Hi Brett, that's a really nice walk you're going on. Some of the most dramatic scenery in Japan. Are you going to scale Yari itself? If you do, I bet it will feel like quite an accomplishment. There are supposed to be some hair-raising inclines near the top. I haven't climbed Yari itself (In a recent magazine survey Yari and Tsurugi were found to be the two-most sought after mountains to climb by men, while Kashima-Yarigatake and Tsubame-dake are most favored by women- so let's just hope that your party isn't yearning for Kashima and Tsubame!), but it is a mountain I'd really like to try some time. I've climbed quite a few mountains nearby, like Sugoroku, Hotaka, Kurobe-Goro (perhaps my favorite mountain in Japan, though not the most difficult or highest... it is just stunningly beautiful), and so I have an idea about Yari. Your gear looks just right for Yari at this time of year, though by next month anything but four or six point crampons and a trekking pole will be unnecessary. I'm not even sure the ice axe is necessary right now, unless you plan on climbing the snowfield from Karasawa. Which area are you climbing from, Kamikochi or Hotaka? From what a British climber I met last year at Kurobe Hut told me, the campsite and mountain hut near Yari's summit is quite exposed and notorious for being very windy. So your gear should handle it well.
One warning... check the weather for the weekend. There is supposed to be a typhoon on its way, though it might have diverted already. You don't want to be up on Yari if a typhoon hits.
Good luck with the trip, have a fabulous time, and tell us all about it when you get back! I'd love to see pictures, hear about the experience, and learn how your gear fared...
Curious about the OD Box Foxtail Trekking Pole... is that the aluminum one that was being sold at the Okachimachi store? I was going to buy it, but it just seemed to bend a little too much... Maybe I'm thinking of a different one.
The news predicts that Typhoon No. 14 will hit Honshu on Saturday and will have exceptionally strong winds (the waves in Okinawa are at 8 meters right now). Please watch this carefully. The warm wind of the typhoon will probably mean that all snow in the mountains of Honshu, except in the deep ravines and shadowed areas, will melt away.
Take a look at some of these accounts from a friend of mine of climbing Yari:
A general selection of climbing different mountains in Japan:
Accounts of climbing Kitadake (higher than Yari) in July 2005. No snow at all, meaning that if there is snow on Yari, it will probably be about ankle deep or so.