Friday, September 23, 2011

Beach party on Mt Fuji...

Amanda, Christina Collazo, me, Brian Guzman, and Ian at 6am at the start of our hike to Mt Fuji's summit.  You can see the enthusiasm in everyone's face's still.  This picture is also very deceiving making Fuji look a lot smaller than it actually is.  We were so WRONG!  Don't under estimate it...
We started the journey back in Yokosuka at 2am with 9 people.  After an eventful drive with 2 different vans up to Fuji, we somehow got separated and ended up at 2 different trail heads on the opposite sides of the mountain.  The Subashiri Trail is definitely more advanced and rocky.  We had to take a shuttle from the parking lot at the 1st station to the 5th station where we started the hike.  There's no turning back now...
It turned out to be a beautiful morning for the climb!  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  This is the view from the 5th station.
Amanda and Christina getting our Mt Fuji walking sticks at the 5th station.
Playing around while resting early on in the hike.  
The girls and I.  You couldn't even see the top through the clouds.   The group is already hurting at this point and we haven't even made it to the 6th station.
Still having fun at this point!
You got a stamp at each station.  Each trail has different stamps at each station.  Ours were mainly rectangle shapes with random Japanese characters.  Each stamp was 200 yen... think about how much money they would make in a single day! 
Still only at the 6th station?!?!?  It kept faking us out with multiple 6th, 7th, and 8th stations.  You would think you're getting closer to the top, but you still have a long way to go!
The group at one of the 7th stations just as the fog started rolling in.
At one of the 8th stations.  We're so close!
The scenery on Mt Fuji was a lot of volcanic rock with some greenery.  Not too much to look at other than the clouds.  Luckily we had big billowing clouds that day, but that meant we couldn't see into the surrounding towns. 
I made it!!!  Just a few more steps through the torri gate was the summit!  What a feeling of accomplishment at this point!  3776m and 6hrs later
We're above the clouds on top of the world!
OK, so most people do the traditional shot on top of Fuji... I'm not most people.  Yes, I decided to wear my swimsuit at the summit.  How many other people can say they've worn their swimsuit at the top of Mt Fuji?  ...That's what I thought.  We were supposed to have a beach party with the rest of the group, but my group was passed out on a bench and the other group was on the other side of the crater still. 
They made it!  Beach party it is!
Byron Bandonell, Tommy Wong, Kayla Horton, me, Tony Coleman, and Christina Collazo.

The whole group all bundled up at the top.  There was a storm rolling in at this point.  As soon as the clouds  went in front of the sun, the temp dropped about 20 degrees, but otherwise it was actually pretty warm at the top and I got a sunburn. 
Amanda and I at the top.  She was hating her knees at this point and we were both wishing we would have actually slept a few hours the night before.  We we going strong on about 30hrs of no sleep... not smart. 
The crater at the top of Mt Fuji wasn't much to look at.  Just a lot of volcanic rock.
Amazing picture on the summit before the storm rolled in.

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