determined not to get too fixated on photography and to summit in good time.

Makkari start point, 10 March 2012

Makkari start point, 10 March 2012

Frozen trees and Ned hiking, 10 March 2012

Frozen trees and Ned hiking, 10 March 2012

Frozen trees, 10 March 2012

Frozen trees, 10 March 2012

Mt. Yotei boot packing around 1300m, 10 March 2012

Mt. Yotei boot packing around 1300m, 10 March 2012

Ned had a few issues with his skins, but we both made it to the peak in four and a half hours.

The final 200m, 10 March 2012

The final 200m, 10 March 2012

Mt. Yotei crater panorama, 10 March 2012

Mt. Yotei crater panorama, 10 March 2012

From the peak I could see tracks from the previous day leading to the bottom of Mt. Yotei’s crater, and that was enough for me; I wanted in. I looked for an untracked line and, after some discussion with Ned, I decided on a nice little chute and Ned offered to get some shots of me.

Game on

Looking for a line, 10 March 2012

Looking for a line, 10 March 2012

Closer inspection, 10 March 2012

Closer inspection, 10 March 2012

About to drop, 10 March 2012

About to drop, 10 March 2012

After a bit of scrambling, I was in position…

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 1, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 1, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 2, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 2, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 3, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 3, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 4, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 4, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 5, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 5, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 6, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 6, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 7, 10 March 2012

Snowboarding into the crater of Mt. Yotei shot 7, 10 March 2012

Dr. Ned’s drop

Ned's crater run, 10 March 2012

Ned's crater run, 10 March 2012

Ned dominating, 10 March 2012

Ned dominating, 10 March 2012

Ned all smiles with his line in the background, 10 March 2012

Ned all smiles with his line in the background, 10 March 2012

My line from the bottom of the crater, 10 March 2012

My line from the bottom of the crater, 10 March 2012

Final look at the line, 10 March 2012

Final look at the line, 10 March 2012

A happy hike out of the crater, 10 March 2012

A happy hike out of the crater, 10 March 2012

  1. malcolm Atkins says:

    Post of the season!!
    3 years waiting and still not happened for me.

    • Thanks very much Malcolm – it was an amazing day and totally recommend it if you get the chance.

      • Roisin Finlay says:

        hi Glen

        I’ve just come across your blog. Sounds like an amazing adventure. Congrats. Reason I’m getting in touch is that I edit an adventure magazine in Ireland we’re hoping to run a piece on skiing and boarding into the crater of Mt Yotei. Only problem is I don’t have any images of the crater. I wondered if there was any possibility of using yours. They are fab. Just to warn you though, we really have no budget. It’s all a bit of a labour of love. However I’d be happy to credit you or your website to help promote Niseko. It seems like you’re pretty passionate about it.

        Anyway, if you’re interested, maybe you could drop me a mail to editor@outsider.ie

        And if not, no worries.

        Thanks a mill

        Roisin

  2. Great work! It must be amazing feeling to get up there on a clear day and the ride back to the village. A well earned drink….

    • Cheers Fletch – paid a high price for this mission with a tear on my Achilles tendon…. a potentially season ending injury. Time to sort out my editing.

  3. Harvard says:

    Yes definetely post of the season.Stunning photos plus the buzz of imagining we were there doing it.Speaking of that we were in Niseko March 10 and we didnt get an invite.
    Seriously though I am not good enough.Yet .But at 58 it might be too late.Then again.

    • Hi Harvard, thanks for the comments….too late? no way. You don’t have to summit and there is amazing skiing or boarding all over the mountain. The first few time i climbed Mt. Yotei i only climbed to the top of the treeline.
      In summer i have also met a lot of people of all ages hiking including 80 year old’s and lots of people in there 70’s.

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