Fujisan 富士山, 3.776 m (I)

3.776 m

25./26. Jul 2009

I left Takasaki at 4:00 pm and arrived around 6:00 pm in Kawaguchiko. We have been watching the weather carefully and it seemed to be the best day within the last 3 weeks.

For dinner I had a large sashimi box and then drove up to 5th station where I arrived around 8:00 pm (parking place was roughly 1 km below). One car after the other arrived up there, everything was organized very well. At 9:30 I meet our trainee and his brother. They returned from their 2 weeks trip through Japan and we wanted to hike Fujisan together.

After putting on our rain clothes and checking headlights we left the 5th station at 10:15 pm.

Hundreds of people tried to climb the mountain this night. If they became tired and could not continue hiking, they just stopped on the way. It was difficult to pass. Anyway, most of them we overtook because we wanted to reach the summit before sunrise. It was rainy and windy. I could see only few meters. The mountain huts were crowded; people were lying on the floor outside trying to get some rest. Over 3.100 m more and more people are using oxygen masks or returned.

It became more and harder to hike, each step goes slowly. We reach the summit at 3:00 am, temperature is about 5 degree, a strong wind is blowing. We hide behind a wending machine which offers a cold coke for 500 JPY. At 3:30 the mountain huts open, we squeezed ourselves together with lots of other hikers into one of them and order hot ramen. Our clothes are wet from sweating and the hut is foggy due to steaming clothes. I am not really hungry – my stomach feels strange and I have a little headache. We climbed the mountain in 5 hours, might be this was to fast to get use to the thin air. After ramen we waited outside for the sunrise. It was terrible cold. Each minute seemed to be like hours. My fingers were so cold that I could only hardly press the buttons of my camera. Then the sun rose.  The first ray of the sun warmed us. “Sugoi”!!!

It was a great feeling. Standing on the highest mountain of Japan and watch a new days start!

We tried to walk around the crater but the wind was so strong that some people were taken from their feet and fall into the rocks. We have been hiding behind a wall – it was no pleasure to walk around in this strong wind. There was no view to the west side – everything covered by clouds.

We started back down; strong wind blew sand into our faces. The way down is had to go – not because it is difficult. More because it becomes boring and the body is tired and cold. But the more we climb down the warmer it gets. We take off more and more clothes and when we arrive at the 5th Station at 8:45 am we are wearing T-shirts only. I take a rest in the car about 2 hours and then return to Takasaki.  I really can recommend to hike Fujisan but please seriously pay attention to the weather condition, own condition and equipment. I was told that 3 men died one week before we hiked the mountain. At night they have lost their way in the fog and died due to cold and being exhausted.

富士山 Fujisan  25./26. Jul 2009

Start      河口瑚口五合目  Kawaguchikoguchigogoume (5th. Station)               10:00 pm  (25. Jul) 2.304 m

Trail       八合目 太子館 Taishi Tate Augen Hachigō               0:30 am               3.100 m
Top        吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou       3:00 am         3.700 m
Trail       吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou       5:20 am         3.700 m
Finish    河口瑚口五合目 Kawaguchikoguchigogoume (5th. Station)             8:45 am  (26. Jul) 2.304 m

Duration:             10h 45min          Distance:             14 km          Height: 1.400 m

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