Yes this weekend I increased my foolishness by a substantial amount. I climbed Fuji…again! This was the first time I have gone from the bottom though.
Looking through my archives I discovered that FoxyJonno was right and so I made another quiz on QuizYourFriends.com of more modern questions all about MEEEE!!!!!!
It was only my third climb this year…I climbed alone which a number of people have already remarked upon, yes yes I suppose it was relatively dangerous or it could have been on any other mountain, or Fuji out of season. But frankly. I enjoyed myself. I could climb and just have some real alone time, just walking through the woodlands up the mountain. It was also nice to know that I reached the fifth station in five hours and the top in another seven (excluding meal times and sleeping) making it twelve hours to do 19k climbing 3000m.
I enjoy walking by myself because I am responsible for no one else, because I can think my own thoughts on the mountain and just concentrate on walking, putting one foot in front of the other, clasping the rock in that hand, now this. The fact that I was pleasantly speedy up the mountain is seondary to this.
Mostly I just enjoy being by myself.
I have yet to make up my mind about doing the September climb with the ken-trip up Fuji. On the one hand I would love to take a picture of Skimble at the summit, on the other, I have climbed this mountain…do I really want to do it again?
Now I can tell that there are at least three people reading this blog and worrying and not a one of them is my mother…
Whilst I would and have walked various routes in the Lakes just me and my tent I am aware the Fuji is a reasonably big mountain. Dad’s comment after last time was that whilst he had appreciated that it was three times as high as Snowdon he hadn’t thought about it being three times the circumference and everything else as well. Its a fairly dangerous mountain in that tempratures change rapidly up at the top and people have been known to go missing on it’s slopes. Which is why I went alone this weekend.
Fuji has an official climbing season that lasts from the 1st of July to the 26th August. There is a national holiday on the weekend of the 14th that packs out the mountain completely from the 5th station upwards, which means that this is the last weekend people can officially climb Fuji and if they want to avoid the sheer hell of Obon weekend they’ll do it this one. So after the 5th station I was climbing alone surrounded by people. All of the huts are still open and I have the phone numbers of each of them…well I did have but I lost them and my map somewhere around the 8th station on the way down.
Hence the not to worriness of a Mish on Fuji.
You meet people on Fuji, I slept in a mountain hut because of the wind with a group of 8 people from Tokyo who wanted to practice their English. In the huts you sleep like sardines under a large blanket with a pillow that is yours and marks out your space. It was nice to sleep between two people again actually, though waking at 2:30 or whatever time to climb up to the summit to see goraiko (sunrise) was not favourite!
The last leg from 8.5 I did with an American squaddie who’s name I never got. We’d bumped into each other at the safety centre and again at various rest points on the mountain. His friend had decided to see the sunrise from 8.5 (as Mum and Dad did last time) but he wanted to try and make it to the top. The mist was really swirling around and so normally you can see the top from there and the torii gate half way between the points but we couldn’t see anything so I told him about the torii being the half way and the lion gate basically meaning the end. And we tramped with a thousand or so other people up the rocky finish.
He said it felt good to reach the torii because he knew how much further there was to go, he put on a spurt of speed after that and I lost sight of him until a little before the steps. I actually had to talk him up the steps because he was totally exhausted at that point (the thing I find with the American military who I meet up Fuji, and the lot from Sandhurst I bumped into last time is that they go up too damn fast and don’t pay no nevermind to altitude or thinning air). I took his photo at the Lion Gates and again at the height mark, his grin was huge…so was mine but my damn camera decided to have it’s memory card corrupt at the 1st station. Grrrr.