Monday, 28 May 2007

Bouldering in Fukube—瓢が丘

originally uploaded by Jonas Wiklund.

Type of climbing
Mostly steep bouldering on some form of volcanic rock. Very high friction but the holds can be a bit snappy. Due to attention from some of the best climbers in Japan (and for that matter, the world) there are quite a few hard problems in Fukube, up to at least Fb 8b (hard 4-dan). First-time visitors would do well to know that the grading is very inconsistent, but rather stiff. On average, the newer problems in Fukube might be almost a full grade harder compared to Ogawayama.

March to December. The road is closed during winter. Most of the bouldering is at around 700 meters, not enough to escape the heat during the hottest months.

Photos & Videos
I have a slideshow from Fukube on my flickr-account. You can also see all pictures on flickr, tagged “fukube”. If you do a search for photos tagged with “瓢” you get a lot of pictures of cucurbitaceae, since the meaning of the Chinese character 瓢 is gourd.

Check the weather-forecast before you go on

Just north of Mino-city 美濃市, north of Gifu-city (岐阜市), in Gifu-prefecture (岐阜県). Here is a map from, a more zoomed-out map will give you an idea of where it is.

Liberty, originally uploaded by Jonas Wiklund.

Getting there
From Mino-intersection (美濃IC) on Tohkai-hokuriku Expressway (東海陸自動車道), turn right and then left onto Road 156. Turn left onto Road 81 between a Circle K and a Lawson and Cross the river on Shinmino-bridge (新美濃橋) and turn right. After crossing the next bridge (新長瀬橋) continue past a small supermarket (YAMASAKU) and turn right at the Statue of Liberty. From here it's around 5 km until the road steepens by a Shinto Shrine; across the street from the shrine there is a hut with a register behind the windows. Write your name and time of entry in the register, you must also stop on your way back to write the time of exit. Drive up the steep road quite high up the mountain, until you see a restroom area and a car park.

If you park your car and walk down back the road and turn left up on a wide dirt road you will get to a good area.

As far as I know, there isn't any topo for Fukube readily available. There is an old photocopied topo that has been floating around, but it is not for sale anywhere, as far as I know. However, a few topos and some info can be found in the Japanese climbing magazine Rock&Snow, issue 30, 33 and 36.

More info
Well, you can always give google a shot. If you do a search for "bouldering fukube" you'll only get traces left behind by me, I'm afraid. A search for フクベ & ボルダー generate more hits; how much that will help you depends.

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