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Horai is one of the most famous climbing areas in Japan. Originally it was know for it’s aid climbing, but in recent years has been popularized as a great sport area by the hard routes put up by Japanese strongman Dai Koyamada. There are many hard routes in Horai and this area is one of only a few places in Japan where there are so many routes on steep faces and roofs.
“There are many routes in Horai that I hope to try and send.” Sachi tells me. Sachi’s goal for this area was to send all of the hard routes in Horai in one season. Since going on his first trip here this season in May, Sachi has climbed all of the hard routes here.
Sachi Amma has also broken Yuji Hirayama’s record for hardest onsight on Japanese soil with his send of Ganja Ext 8b+ in Horai. Sachi thought that this would be a great route to try and onsight because of how easy it was to see the holds from the ground and the surrounding routes. Before Sachi tried Ganja Ext he tried to onsight an 8b on a nearby wall. 天徳貴人(Tentokukijin) is a very different style than Ganja Ext, but he felt it would help him understand the rock and onsighting at Horai. On his onsight try Sachi found himself runout and incorrectly in the crux sequence. This route is located next to an adjacent rock that is precariously placed so that if you fall from half way up the route runout, there is a high probability that you will deck. Sachi new this and decided to forgo his onsight effort of this 8b. “I learned a lot on this route.” Sachi would later tell me. “Before I tried to onsight this route I did not fully understand all of the moves, but for Ganja Ext I studied all of the moves many times to fully understand everything on it.”
Ganja Ext 8b+ moves through an almost flat roof for about 8 meters on slopers and small edges. Ganja is the lower part of this route which is rated 8b. Both Ganja and the Ext were bolted and first sent by Dai Koyamada. After Ganja’s anchor, the extension moves through strenuous slopers to an easier finish. “Before I climbed Ganja Ext it thought looked very hard, but after I send I am thinking that it is not that hard of moves.”
Sachi has also sent another of Koyamada san’s hard routes, Meta Force Ext 8c+ in only three efforts. Meta Force Ext is two or three routes to the left of Ganja and has similar moves. MFE moves through small crimps on the same 8 meter roof as Ganja. Pulling through the lip is quite different and where the crux is located. “At the lip you must lunge from an undercling to a slopper pocket and then swing and take another sloper. This sequence is very bouldery and you need luck to do that move.” Sachi continues, “ Then you move through the easy face for 5 meters to a good rest. The final small roof at the top that has a beautiful dyno from a small crimp to a jug. It is really far to make this move and I was at full extension on this move.” The final moves of MFE are on an easy slab to a walk off with a wonderful view of the Horai valley that surrounds you.
Most recently, Sachi has sent his final project in Horai, Spectator 9a. Spectator is on the same roof as Ganja Ext and MFE. This route links up with MFE and has the same finish through the upper dyno. Make sure to check back for a longer video of Sachi’s time in Horai and his experiences on many onsights and red points.
Now that Sachi has completed this final task it is time to follow the cooler temps and dry air with a move up to Hokkaido. Sachi has his sights set to find and complete more of Japan’s hardest test pieces.