it doesnt look so intimidating from the shinkansen... but once you get to the station its like... whoa. we got there in the evening and our plan was to get to the top by sunrise. it was past midnight when we started climbing...
man we were so juiced in the beginning. all of our gears on our backs and stuff lol. we got to the first checkpoint-ish place and got a paper map thing that outlined the climb to the top with all the distances, heights, etc. along with approximated times to each of the other checkpoints to the top. we were like 'sweet. we're kicking ass at our rate. we'll be able to make it up there with like an hour time to spare.'
so it's pitch black up on fuji, and the only light source we had was this dinky keychain-sized LED light thing lol. i think it was better that way because the would-be view of the top of the mountain from our low position would have been like 'ohshi-' for us haha.
how we will never take air for granted again:
as we were passing up the checkpoint stations we saw that each little hut station thing sold jerky, water, gloves, other mountain gear stuffs, and oxygen can things haha. we were all laughing and taking pictures of it and stuff, thinking some of the older climbers might need to use it maybe... so we just chuckled along our way... as we reached the above-the-clouds level though, we were like, man... its uh, kinda hard to breathe up here... and by the time we were nearly at the top we were like, omg, we NEED those air things man... like we is gonna black out if we dont suck one of those air can dudes lol. anyway, it was ridiculous. first time in my life i felt that way before... the feeling of having not enough air to breathe, or like... trying to fill my lungs as much as possible but without the satisfaction of a deep breath... it was crazy stuff.
on the brighter side of things, the weather was beautiful and the scenery was incomparable to anything else ive ever set my eyes upon. took a bunch (27 to be exact lol) of disposable camera photos which i feel obliged to post here haha. i'll post like 2 now hehe.
oh yea, so as the above pix shows we got these stick things, right? well we got them at the bottom of the mountain at this shop right, but in this picture (this is the last threshold torii thing before the top) im not holding one~ and that's because as we were taking a rest, covering our heads with a blanket and so obscuring our eyes, some stickless cousin came around and swiped mine. how ghetto is that? i was reminded of a starving animal's mentality kinda... where some dude was prolly like, 'damn should have got a stick... need stick badly... will not make it without one!' /yoink
anyway, it was all gravy, made the last stretch plus all the way back down without the stick... but i paid 1000yen for it! i even attached a pink glowstick to the top! darn that! theres no 'oh i mistook it for mine' possibility there... ah well... hope that punk got hurt on the mountain!
top of the mountain:
again, that picture of us celebrating right? well we only took it because we found out that we were on the very last staircase to the top lol. i think i remember myself saying, 'dude they like... pump this part of the mountain with like, extra oxygen or something man... i can like, totally breathe fine now man...' lol. we were tripping out pretty bad. all i remember after getting to the top was taking a bunch of pictures, watching this white dude pee on a random rock like 3 meters away from me, then i fell asleep on a bench outside. i think i slept for an hour? but when i woke up, it felt like i had fallen in some kind of... temporal vortex... all the events of climbing and picture-taking and getting to the top seemed like a dream and i felt as if i wasnt really on the top yet.
i forced myself to eat, but after a few bites, i just couldnt swallow the food in my mouth lol. i wasnt nauseated or anything, but the food was just sitting in my mouth and i couldnt get myself to chew or swallow. it kinda feels like trying to pee again after having peed 5 minutes previously? haha.
i mindlessly bought omiyage and soon after we began our trek down around 3pm.
we got to the bottom at like... 700-something pm? lol.
the way down was a zig-zagging kind of ordeal... we got to enjoy the scenery more, and didnt have to take breaks as often as we did on the way up (i swear the last hundred feet up was like... we had to take a break every 8 meters).
we managed to catch a bus to the station and the rest of the way back to civilization was... mindlessly traveled lol.
final thought: ive never pushed my body to its physical limits as i did climbing fuji. fuji isnt just this pretty, perfect background mountain that you can see from the shinkansen. it's a beast!!! im never gonna climb that thing again lol. glad i got nice omiyage hehe.