A run-in with a Kamoshika today inspired me to write about these Japanese oddities. This little guy was crossing my line when I reached the bottom of it. I tried to follow him, but pulled up about 20 feet away; as he turned like he wanted to charge (getting mauled by a Kamoshika is just about as manly as getting run over by a Prius).
Kamoshika, or Japanese Serow, are a goat-antelope found across the mountains and forests of Honshu. They have long fur, bushy tails, and short horns. They are comparable to other types of goats found in mountain ranges around the world, with their own unique characteristics.
Kamoshika don’t seem to have any natural predators, and therefore have evolved into horribly inefficient little animals. They are fat and have skinny legs, and get winded easily. You could keep up with one fairly easily on skins.
Unfortunately, they get buried and killed by avalanches often, as their bodies can be a common sight while touring in the spring.
One of the coolest things about Kamoshika is that they love pillow lines just as much as skiers do. You’ll often find them hanging under a pillow or on top of a cliff. So if you’re skiing Japanese pillows, check your landings for Kamoshika. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a Kamoshika shred a pillow line of it’s own.