Monday, August 06, 2007

Climbing Mt. Fuji: Introduction

-Strange Pilgrims
-Lights Above
-Into Sleep
-The Summit
-The Descent

As my mother was planning the Japan leg of our trip, she casually mentioned wanting to visit Mt. Fuji. As the time grew closer, it became clear that this "visit" was going to be a climb. It sounded good at the time.

The plan was to begin the climb at night, climb through the night and then reach the top in time to see the sunrise. Well, the first thing that went wrong was our transportation to the mountain. We were staying in Tokyo, which is about 2 hours from the base of the mountain. There is a bus directly from Tokyo to Station 5--the point where most climbers begin. Well the hotel concierge didn't arrange the right bus for us.

Long story short, we got to the bottom of the mountain, then had to get a cab up to the 5th station. We didn't start climbing until 11pm. With our headlamps on, dressing in jeans and sweatshirts, we headed up. At the 6th station, we got a trail map from the old park ranger who peaked out his hut when he saw me walk by.
As we began our ascent after that 6th station, it began to snow. I realized it was going to be a long hike.

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