20./21. Aug 2010
The Japanese say: “If you climb Fujisan one you are a wise man. If you climb twice you are nuts.”
The first time I climbed Fujisan the wind was so strong that we did not hike on the crater. It was my target to hike around the crater one time. We had guests from Germany, two young girls and together we prepared to climb Fujisan. When we checked our equipment and I started to provide them with warm gloves, thick pullovers, and other warm equipment which you normally use in deep winter, it was difficult for them to believe we might need it. They might have started hiking with short pants because in Takasaki temperature was over 35 degree.
We left Takasaki at 3:00 pm and arrived at the 5th Station parking lots about 5:00 pm. Enough time to get prepared. We had to park far below the station, but there was a bus service. We wanted to climb Fujisan smoothly, that’s why we started climbing at 6:00 pm. Weather was fine, Temperature about 24 degree. It became dark and the moon was shining bright. There were serveral other climbers on the way but it was not crowded. After 8:00 pm firework was started in the cities below. We took a 20 minutes rest and watched the fireworks – which of course far away but still good to see. Fireworks in Japan are superb and amazing in size and shape. If you ever have a chance to watch, don’t miss It!
Later I saw a falling star while climbing.
At 9:00 pm we reached 3.100 m, at 10:45 pm 3.250 m. Until there temperature was still ok – no rain, no wind, a great night for hiking! Most of the other hikers were sleeping or might start about this time. We reached the crater吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou at 1:15 am. Lots of time for a rest.
We changed our clothes and covered us with aluminum-foil-sleeping-bags, which we have bought for this tour. Temperature was about 5 degree and after 15 minutes we became so cold. The aluminum-foil protected from wind but it was terribly cold inside. After 30 minutes I became so cold that my teeth started to chatter. Besides us there were only about 10 people up on this mountain.
The sky was clear, great view on the stars. At 3:00 am the mountain huts opened and the girls went inside for ramen. I stayed outside and kept our place which was in the first row. The mountain started to fill up and there was a huge crowd on the trail; must have been hundreds of headlight. After I have been chattering with the teeth for almost 4 hours at 5:03 the sun raised.
And again this was feeling I cannot describe. And with the sun it becomes warmer – everybody is happy and impressed. There are so many people on the mountain that it is impossible to walk freely. In my experience it was more crowded as Shinjuko-Station in Tokyo during rush hour. The girls were too tired for hike around the crater – and they were cold. We checked the walky-talkies and then they went down again while I continued the hiking on the north side of the mountain. There was still little snow, it was cold but no wind and I was wearing my warm winter hiking glows, hat, 2 fleece jackets, long underwear, Gore-Tex jacket and pants. While moving I felt warm but due to thin air each step was difficult to go. I was moving slowly. While hiking around the crater I could see all the other mountains around this area, some of them I already have climbed. They looked like islands in an ocean of clouds. And on the clouds the shade of Fujisan – a great view and feeling!
The highest point was crowded again – hikers had to wait in a row for a picture on the top. After checking all viewpoints from the weather station at剣が峰 Kengamine (3.776 m) I continued hiking on the south side back to吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou, from where I returned to 5th Station. And again the way down was so long…
All the time we kept in contact by walky-talky and meet at the station. The girls arrived there about one hour earlier and took a nap in front of the tourist shop until I arrived. We walked back to the car (no bus) – our feet were tired – and soon departed. I stopped at the highway-rest area to by a coffee. When I opened the car door and stepped out it was like I was hit by a wall – 38 degree! Now we really felt warm again. After two and a half hours drive we arrived safe in Takasaki.
富士山Fujisan 21./22. Aug 2010
Start 河口瑚口五合目 Kawaguchikoguchigogoume (5th. Station) 6:00 pm Aug 2.304 m
Trail 7th Station 7:20 pm 2.700 m
Trail 八合目 太子館 Taishi Tate Augen Hachigō 9:00 pm 3.100 m
Trail 八合目 10:45 pm 3.250 m
Top 吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou 1:15 am 3.700 m
Trail 吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou 5:45 am 3.700 m
Top 剣が峰 Kengamine 6:30 am 3.776 m
Trail 吉田口頂上 Yoshidaguchichijoujijou 7:30 am 3.700 m
Finish 河口瑚口五合目 Kawaguchikoguchigogoume (5th. Station) 10:00 am 2.304 m
Duration: 16 h Distance: 16 km Height: 1.476 m