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No place like home...Thank goodness !!! For those of you that know us, you'll already know the story, basically we decided that we've both worked enough (I've been working for 11 years, Danielle for 11 Months) and that we deserve some long overdue R&R and decided to take in some sights....enjoy

The Big Climb of Fuji-San!

JAPAN | Wednesday, 25 July 2007 | Views [1780]

The day had finally arrived to climb Mount Fuji - after a day at the Sumo Tournament and a long and tedious train journey, in rush hour, arriving in Kawaguchi at 2200hrs we were both well prepared to get up an go...sort of!

The day started well when we boarded the wrong bus to take us to the 5th Station of the Mountain (where you begin the climb from) and when we realised had to RUN back to the bus stop to catch the next one! We caught the bus at 1100hrs (why leave TOO early?!) and got up to the 5th station around 1200hrs, where it was a gorgeous sunny day (it pays to be above the clouds, even if we didn`t have a view to speak of!).

We had our snacks, water, o2, warm clothes, waterproofs, walking sticks (which we got stamped the whole way up to the top), mascara, ipod and wireless headphones (James) and were good to go!! I was actually quite excited!

The climb to the 6th station was a breeze, and the views of the clouds were stunning! It was like the view you get from an aeroplane, but even more spectacular. Then heading up to the 7th station, we actually had to climb (thank god for my gbp5 `climbing` shoes and James` Asics trainers!), using our hands at some points! It was good though, better than just hiking up that`s for sure! It definitely kept it interesting, but not for the light hearted, in some areas it was quite difficult, especially at that altitude!

Climbing to the 8th station wasn`t much different to climbing to the 7th station, but then from there to our hotel (located at the old 8th station, 3400m up) it started to get cold. Most people stayed further down, so the paths were all clear, but the altitude definitely kicked in and it was a difficult hour or so! Nothing compared to what we would face the next morning though....

We had our usual `rice and brown stuff` meal at the Fujisan hotel (not really a hotel - the beds were long bunks where you slept quite closely together, although it wasn`t full, so luckily we didn`t have to share air with too many people) to bed around 1900hrs, we were both shattered after the day`s climb and eager to get some zzzzzzzs in before getting up at 0230hrs to get to the summit (around 90mins climb away). It didn`t really work, we chatted to some guys from NZ for a bit, James watched `Cars` on his Ipod.....but we couldn`t sleep AT ALL!! At 0100hrs we decided to cut our losses and got up for some hot chocolate to wake us up!

We set off around 0200hrs, amongst hundreds of other people! It was really surreal, all the torches in the pitch black made it feel like we were miners heading off to work the mines! The climb itself wasn`t too hard, but the altitude made breeathing really difficult, and I had to break into our Oxygen supply (although it didn`t last long because the oxygen mask blew away and rendered it useless!!). I was actually the coldest I have EVER been in my whole life!  It was chucking it down, windy, we only have waterproofs tops and our trousers were sodden right through two layers, and our trainers were wet through! To top it all off, it was so busy that you could only take two steps and then had to stop....About 20m from the top I broke down in tears!

But WE MADE IT!! WOHOO!!!! We reached the summit at around 0400hrs , bustled into the nearest log cabin and warmed up on corn soup (Dan) and coffee (James)...well, I say warmed up, but it was so cold and we were so wet, it didn`t really do much! I didn`t venture out of the hut for sunrise, but it was so cloudy you couldn`t see a thing anyway! It just got light!! haha!!

We sacked off the idea of walking around the crater and made a run for it down the descent route to try and warm up our bones! Plus someone had stolen my rain coat, so James (being the gentlemen that he is - love you!!) gave me his poncho and left himself open to the elements. The volcanic rock made it almost impossible to walk down normally, so we had to dig our heels to stop ourselves falling over for most of the way! It was beautiful when the sun finally came out though, and heaven to see trees growing!

We reached the 5th station at around 0800hrs...what better way to spend the hour before our bus arrived that to do a bit of retail therapy!!

We reached our hotel around 1030 and the lovely guy there let us check in 6hrs early, opened the showers for us (only open at certain times in traditional Japanese places) and within the hour I was passed out on my futon! Jamess (bless his cottons...) did all the washing and hung out the clothes to dry!

So that was that....we stayed an extra day to recover, but surprisingly didn`t have any aching bones, just a massive spell of tiredness!

WE CLIMBED MOUNT FUJI!!!!! 21st-22nd July 2007!!

Check out my trainers - full of holes!

Check out my trainers - full of holes!

Tags: Mountains


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