Descending Into a Volcanic Crater (sort of)
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Mountaintop Silliness on a hazy Mt. Kannabe, Toyooka City, Hyogo, Japan -- 神鍋山 噴火口 -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/4000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mountaintop Silliness
on a hazy Mt. Kannabe, Toyooka City, Hyogo, Japan

Trying to catch up on so much I've fallen behind on recently, this post continues from “A Bit of Summer Volcano Skiing”, from a short trip to northern Hyogo Prefecture at the start of the month. As you can see in the shot above, it was really hazy, but rather than humidity, it was from the kosa “yellow sand” that blows in from China sometimes (As I described in “Misty Evening in Rural Japan”).

After the grass skiing, we thought we'd head up to the top of the short mountain (it rises only about 120m) to see the volcanic crater at the top. We could have walked up in five minutes, but availed ourselves of the ski lift.

No Seat Belts it was slightly unnerving to sit on a moving bench without any kind of failsafe -- Mt. Kan'nabe (神鍋山) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/2500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
No Seat Belts
it was slightly unnerving to sit on a moving bench without any kind of failsafe
Heading Up -- Mt. Kan'nabe (神鍋山) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/4000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up
Looks Higher than it Is and it doesn't even look particularly tall -- Mt. Kan'nabe (神鍋山) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Higher than it Is
and it doesn't even look particularly tall

I can recall two appearances of similar shots to the one above on my blog over the years, Miyajima's Mt. Misen, and on Whistler Mountain.

Volcanic Rock -- 神鍋山 噴火口 -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/11, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Volcanic Rock

Upon disembarking, Anthony found a small bit of volcanic rock. When I explained what it was, he was shocked that such a thing wasn't in a scientific laboratory or museum somewhere. I tried to explain further that the entire mountain we were on was nothing but solid volcanic rock, but it didn't quite sink in. He brought the rock home.

The volcano is extinct now, but the thought is that it had been active for many 10s of thousands of years, but about 20,000 years ago, it blew its top in what must have been quite a cataclysmic event, and left the top as a 40m deep crater...

Approaching the Rim -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/4000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching the Rim

I wanted to climb down to the bottom, but the grade looked quite difficult, so Fumie and Anthony stayed behind, as I tried to go down at an angle so that it wouldn't feel quite so steep...

Just Starting Down a tiny Fumie and Anthony peer over from above -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Starting Down
a tiny Fumie and Anthony peer over from above

The entire slope was covered with long, dead, exceedingly slippery reeds. Had they been alive it would have been much simpler to walk down, both because they wouldn't have been like ice under foot, and because they could be grasped for support. But as it was, it wasn't long before I was questioning my decision to attempt a descent.

But then Fumie and Anthony found a path, which though pretty rudimentary, was a lot better than what I was doing, so I moved over to it and they joined me.

On The “Path” -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/10, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
On The “Path”
Half Way Down these photos completely lack a sense of slope and distance )-: -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/10, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Half Way Down
these photos completely lack a sense of slope and distance )-:
Resting at the Bottom -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/3200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Resting at the Bottom

The rocks at the bottom were bigger than those dotting the slopes, but the slopes were indeed rocky under the bed of dead reeds. If there had been no rocks, the slippery reeds and steep slope would have made for more fun than the grass sledding at Blume no Oka.

Anthony wanted to try to climb the slope straight up, rather than return by the relatively-safer path. I didn't think it was a good idea, but figured he'd give up once he saw how steep it really was... but he didn't, and by the time I realized how dangerous a situation we had gotten into, it was too dangerous to try to head back down...

Up -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Up
The Slope -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/5000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Slope

So long as we kept our feet burrowed under the bed of slippery reeds, and took steps carefully, we'd be okay (and when we had a good foothold, it was easy enough to pause for a photo), but I worried that if he lost his footing, I'd either have to stop him right away, or he'd take out my feet and we'd both slide down (with the unpleasantness of the aforementioned rocks an immediate risk). So, I made sure to keep very close behind him so that he'd not have any space to pick up speed if he slipped.

At one point I looked back to find that Fumie had started up as well... I thought she had gone to take the path. I suggested that she would not like the climb and that she should return to take the path, but it turns out that she, too, had come too far to turn back...

( I wish I knew how to capture the sense of distance and elevation here ) -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
( I wish I knew how to capture the sense of distance and elevation here )

Amazingly, Anthony reached the top without killing us both, and after a final challenge of a line of brambles at the rim, we were safe.

Fumie followed soon after...

Cresting the Rim -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/2500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting the Rim
Made It! -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/2000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Made It!

Even when she was a kid, Fumie was not the sporty type, so the thought of her making a climb like this would have been out of the question until recently, but she's been doing ballet for over 10 years now, extremely earnestly for the last year or so, and is in amazing physical shape. Our high-tech bathroom scale that measures body fat and such spits out a “body age” among all its stats, and while mine thinks my body is a year older than it really is, it says hers is 10 years younger. Amazing.

At the top, dripping with sweat and scratches, we got a nice breeze, and a view of our hotel through some late blossoms...

Blue Ridge Hotel -- Mt. Kan'nabe Volcanic Crater (神鍋山噴火口) -- Toyooka, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 116mm — 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Blue Ridge Hotel

Continued here...


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Hello Jeffrey,

I see and comment about you post … >> “( I wish I knew how to capture the sense of distance and elevation here )”

¿Do you try to take this Photo with Aperture F8.0 at 24mm? I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. But not with this depth, distance and elevation. I have used F7.1 in this Photo “http://www.gierling.com.ar/blog/data/2011/2011-05-07_11.JPG” . I don’t remember if I or my canon 40D take this decision. But I think it was the correct decision. 😉

Greetings from Argentine
Ralph

— comment by Ralph Gierling on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:06pm JST (6 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Wow, that was quite an adventure. I particularly like that last shot of Fumie.

Given where you were, I’m not sure there was much that could be done to capture the sense of distance. You would need to approach it from another angle, and you’d need to have something in the scene to provide a sense of scale – like a nearby tree, the sky (ideally with clouds visible – looks like it was overcast on this day), something in the horizon… if none of those things are easily available for the scene, you can do a HDR and tone map to bring out shadows and other details that can occasionally help with providing a sense of depth.

But jeez, you did all that with a D700, the usual load of glass, AND the Bigma? Respect!

— comment by David K on May 24th, 2011 at 4:19am JST (6 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

As reported problems opening the link that I post before. Here is another way to see it and the EXIT-Data in the link http://gierling.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/mg_4730-web.jpg

— comment by Ralph Gierling on May 25th, 2011 at 4:32am JST (6 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

You know the scariest part of this post? Not the slope. Not the climb. Not rocks or possible terrible injury and death. The part that frightens me just to READ about it is the fact that one might own a scale that can not only tell you how overweight you are, but will also comment on your body type and apparent physical age. Geeesh.

— comment by Marcina (USA) on May 25th, 2011 at 10:25am JST (6 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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