Archives: 2010年4月

 April 17, 1912. Lerch and others party left hotel at 6:00 a.m. Fall wind is strong, and some snow which fell at midnight are piled up. We arrived at office of Ezo Fuji mountain climbing society through in front of fourth elementary school (existing HIRAFU Elementary School). Member is 11 people including guide of mountain climbing society or reporter of Otaru newspaper. Weather did not improve, and sleet was mixed in StormWind.


 Party climbs slow slope with one line zigzag. They arrive at the third stage (550m above sea level) smoothly at 10:00 a.m. However, at the fourth stage, they take off ski and will trail them because snow is firm, and slope became steep. They arrived for fifth stage and a half at 11:00 a.m. However, we judged that further skiing was impossible because point became steep slope more from there. We left ski there and decided to climb with one Staff. When we finally reached the sixth stage, it was noon.

 In the top, slope such as precipice stood in the way more from the seventh stage, and Snowstorm as we could not open eyes attacked. In that way reporter Okuya and others of Otaru newspaper gave voice when we appeared in flat place at last when “it was top”. Party was pleased with success of the climbing. However, staying long is impossible by this bad weather. We ordered that lieutenant colonel descended a mountain immediately to them.


 It is 5:40 p.m. that we put on ski again at spot of fifth stage and a half leaving ski, and exhausted party arrived at mountain climbing fair office. This is the first-ever Mount Yotei ski mountaineering.


 For history of ski of NISEKO, mountaineering of Lerch and others was event with extremely important value.


 Katsumi Sanbe first lieutenant of the 25th TSUKISAMU regiment, Matsukura Gisuke first lieutenant, Nakazawa Jihei second lieutenants participated in ski class in Asahikawa (Hokkaido) by Lerch lieutenant colonel from Sapporo. In March, 1912 when they came back from Asahikawa, they hold class in TSUKISAMU parade grounds in order to spread ski technology of Lerch art handed down directly in Sapporo. Student and teacher of northeastern empire University agricultural college (existing Hokkaido University), general people participated in this in addition to regiment officers, too. This is the source of history of full-scale skiing of Sapporo. Step of Hokkaido University BUNBU society skiing club which became the whole country’s first student skiing club began from here.

 We mention this later history of Hokkaido University skiing club with the other article. At first let’s introduce episode of Kutchan visit of Lerch here.

 Time is 1912 (Meiji 45) four a year 15 days a month.

 Seven people of the seventh the seventh division field gun regiment of Asahikawa led in Lerch left Asahikawa Station for Mount Yotei (1,898m) in morning of the day to do ski mountaineering. They added Okuya Jinkichi reporter of Otaru newspaper in Otaru and aimed at Kutchan.

 It was ex-serviceman chapter and Ezo Fuji mountain climbing society of Kutchan to have met them.


 For 16 days of the next day, ski corps got up at 4:00 a.m. After getting ready, we had sudden rain, and their departure has been called off. Lieutenant colonel gave a lecture about danger and preparations for ski mountaineering on theme about “Alpine danger” after break. They practiced ski in heap of OGURO (existing Asahigaoka Park) in the afternoon because rain turned into snow. The staff of SHIRIBESHI branch and village office, many villagers including child and teacher of elementary school watched this. We are told that everybody stared wide-eyed at straight descent, traverse that Lerch and others show. History of HIRAFU ski reached full-scale start here.



 By the way, Austrian Lerch major finally appears here. Austrian = Hungary empire is officer, and Theodor von Lerch Edora(1869 -1945) is one of person said to that we told skiing to Japan first. Ski was unknown tool for most Japanese before visit to Japan of Lerch.

 Against expectation of the world, the Japanese military won for Russo-Japanese War. He visits Japan as exchange officer in November, 1910 to study the Japanese military.

 At first Lerch starts for its new post in the thirteenth the 58th division foot soldier regiment of Takada, Niigata (existing Joetsu-shi) where snow is deep. He let gunner arsenal of Tokyo produce ski. In January, 1911, he lectured on ski in Taniyama Kim for officer and junior high school teachers of the prefecture using the ski for approximately one month.

 His ski was one of them Staff-type ski which was mainstream in his mother country in those days. Metal butt end was attached to the tip of about 2 meter-long Staff.


 In September of the year, Lerch was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was assigned to the seventh the seventh division field gun regiment and, in February, 1912, the following day, started for our new post to Asahikawa of Hokkaido. Class of approximately three weeks was carried out in SHUNKODAI to learn ski technology from Lerch in Asahikawa. Production of ski has already begun in Takada of post before him. Therefore, division of Asahikawa asked Takada for production of ski.

 Then ski technology was classified roughly into Austrian style and Norway type. Lerch did not teach only Austrian style technique and taught about the history of ski and Norway-style technique.