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Mt Fuji ascent.

9 July 2016

Mt Fuji is a cantankerous old bugger of a volcano. The Japanese really do describe it as a beloved yet cranky grandpa. There are good reasons for that characterisation. Here are my experiences of climbing the face of a 3km tall grumpy volcano.

Mt Fuji itself casts an iconic shape. There is no other mountain like it in Japan. But it's not a pretty mountain. It's kind of rust coloured, and that's about it.

It's common for people to summit Fuji a little before dawn, to see the sun rise over the land. It's the most picturesque way to appreciate the otherwise lackluster view. Some people will start climbing at 10pm (not recommended by the local guides); others climb during the daylight and camp overnight in a mountain hut and wake at 3am to complete the ascent. That's what I chose to do.

You can only climb Fuji in the summer months. Even then, the conditions can be wildly variable. It can get down to 0 degrees on the top, regardless of the temperature at sea level.

There are five separate tracks up the mountain. Since receiving World Heritage status, there's apparently been an influx of money for preserving the mountain, as there are currently loads of earthworks taking place to solidify the Yoshida walking track. 

 

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