Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We survived Mt. Fuji - barely!

Hello everyone! We started climbing Fuji yesterday at 8:30 am and got back to the room at 10:00pm. We had to take a more difficult route due to the snow blocking the trail we had planned to take. There were wind gusts of up to 120 mph!!! One gust started a rock slide and a rock the size of a cooler hit me in the back while I was curled up in a fetal position with Dennis crouched in front of me, holding on. It took us 7.5 hours to climb up and 5 to get back down. So many times I wanted to just throw in the towel but hated to go all that way just to give up. It was sooooo much more difficult than we expected. We used our headlamps to the last half down. Dennis said his legs were shaking all the way down. The trail was full of big lava rocks that you had to go hand over hand and crawl your way up and then back down the same difficult path. We were beyond exhausted! And all that on just some peanut butter crackers and some snacks! The hotel sent us on our way with a breakfast of sea weed, rice , and raw salmon! They call it a Bento Box. We had black dirt caked in our eyes, ears, nose, even our feet were dirty with shoes and socks on. Our legs really hurt today but not as bad as we thought it would be. There were some older Japanese people climbing that were amazing! One younger fella was wearing a cardigan, dress pants and loafers and practically skipped his way to the top!! And there we were with the best of equipment about to die. We could hike just about 50 feet then had to stop to breathe. The whole trail was very steep!The altitude made us a little lightheaded but otherwise we did fine. One lady on the way back down was really bad off. We passed several people on their way up at about 8 pm and we warned them about the terrible winds. We would ago a little ways and here the gusts start up at which point we just had to crouch down and shut our eyes and hold on to whatever we could!!! We were happy to have made it all the way to the top and got to see the actual crater which was amazing!! Glad thats over though!!!Today we are resting and going to see a few things. Will probably go buy our train tickets to Kyoto as well. Miss everyone!

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