日本一(徒歩日本縦断#47 乗鞍後編)

標高2500mの森林限界を越えて風景は一変した

高い木々は無くなり、高山植物の楽園が広がる

気温は一気に10度前後に冷え込み、まるで人間を拒むかのような環境になっていく

前を見ると乗鞍岳の峰々が目の前に広がった

後ろを振り返ると通ってきた道のりと、北アルプスの名峰たち。槍、穂高…日本で最も気高く有名とも言える名山の数々がその山容をこれでもかとばかりに見せつける。下界にいるときは見えなかった山々がここまで来るとこんなに近くに見えるようになる。

ジャンダルムの険しさに、穂高の気品に、胸が高鳴る。

北アルプスだけではない。中央、南、その全ての山々を北アルプス最南端の独立峰である乗鞍岳からは望むことができた。市街地を覆う雲海から突き出た山々は、雲をも貫く高さを有する、日本の誇るべき山々だ。

所々では雪をかぶっていてその険しさを知る

乗鞍でも雪が溶けずに残っている。今の時期でも気温は夜になると5度ほどだそうだ。まさに人間が立ち入ってはならない聖域そのものだった

この場所で歌うことができるのは厳しい環境に耐えうることの出来る高山植物と僅かな動物たちだけだった。

そんな聖域に下界から歩きだけで登ってきた

そんなちっぽけなひとりの人間を神様は歓迎してくれたかのように、快晴の空と眺望をプレゼントしてくれた。もはや息苦しいとか、辛いとか、そういう概念は消えて歩いていた

下界から見る空より「蒼い」空に

雲海がどこまでも続く地平線のその先に

険しさを物語る岩肌に

ホシガラス飛び交う高山植物地帯に

ただひたすら吸い込まれてしまいそうだった

標高2700m。あと数百mで日本一の峠の頂上に立つ。風は強く吹きつける。

「ここが日本一だ」そう言わんばかりの雲の上の山岳道路。

「日本最北端宗谷岬から歩き続けて、遂に雲の上の日本一に辿り着く」そう考えるだけで鳥肌が立ってしまう。数日前は見上げることしかできなかったアルプスの山々を今は同じ目線で見ている。随分遠く、高くまで来たもんだ。

感傷に浸るのはあまり好きじゃない

だけどこの時だけは少しだけ目頭が熱かった

そして

正午ちょうど。岐阜県に入る。

ここが日本一高い峠の最高点、標高2716m

要するに日本一高い道路に辿り着いた

そして日本一過酷な県境をまたいで新たな都道府県である岐阜県に入った。東日本と西日本の境目と言ってもいいであろう長野と岐阜の県境はこんなに高い場所にある。

この県境から岐阜側に少し歩いたところに乗鞍畳平といういわゆる山岳拠点がある。そこには食堂などもあるので、少し休もう。流石に昨晩と今朝のご飯がカロリーメイトだけしか食べられなかったので(食料品店なんて無く、買いためておいた食料もギリギリだった)横石の身体を動かすエネルギーはほぼ尽きていた。ここまで歩いてこれたのは多分、下界では見たこともないような聖域の絶景と日本一を目指すアドレナリンで足が動いていたからだろう

畳平へ向かう数百mの道中でもこの日本一の峠は絶景を見せてくれる

それがこのカルデラ湖である鶴ヶ池だ

青空を写した雲上の池は、どこまでも神秘的で吸い込まれそうな青色を周りに振りまいていた

そして

無事に畳平の記念碑でパシャり。

ここで写真を撮って始めて乗鞍制覇とも言える

まさに日本一の聖地だ

ちなみに9度というのは機械の故障では無くてガチで9度だ。横石はここまで歩き続けてきたからまだ身体が火照っていてノースリーブだが、例え夏でも乗鞍は絶対にノースリーブで来てはいけない。横石のせいで低体温症の人でも出たら大変だからここで言っておく。ちなみに夏でも天候次第で体感温度はマイナスに行くので、本当に山を舐めてはいけない。もちろん横石もこの後すぐ寒くなってレインウェアを着ている

そして食堂のある銀嶺荘へ。

ここは宿泊もできるので、ご来光や夕日をみたいならここに泊まるのをオススメする(というか乗鞍エコーラインもスカイラインも18時に閉鎖してしまうので、ここに泊まる以外だと物理的に見ることはできない)

昼飯は自分へのご褒美で飛騨牛カレー。

疲れて冷え切った体に沁みる…

というかカロリーメイトとリンゴが主食だった横石には本当にご馳走だった。

ここで1時間ほどゆっくり身体を休めて下山に備える。

というか下山もウカウカしてはられない。

本当は乗鞍をもっと観光したいところだが、岐阜側のゲートは17時半に閉まるので、それを過ぎると閉じ込められてしまうのだ。

ここまで20キロ標高2700mを歩いた身体に鞭打って、ここからまた20キロ山道をひたすら下る

物理的には2時に畳平を出ればゲートの閉門時間に間に合うのだが、ここまで酷使してきた身体のことを考えたら1時には畳平を出てゆっくり下山するのが横石が考える正解だった

ということで1時に下山開始。

岐阜側は乗鞍スカイラインに名前を変えて山岳道路は続いている

ここから20キロはひたすら下るだけだが、これがまた怖い。自転車ならブレーキを握るだけだけど(ブレーキ握るだけもこの距離になると本当に辛いけど)歩きは膝を酷使するので、膝を壊さないように20キロは気を張り詰めて降らなければならない。

だが、日本一の峠はスカイラインでも、まさに天空の絶景を見せてくれた

森林限界を越えているところでしか見れない荒涼な草原道路。雲を下に見て歩くので、まさに天空の散歩だ。

北アルプスの山々はスカイライン側に来ると、より濃くその山容を見せてくれる。

こんな贅沢な風景を独り占めしながら歩く気分と言ったら、もう言葉にすることさえできない

雲海が少し切れて、歩いてきた松本市街が初めて見えた。あんなに大きかった街は、もう点でしかない。「あそこから歩いてきたんだ」そう大声で叫びたい。というか誰もいなかったので遠慮なく叫んだ。

雲の上を走るワインディングロード。

もはや言葉なんてなんの意味も持たない。

「美しい」とか「気高い」なんて言葉を使っても、どこかしっくりしない。

言葉はその気持ちの側まで近寄る事は出来るけど、自分の気持ちをそのまま伝えることは出来ない。それがこんなにもどかしくて、だけどこんなに清々しいことだとは思わなかった。

この風景は言葉にするのも惜しい。言葉にして伝わるような風景ではない。そんな風景に出会えて心から良かったと思える。言葉という枠にハマらないような、こんな風景を横石は見に、ここまで歩いてきたんだから。

もうすぐ森林限界が終わってしまう。

天空の道路が終わってしまう。

それを惜しむかのように目とカメラに焼き付けた。

ただ、どこかで安心していた。

それはきっとここが人間が長居してはいけない領域だと本能で感じていたからだろう。

横石のあるべき場所はここでは無い。

気高く険しいアルプスの山々は、人間が本当にいるべき場所を教えてくれる。

「やっと下界に戻れる」3日間の山籠りを経てそんな感覚にさえなっていた。

そして森林限界を越えて、木々が生い茂る下界に戻ってきた。

安心。そして疲労。一気にきた

ここから残り10キロ。

今までの疲労がどっとくる

それでもなんとか前に進む

そして

無事に岐阜側のゲートを越える

思わずゲートの前で頭を下げていた

「ありがとうございます」

なにに感謝しているのかは分からないけど、出た言葉はありがとうございますだった。

今まで越えてきた全ての山とその風景に。

そして無事に帰ってきた事実に感謝した。

岐阜側の平湯では迎えの車が来てくれた

旅中出会った親友のゆーたが愛知からわざわざ岐阜まで来てくれて、このまま愛知まで車で運んでくれる。

これは別にワープしているわけではなくて、横石はこれから埼玉の実家に帰って免許の更新などをしなければならず、そのために名古屋まで送ってくれるのだ。名古屋からは夜行バスで東京まで帰る。

もちろん次のスタートは終わったこの場所。岐阜の平湯からスタートだ。

まずは徒歩日本縦断の前半戦をこのアルプス越えで締めくくって、ゆっくり1週間ほど身体を実家で休めて、また戻ってきたいと思う。

このことに関しては明日のブログで詳しく記そうと思っています。

ということで明日は文明に戻ってきた横石をお楽しみください。

歩行距離 41キロ

長野県松本市→岐阜県高山市

総歩行距離 1566キロ

今日も最後まで読んでいただきありがとうございます!ブログランキングにも参加しているので是非下の日本一周ボタンを押して応援してください!

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 日本一周へ


にほんブログ村

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    «С любимыми не расставайтесь…» автор написал после того, как чуть не погиб в железнодорожной катастрофе.
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    Владелец вернул похищенную картину Пикассо почтой, не найдя покупателей.
    Искусствоведы спорили, смирилась ли со скорой смертью неизлечимо больная женщина на картине русского художника, а она прожила ещё 37 лет.
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