Taking on Mount Fuji as a team
Climbing Mount Fuji tested me to my limits both physically and psychologically, but finally standing at the top with my team was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Our little startup Confrere is about to turn 1 year, and after our team’s trip to JSConf EU, three of us headed to Japan to take on Mt Fuji. (Our city dweller CPO opted to chill in the sun in some park back in Europe).
After a 13 hour flight to Tokyo, we slept for three hours and headed to the bus for Kawaguchiko. We arrived at Kawaguchiko in the evening. On our way to the fifth station, where our expedition was going to begin, we realized that the road was closed at night. Cue late night walking in Kawaguchiko. We checked in to a hostel and got a few more hours of sleep before finally being able to make our attempt for the summit.
It didn’t take long until the sun started coming up, and we were met with some beautiful scenery.
The road itself didn’t pose many challenges thus far, except for some light rock climbing as we reached the seventh station. But since we were climbing outside the official season, there weren’t support systems such as open cabins and vending machines (!) on the way up. We also found that the signage was not there, so it’s important to stick to the path when possible.
As we progressed, the snow started to become a challenge, as well as the thin air due to the height. We had to take our ice axes out to be able to progress safely, as a slip and fall would mean hurdling 400 meters down a snow trench (which we later slid down!).
But eventually, after a grueling last 200 meters, we made it to the top!
After 7 hours of climbing and 1376 meters later, Confrere stood on the summit of Mount Fuji, at 3776 meters above sea level.
And the view was definitely worth it.
“A wise man climbs Fuji once. Only a fool climbs it twice.”
— Japanese saying
In retrospect, there’s a good reason for the saying “once in a lifetime experience”. While I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being at the summit of Mount Fuji, the road to getting there, especially outside the official season, tested me to my limits both physically and psychologically. It didn’t help that our only window to doing it was right after a 13-hour flight either. But standing there at the top, knowing that you pushed yourself beyond your limits, is hopefully not a once in a lifetime thing, it’s something that we all will strive for in our lives, and I’m happy I was able to experience that with the team at Confrere.
If you want to see more images, including the original size of the images (the panoramic one is 15000 pixels wide!), check out our photo album.