Route Introduction - Kenashi Pass 2/2 (Summit and Akaigawa Side)
This is the second page of the introduction of the Kenashi Pass. After having introduced the Otaru side in the Route/Kenashi Pass 1/2, on this page, we are going to introduce the summit and the Akaigawa side.
The elevation of the summit is 648m above the sea level. It's not so high but the vegetation is slightly different from that of the plains. The road at the summit is almost flat for several hundrets metres.
Just after the last curve from Otaru, at the east side of the road, there is a turn place for snowploughs. We often rest here waiting for the other riders come. We remind you that this place is designated for the snowplough. So you can't park cars here. Parking there is forbidden.
As it was mentioned on the first page Route/Kenashi Pass 1/2, the Kenashi Pass is well known as place where it snows a lot and also notorious for the extrem snowfall. Because of the extrem snowfall, visibility goes down sometimes below 5 metres. If such case occurs, you can't move even an inch. The visibility on this photo is still several dozens metres. We had much worse experience there.
Because of strong snowfall, sometimes the road state becomes muddy like the photo below although the snowplough often comes.
However, when the weather is good, riding at the Kenashi Pass is very pleasant.
Between 390m and 540m, there is a deviation from the National Road 393. On the deviation, there's almost no traffic but it is steap. As the traffic is very light, the road is often covered with fresh snow. As the snow is deep, you better have a pair of disk brake. Because conventional brakes are less effective when rims are covered with snow.
When it snows a lot, you might have the opportunity to see such a scenery.
This is the car parking at Ochiai at 320m of altitude. This parking is huge. So if you are numerous, it would be better to use this parking than those of the Otaru Side.
We usually go back to the Otaru Side from this point. But the road from this point for Akaigawa has a very light traffic and the snow condition is often good. The inclination towards the centre of the Akaigawa Caldera is not so perceptible but you can feel it speeding in the gradual descent. You could enjoy there a competitive ride with your training partners.
The Kenashi Pass is a really amazing training location. So this route has become our most favourite training site.