Climbing Mt. Fuji

I went to Mt. Fuji following Thailand, I heard the view was amazing. At this point I was a little sick from not enough sleep in Thailand so I was nervous I wouldn’t make it all the way to the top. I also haven’t been in high-altitude Colorado for more than a year, so I wasn’t sure how the altitude would affect me.

We arrived at station 5 at almost 11 am. Station 5 is at almost 2700 meters and is the highest station you can reach by bus. For most people, Station 5 is as high as they get up Fuji. I arrived at Fuji with 2 friends and they decided to start hiking right away and spend the night in one of the lodges near station 8. I didn’t want to spend the money and wanted to sleep away some sickness, so I rolled up in a blanket behind a building and slept until about 8pm. I’m really glad I did.

I started hiking at about 9:15pm, I asked a group of Japanese people if I could join them so I wouldn’t get lost, and the photos start from there.

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Station 7? Or was it 8… I don’t remember.

I made it to Station 8 in under 3 hours. It was very cold. You can buy instant noodles near the top of the mountain, but once you get to the top you’re on your own. I met George and Quinn and we began to walk extremely slowly to the top. We didn’t want to beat the sun there.

Near the top, we could see a few people who had hiked too fast to the top, gotten cold, and were coming back down, shivering. They missed the sunset on the peak. So I told George and Quinn and we started babystepping. The last bit of the mountain took us forever and towards the top we were at the mercy of a huge line of people. For a minute, we were nervous we wouldn’t make it, but we did. What followed was absolutely amazing.

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The white squiggle is Jupiter.

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And there’s the sun. I was the first to see it:) We all started cheering.

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The summit got more and more crowded as people made their way up.

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And that’s where we decided to turn around and start back. The clouds started to swirl as soon as the sun hit them. It was like the world came alive. We were frozen.

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Lake Kawaguchi

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The way down was nothing exciting. Just switchback after switchback on soft, volcanic gravel. I was really glad I didn’t hike during the day as I could tell I didn’t miss much.

We got very lucky with the weather, the forecast said it was to rain the day before we hiked and later in the day, after we saw the sunrise. We talked to another American who had climbed it two times prior, only to find the top covered in clouds, unable to see the sunrise. We got really lucky. Japan gave me a heck of a goodbye present!

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