10:59:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Guest Post from my husband, the mountain climber.

Ever since visiting Japan in 2004 I have had a strong desire to climb Mount Fuji. I have been back to Japan many times since, but never had the opportunity. I told myself that if I ever traveled back to Japan during the summer that I would climb it once and for all. The opportunity presented itself this year so I committed myself to make it happen. I arrived in Japan on Sunday, worked all week, then traveled to Fuji late Friday night to climb through the night and see the sunrise. 

Start of Fujinomiya trail, 2400 meters. This trail is the shortest, most direct route up Mt. Fuji. Only 1,400 meters from here, but steep, rocky terrain. The hiking was tough. My recent climb to the top of Elbrus gave me an advantage over less acclimatized hikers. Many people had cans of oxygen with them, while I hardly ever felt winded. I expected to see more westerners, but I'd say 99% of the hikers were Japanese. It's a tradition for Japanese to climb Fuji-san at least one time in their life. I think there's a spiritual aspect to it, as there are shrines all around the mountain and of course at the summit. 

Last stop before the top of Fuji. 3500 meters

First light, against of the of the last stars visible. 
9th Station, only one hour from the top

Shadow cast by Fuji

People taking a rest at the 7th station, maybe 3000 meters. This place had a small snack bar, places to sleep, and hot drinks. 
 Reached top at 2:30am. Waited out the sunrise and was treated to this mountain shadow pic.
Sunrise was spectacular to say the least. I can now appreciate why people say it's better to climb Fuji at night.