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Friday, 23rd May 2014
In General Japan News,

Nagano mountains to get difficulty rankings

Mountaineers keen to ascend the great peaks of the Nagano prefecture will find it easier to decide which to choose when the summer mountain season gets underway, with the local authority confirming the terrain will be graded according to difficulty.

The prefecture becomes particularly busy in the summer, as sportsmen keen to climb the Northern Japan Alps and Mount Yatsugatake pass through with their equipment.

Last year saw 300 climbing accidents occur, according to the local government, involving 328 individuals, 65 of whom died. The figures renew the Prefecture's record as the worst in Japan for mountaineers for the fourth year running.

It is hoped that grading each peak according to difficulty will address this problem by giving climbers an idea of what they're letting themselves in for before they start ascending and get into difficulties.

Accordingly, the list will include information on the technical ability and physical strength required to reach the top. This will help hikers decide which routes are suitable for them to scale.

Mount Fuji and Mount Takao will also feature on the publication as comparisons, despite the fact they are located near Tokyo.

"Efforts have been made to make information clear at first glance, so we hope the list will be used as much as possible," a prefectural government official told the local press.

He added that the chart will be published on the internet, in magazines and also in mountaineering equipment shops come July - in time for the summer season.

Nagano is among the prefectures most visited by mountaineers, who generally come to observe Japan's awe-inspiring natural beauty from a unique perspective.

The prefectural government also designated the fourth Sunday of July as Shinshu Mountain Day, in the hope that celebrating such an occasion will help to raise awareness.

Written by Mark Smith


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