第二回稲村岩 未踏洞窟調査(2011/01/03-04)

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稲村岩の東壁に見える洞窟らしき穴の内部を調査するため、年明け早々1/3-1/5の計画で奥多摩に行ってきました。前回の下見調査に引き続き、第2回目の調査である。

メンバーは、CL佐野(3年)、SL白沢(1年)、倉品(農大3年)。今回は農大の倉品さんも参加し、早大と農大の合同活動となった。
安全に「洞窟」まで下降するため、今回は約300mのスタティック・ロープを持ち込んだ。ほかにも洞窟装備や測量装備、野営装備を用意したため、荷物は100Lザック満タンになった。今までで一番荷物の重い国内活動だ。

1/2夜、佐野・白沢が奥多摩の某駅に集合し前夜泊。
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1/3早朝、奥多摩駅から始発のバスで東日原へ。倉品は午後に奥多摩に来る予定のため、この日は2人で「上部洞窟」までロープを張る予定である。
まずは日原集落から再度、双眼鏡で「洞口」位置を確認する。
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稲村岩への山道を登り、沢沿いのわさび田跡地にベースキャンプを設営する。
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BCで今日使用予定の装備をタックル・バッグに詰め、クライミング・ハーネスを履いて出発。テントなどの野営装備をBCにデポして、ようやく荷物を気にせずに歩けるくらいザックも軽くなった。
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稲村岩山頂までは問題なくたどり着き、まずは前回位置確認用に目印として木に巻きつけたスズランテープの回収に行く。目印の場所まではすぐに着けたのだが、スズラン・テープが風で裂けて散り散りになっていたため、撤収に予想外の時間がかかった。回収後、50mほど登り返して「洞窟」のあるリッジをロープを張りながら下降していく。
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斜面を120mロープで下降し、ついに「洞窟」直上に到着した。翌日からの作業をスムーズにするために、「洞窟」直上周辺にトラバース・ラインを張って降りる準備が完了。ここから、40m下降すれば「上部洞窟」にたどり着くことができる。
しかし、1日目はここで時間がなくなり、ロープやSRT装備を残置して登り返しを開始。
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15:30に予定通りBCに戻り、倉品と合流。そして、ちょうどBCに戻った頃からパラパラと雪が降り始める…
特にすることもないので、旧作業小屋を使わせていただき、17:00ごろに早めの夕食を作る。雪は少し強さを増して降り続ける…
20:00ごろにまたお腹がすいてきたので、余った米でガーリック・ライスを作り夜食を食べる。20:00を過ぎてようやく雪が止むが、少し雪が積もってしまっていた。
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2日目の1/4、朝起きてみると、少しだけではあるがやはり積雪している。
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空荷で稲村岩尾根を登り、稲村岩頂上への岩稜に取り付いてみる。頂上への尾根の積雪は極小ではあったが、岩の表面が凍結していてかなり滑りやすそう。ロープを張った地点まで行けば問題ないが、フリーでこの岩稜部を越えるのは厳しいため、撤退を決定する。
BCに戻り、荷物を背負って下山開始。
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時間がありあまっていたので、鷹ノ巣谷出合いで荷物を下ろし、稲村岩東壁がよく見える「739高地」へ登ってみる。
「739高地」へのアプローチは踏み跡が尾根に九十九折についており、問題はなかった。
稲村岩の「洞窟」を、木々の隙間からなんとか確認。
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双眼鏡で覗いてみると、「洞窟」はただの岩屋にも見えるし、奥に続いてそうにも見える…結局行ってみないとわからないだろう。
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「739高地」を降りて、鷹ノ巣谷出合いに戻ってザックを背負い、バス停へ。夕方前には家に戻ることができた。
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[反省]
今回は不運というか、なんとも不満の残る活動であった。でも、自然が相手なので仕方がないとしか言いようがない。強行して滑落するよりは当然ましだろう。
「洞窟」直上に残置してきた装備もあるので、天気と相談して、早急に第3回調査を行なおうと考えている。

(記入:佐野)

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