Week 7: MT FUJI SPECIAL

The time has finally come — it’s time to climb Mt. Fuji! I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this trip for 3 weeks, carefully planning the details of the climb and searching every other day on the internet whether I will freeze to death if I only bring 1 jacket. Right now it seems like it’s a 50/50 forecast of freezing to death, but no point sweating the small stuff now.

The plan is to the take busses Saturday morning that will put us at the starting line for the climb by early afternoon, and then proceed to climb for 6 hours until we reach our mountain hut. After getting a little bit of sleep, we’ll wake up really early in the morning, climb to the summit, and view the sunrise.

Well that’s the plan. Now, let’s see how perfectly we follow it.

;)

Saturday:

After we all woke up early, we took a highway bus towards Kawaguchiko Station, where we would transfer to another bus that would take us up to the start of the climb.

we’re on our way

However, some unexpected traffic delayed the bus by about two hours, pretty much destroying any possibility of getting a solid night’s sleep on the mountain. When we arrived at the station we missed a bus by 4 minutes and 12 seconds (yes, I still remember this, salty), so we sat around waiting for a while.

we go there
(some) of the climbing team

We took the first bus we could and arrived at the start of the trail at around 4 PM. No problem, I heard it’s less cold at the top of the mountain if you don’t sleep very much!

When we arrived at the 5th station, we saw a bunch of climbers scattered around; some had finished, and some had just started.

climbing bois

A couple of us acquired some walking sticks, and up the mountain we went! After walking after about 5 minutes, we came across a clearing and realized just how far the bus had taken us up the mountain:

we only go up from here

But of course there was still a lot of climbing to do, so we pushed on.

YSO — Yale Scaling (Mt. Fuji) Ollstars

After about an hour the sun started to go down, so we all rejoiced about the fact that we all should have brought our headlamps, because we would definitely be climbing in the dark for a while, and climbing in the dark with no light would probably make you fall off the mountain while screaming loudly to your death. ;)

sunset

After another hour or two one group had gone way ahead, while Ana and I remained at the back with Nick. At this point the sun had totally set and things were getting pitch black, so I recommended Ana and Nick to take out their headlamps… but I realized that these two were the only two who didn’t buy headlamps for the climb. >.>

So I ended up lending my headlamp to Nick, who was having a little bit more trouble, while Ana and I carefully, carefully made our way in the dark. Looking back, I didn’t die, so it was actually really fun!

the only things I could see were stars and city lights both didn’t help that much

We ended taking a quick break in between, and we ate some much-needed onigiri.

Ollstars Team B

Finally arriving at the mountain hut at around 11 PM, we then found out that wake-up call tomorrow was at 1 AM.

So basically we didn’t sleep very much. I should add, the adrenaline from climbing kept me awake the entire time, so I literally didn’t sleep at all.

I guess it’s time to move on to Sunday?

Sunday:

I was dreaming about anime and manga and thinking about going to Akihabara today before I was rudely awakened at 1 AM near the summit of Mt. Fuji. Actually, according to the people at the hut, the summit was still quite far away. So we quickly got up, ate a banana, and headed out into the cold. What we saw behind us:

I was pretty surprised too, but every single light in the picture is a climber with a headlamp. Seems like we made the (early) morning rush to the summit of Mt. Fuji! We essentially moved slowly up the mountain at a snail’s pace until we finally reached the famous summit. I will also just throw in that at some point Ana decided to go Super Saiyan and carry both Nick’s and Kevin’s bags along with her own up to the summit. But we all made it!

kevin’s happy that we made it

We immediately got some hot coffee. Now we wait for the sunrise!

sun rising please wait

And then…

sunrise complete

Now, the sunrise was, as expected, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life, but I also want to emphasize the cold. I did not actually freeze to death while waiting an hour for the sunrise, but I have never come closer to it. It was quite literally a near death experience, and the loudest sound I heard for like 30 minutes was my own teeth chattering. Should have brought another jacket.

After the sunrise, we made a huge cuddle pile to regain heat:

everybody is freezing

We then made a bee-line for a restaurant at the summit to eat some hot cup noodles, which easily became the best cup ramen in my life.

Ting-san (singaporean) and Ana-san (spanish) were especially chilled

After regaining 20 degrees of body temperature, it was finally time to go down. But not before a couple final pictures at the top:

Mt. Fuji conquered

After a long, long knees-heavy descent down, we got on our bus and headed back to Shinjuku. Everybody just went straight to their apartments and passed out.

But at about 6 PM, a couple us woke up and decided to get some celebratory shabu-shabu (Japanese hotpot) for dinner. It was about 3000 yen for 120 minutes of all-you-can-eat, and since we skipped lunch, I can guarantee that we definitely got our money’s worth from the shabu-shabu place. A great deal of meat was eaten today.

tryin to shabu all that meat into our stomachs

We then went back to school the next day, and proceeded to get destroyed on every quiz because we were so tired! It was a long trip that definitely had a few hiccups along the way, but in the end all that matters is that we scaled the highest mountain in Japan and came back to eat some shabu-shabu. Also, according to our Japanese teachers, this was the first time every single person in the class climbed Mt. Fuji together.

Here are some before and after pictures:

at the start of the trail
at the top

Yatta! We did it!


Thank you again for reading my blog post! I hope it was interesting, and please stay tuned for next week, which will be the last one!