Truth: How I REALLY Felt About Climbing Fuji

I posted a while back about that time I climbed Mount Fuji and just now came across an original post from my old blog years ago, right after I’d done it.

It’s interesting to see how the rose colored glasses changed things over time. Here’s the original:

Mount Fuji

Originally posted September 27, 2007

Last weekend I climbed Mount Fuji!!

We started from the 5th station (which is already halfway up the mountain–everyone but the complete nutters do it this way). I knew it would be hard but it turned out to be far, far, far, far more difficult than I ever could have imagined. When they say “climb Fuji” they actually mean CLIMB. There were parts that were a clear cut trail–an extremely slippery, rocky and steep “clear cut” trail but there were also many, many places where I was climbing vertical, drawing only on my two experiences on a rock wall at the gym–except this time I wasn’t harnessed to anything.

High winds made climbing all the more treacherous. They were getting especially strong as it is outside the regular climbing season and this was one of the last weekends the mountain would even be open for climbing by “regular folks.”

It took us ten hours to get to the summit, not including a two hour pit stop at a hut where we “slept” (read: shivered uncontrollably) on wet and sandy futons in a communal room with everyone else foolhardy enough to brave the mountain.

But the sunrise and the views were spectacular!!! I’ve been too lazy to put any pictures up online but as soon as I do…I’ll post some on here.

The walk down the mountain took half the time–5 hours–which was actually really long for the descent but our feet were hurting so we took our time. We made it down in time to catch our bus back to the city but not in time to avoid a terrible ,terrible sunburn. I was wearing a hat with ear flaps for most of the time so ended up with a massive red circle burned into my face. I was severely swollen and missed a day of school even! I went to the eye doctor who gave me drops and sent me to a skin doctor who (after I waited for an hour) told me I *gasp* had “a sunburn.” He gave me some ointment and I went home to wallow in my misery and stinging peeling skin.

There is an old saying in Japan: “Everyone must climb Fuji once, but only fools climb it twice.”

I’ve since amended that saying: “The view from Fuji is great, but I recommend a helicopter.”

* * * * *

We have an upcoming trip to South America and I was thinking about including a hike up Mount Aconcagua while we’re in Argentina. But after this reminder, I think we’ll be visiting the hot springs instead. 😉

Do this all over again? Nah.

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One Comment

  1. I would love to see the sunrise pictures when you do put them up! So I can live through you minus the hassle 😛

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