Ride Sunday 10/20: Gangaharasuriyama & beyond

sean-e

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2019
222
512
113
大田区
Start: 8:00AM Sunday 10/20 at Otsuki station.
End: Sometime in the afternoon at Otsuki - other earlier bailout options below.

Route may be very rindo-y in parts. I am bringing my gravel bike with bigger tires just in case, suggest bringing at least tires with strong sidewall. Chuo line should be fully operational again by weekend to get to Otsuki.

There are a couple of options for route, the ambitious one from the depths of the forum is:


Shorter approach could just be going up-n-over Gangaharasuriyama, then turning east back towards Okutama, or bailing towards Enzan station. I'm open to a shorter route.

Post or PM if interested.
 
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GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,762
1,421
143
Setagaya
Immensely ambitious! With the typhoon and everything, thought I'd have a look online for a bit of info on the route. Nothing current on the first climb/descent, but I did find a blog post from someone who motocrossed the length of it last year with lots of photos. Link. The rindo starts from the 12th photo in the blog post. Looking at the condition of it then, could be a real adventure now. All I can say is, take care out there and be ready to turn back if things look too dicey (after taking a few epic photos of where the road used to be).
Also, according to this site (link) the second to last clmb/descent (Daibosatsu Pass) is currently closed to all traffic, so I would expect it also to be pretty bad and perhaps impassable.
 

OPPL200

Speeding Up
Aug 15, 2019
51
88
28
39
Ooo, that looks delightful. I am looking for a route for Sunday, but my bike wouldn't cope with that (clearly my legs are not the reason.... :merde: ). Hope you have a good ride Sean!

Incidentally, I found Joe Wein's ridewithgps and am currently researching coastal rides from Odawara as an easier Sunday option to the above!
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
755
727
113
Yokohama
@sean-e If you do this, and survive it, it will be an epic ride. Guessing the typhoon has left many challenges. There are tiles I need up in those hills, but even the prospect of several golden tiles can't induce me to do that ride so soon after the typhoon. Be safe out there.
 

Gok

Maximum Pace
Dec 22, 2016
204
308
93
Start: 8:00AM Sunday 10/20 at Otsuki station.
End: Sometime in the afternoon at Otsuki - other earlier bailout options below.

Route may be very rindo-y in parts. I am bringing my gravel bike with bigger tires just in case, suggest bringing at least tires with strong sidewall. Chuo line should be fully operational again by weekend to get to Otsuki.

There are a couple of options for route, the ambitious one from the depths of the forum is:


Shorter approach could just be going up-n-over Gangaharasuriyama, then turning east back towards Okutama, or bailing towards Enzan station. I'm open to a shorter route.

Post or PM if interested.
Having leg cramps just looking at this. Be safe out there; many landslides in Okutama area. Also, since Saturday is rainy, be prepared for muddy conditions. Carry my GPS watch will you (Need some tiles)?
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,814
2,587
133
Asakadai, Saitama
I would be very careful about doing this ride. There have been warnings about staying away from mountainous areas as landslides can happen a few weeks after the heavy rainfall, not just on the day of the typhoon. I’m sure it would be an adventure but one I wouldn’t be willing to risk my life over. Personally I’d give it at least another week or two before doing something like that (not that I would because I’m training now for the Tokyo Marathon 😜).
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
Yeah, they were just talking on TV this morning about the continued danger of landslides in hazard areas. My advice is don't go, mate. I'd miss you if you got fossilized by the mountain gods😃
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
46
62
28
51
Just off the profile, but one HC, one borderline HC/Cat 1, two Cat 1s, and two Cat 2s. Very impressive, even if it were smooth tarmac!

Anyone venturing onto closed roads or even just doing descents with tree debris everywhere should note that it's very dark in the mountains now before 5pm. Watch what you're doing!
 

sean-e

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2019
222
512
113
大田区
Ride report on "Two and a Half Monsters" for any bold tilers that may follow. And thanks for the links and warnings. This is a mission of discovery, not an attempt to be the KBUTM (King Buried Under The Mountain)! I have no qualms about bailing early (and I did!).

Was hoping to entice @Karl with the promise of tile treasure ;) , but set out alone this morning. Ride was a bit in jeopardy due to (a) crashing in the rain on Friday night (thanks for putting all that reflective paint everywhere, road council...) thus setting back wrist recovery from last crash another month, with the bonus of scraping my chin so now it looks like I can neither ride a bike nor shave properly. More pertinently (b) due to the typhoon there is only one very intermittent ~2hours train between Takao and Sagamiko running on the Chuo line, and not the full range of hours either. And (c) I slept in late. Ended up starting from Otsuki station around 10:30am.

The climb up to Gangaharasuriyama wastes no time from when you leave Otsuki. Ascending from the south, the post typhoon road condition was a light stream running down the road with a few giant potholes, but with some skinny gatorskins I imagine on a dry day it would be a doable out-and-back the same way. With my heavy gravel tank, ground over everything up to the top. There were actually a few hikers parked at the top of the road, where to go onwards south is blocked by a locked gate - but, easily can be walked around with a bicycle.
IMG_1516.jpg
Well, now the fun part, going down. @GrantT thanks for that blog link! The current condition is somewhat better than from those 2018 pictures, there was some construction equipment down around the power plant and it seems they've been trying to clean up some of the rockslides. That said there were a few new holes I suspect from the typhoon:
IMG_1525.jpg

Overall the road surface was significantly better than say, rt76. There's mud, leaves, and gravel, and the pavement has cracked in a number of places. Plus some water crossings. But there are no landslides that you have to walk around, and it was all rideable on 40mm with caution.
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Occasionally there were some intact sections and when the sun decided to come out for a bit, it was actually pretty nice.
IMG_1522.jpg
Last tunnel is blocked by another gate but can slide the bike and crawl under it. One monster down!
IMG_1541.jpg
Next part was all paved over rt 139 (monster 2?) and finally rt18 (monster 2.5). TBH compared to the adventure of Gangaharasuriyama, this was pretty forgettable cedar forest, also it was really damn steep, I think I wasn't recovered from the first climb yet. Suggest skipping this unless you really need the tiles.

On reaching the ~40 mile mark of the original route where rt18 and rt416 meet, given the late start and the typhoon delayed trains, I decided to head back eastward on 416. Figured if the last rindos ended up being blocked and I needed to backtrack, it would be a dark hike back. But, I had a bit left in the legs, so threw in a southbound ascent of Tomin-No-Mori since I've only gone over it northbound. Mountains were nice, but the river around Okutama is pretty muddy with a bunch of fallen trees from the storm.
IMG_1543.jpg
IMG_1545.jpg

Ended by taking the train at Musashi Itsukaichi. Overall, would give a recommendation Gangaharasuriyama as a cool route to explore (with caution), but maybe wait for it to dry out a bit! Would probably be safer to take a southbound approach and take the gravel / water bits at slower speed.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
755
727
113
Yokohama
Was wondering if you did this. Thanks for the report. If things dry out a bit, I hope to get up there. Glad you made it out OK.
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
Wow, it's the land that time forgot! Was that a map in that last picture? Also, did you see many hikers? As far as I could tell the other day, even the hiking trails are closed near me.
 
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sean-e

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2019
222
512
113
大田区
Yeah the parking lot at the top of rt 510 had a couple of hikers (at the top it was drier so I guess they skipped the flooded parts by car).

There is a ridge trail that goes from the paved road peak at ~1600m to a couple of peaks up to 2000m in the northwest only 5km of hiking away. @Karl if you need to hike those tiles and want company, I would be interested in seeing the view. Did not see anyone on the descent past the gate though :)