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Event Grade, Safety & Insurance
All members are responsible for their own safety - not the club, management or the event organizer. This is the main condition of the club when you sign up. All organizers or ordinary people and not professionals. Please use your own judgement to decide if an event is suitable for your ability.
All members are strongly urged to get insurance to cover injuries. The club does not have insurance for members.
Helicopter rescue for someone with a broken leg could cost 300,000yen!
Look at this webpage of accidents in Okutama and think carefully about the value of an insurance policy:
Usually about 8,000 yen/year for outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing. Application forms can be obtained from most outdoor shops (Montbell, Kamoshika in Takadanobaba).You can also get short term insurance for a few days online:
Event Rating System (hiking, rock scrambling, mountaineering)
Events are graded for two things; aerobic or fitness level and technical climbing level.
The hiking time is graded (Fitness 1-5, Easy - Extreme) with limits on altitude climbed and distance walked each day.
The technical grade (Technical1-5, Easy - Expert) is based on the American Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) of grading routes.
1. Fitness Grade
Fitness 1: Easy
Fitness 2: Moderate
Fitness 3: Difficult
Fitness 4: Very Difficult
Fitness 5: Extreme
2. Technical Grade (climbing difficulty)
Technical 1: Easy
Technical 2: Moderate
Technical 3: Experienced
Technical 4: Advanced
Technical 5: Expert
Fitness Grade (for 1 day)
For overnight backpacking with tent and food add 20% map time before grading. Allow extra time for snow in winter.
Fitness 1. Easy
Up to 4 hours map time. Up to about 8km distance. Up to 500m total altitude climb.
Outdoor, hiking footwear and day pack recommended but may not be necessary. Could include 'walking' events in town, parks etc.
Example: Takao San, Mitake San and Hinode Yama in Okutama, Oyama in Tanzawa from cablecar or Yabitsu.
Fitness 2. Moderate
5 to 6 hours map time. Up to about 15km distance. Up to 1,000m total altitude climb.
Average fitness required.
Hiking boots and outdoor clothing strongly recommended except in good conditions.
Example: Many mountains in Okutama and Tanzawa; Kawanori Yama, Gozen Yama, Mito San, Otake San, Tonodake, Hinokiboromaru.
Hiking boots, proper outdoor clothing and pack are required for all the following grades.
Fitness 3. Difficult
7 to 8 hours map time. Up to about 20km distance. Up to 1,500m total altitude climb.
Strenuous exercise and need to be fit.
Example: Kumatori San, Tanzawa San, Hirugadake, easy Alps routes.
Fitness 4. Very Difficult
9 to 10 hours map time. Up to about 25km distance. Up to 2,000m total altitude climb.
Sports fitness required.
Example: Long ridge hikes like Tanigawadake- Asahidake, longer Alps hikes.
Fitness 5. Extreme
Over 10 hours map time. Up to and over 30km distance. Up to and over 2,500 total altitude climb.
Athlete fitness such as long distance races and running events.
Technical Grade (climbing difficulty)
Increase the grade in winter if necessary and if trail conditions are bad in other seasons!
Five classes indicating the technical difficulty of the hardest section:
Technical 1 EASY
Walking with a low chance of injury and a fall unlikely to be fatal.
Safety rope must be carried by the group from this level - minimum 20m, 6mm chord (650kg load). Used for additional safety (hand) support on narrow sections, steep terrain, rocks, river crossings. Tied to trees, rocks, available anchors or other members. Emergency tape sling and carabiner recommended for clipping into ropes. Higher technical levels may require proper climbing rope.
Simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger.
Steeper scrambling with increased exposure.
Can involve short steep sections where the use of a rope is recommended. Un-roped falls could be fatal.
Technical 5 EXPERT
True rock climbing, predominantly on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death. Exposed climbing, requiring skill (the holds are not obvious to a novice, leader places protection along the way)
Examples (fitness, technical):
Takao San would be Fitness 1, Technical 1 (or Fitness Easy, Technical Easy)
Kumatori San would be Fitness 3, Technical 1
Karasawa valley in Kamakochi would be Fitness 2, Technical 1
Dai Kiretto from Karasawa to Minamidake would be Fitness 2, Technical 3 (or Fitness moderate, Technical Experienced)
Yarigatake from Kamikochi would be Fitness 3, Technical 3 (just for rock peak, to lodge is only 2)
Ura Myougi ridge would be Fitness 2, Technical 3
Myougi San - Kondou San ridge would be Fitness 2, Technical 4
Tanzawa San would be Fitness 3, Technical 1
Tsurugidake from Tsurugisawa lodge would be Fitness 3, Technical 4
Tsurugidake Hoppo One would be Fitness 4, Technical 4
Oku-Hotaka San in the Alps from Kamikouchi would be Fitness 3/(4 if big pack), Technical 3
Oxfam 100km trail hike Fitness 5, Technical 1
For Hiking Otaku
For those interested, they can do a comparison with the Japanese hiking map times. Some studies calculate hiking times from the equivalant flat distance.
First calculate the route distance (including slopes) and add to that 13km for every 1000m of elevation climb. This is the extra effort for climbing the uphill parts.
Add 20% (km) if carrying overnight food and tent etc.
You now have a total equivalent flat distance for the climbing and extra weight. Divide this by the typical outdoor walking distance/hour (4km/hr) to get a hiking map time.
You can also adjust for the number of days; 1 day hike (-10%), 2 days (same) or multi-day (+10% for every day after 2nd day)
Event Rating System (rock/ sports climbing and boldering)
Standard Japanese and US YDS grading system; 5.5-5.15 with technical grades. Also with general classification of beginner, intermediate and advanced. Top rope or single/multi pitch.
For bouldering the Japanese Dankyu system or other international grading system.
The hiking grade can also be used for travel to climbing areas.
Mountains over 1000m.