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Archive for September, 2010

The conquering of Fuji-san!!

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Konnichi wa!

How is everyone doing? We are all doing fine here.  As some of you know, my mom  had went to the states back in August.   She went for my great grandma’s 95th birthday and for my grandma’s surgery. Love you Grandma and Nana!!!  While she was gone, we did something that made us very sore.

So now to get to the sore part. As only a few of you know, while my mom was gone we decided that we were going to climb Fuji-san, or better known to Americans as Mt. Fuji. So, we had decided when we came here to Nihon (Japan), we said we wanted to climb it, but my mom said “No! I’m not climbing it!”. So when we found out that my mom was going to the states for 3 weeks (I MISSED YOU MOMMY!!!), we decided that we would take this time to climb Fuji-san, so we did. The day my mom left, on Thursday we got ready for church and went to the Outdoor Rec center and sat through the Fuji briefing and contemplated whether we wanted to do the overnight climb OR the day climb. So we finally decided to do the overnight trip. Then, while we were there, my dad decided to get some of our things like our backpacks, trekking poles, hiking boots, and things like that. So now we fast-foward to early Tuesday morning. We were supposed to leave our house at about 8 am so we could be at the base at 8:30. But the thing was, I woke up at 4 am. I went downstairs and tried to get some more sleep (key word  being TRIED!!!) So I couldn’t sleep anymore and finally when my dad came downstairs and we called my mom, I went upstairs to get Beck and then I got dressed. Then we started getting all of our things together. When we got ready and got all of our things out to the van, we took off toward the base all saying how we couldn’t believe that we were actually on our way to climb Fuji-san. We got to the ODR (Outdoor Rec) center and got on the bus and at 9 am, we headed toward Fuji-san. here are a few things we saw on the way to Fuji.

We think this is the Fujiku Highland.



Now, we fast-foward to about 11 am. We are now at the 5th station of Fuji-san. We got out of the bus and went to the store where we got our Fuji mountain climbing sticks, which by the way are totally cool!!! So we got our sticks  and headed toward the starting line. But first, we stopped here.


And here is looking toward the top of the mountain.



And here Beck and I stand at the gate that leads to the path to the mountain of the great Fuji-san.


And then my dad and Beck in the same spot.


And here is my dad and I in the same spot.



And here is the beginning of the path that starts the treck up the mountain.


And look at how low the clouds were. I mean, seriously, we weren’t up THAT far on the mountain. Only the 5th station. Which from the ground is up there a bit, but not horribly high.



And this is not at the very beginning, but close enough. This was our landmark that we were getting closer to the gate on our way back.


And this is basically what we were walking through. It wasn’t quite that bad, but close enough.





And here is a picture of Beck and I sitting at maybe the 6th station.


And this was the next time I was able to stop long enough to get my camera out. See, we were sorta on a schedule. We had to be to the 8 1/2 station by 6:00 p.m. to eat supper.  So we only stopped long enough to take a gulp or two of water, go to the bathroom, and get going again.



And this, if I remember correctly, was one of the walls that we climbed beside. Then looking up toward to top trying to see our goal and seeing how the distance kept getting shorter. As you can see, by now we were above most of the clouds.



Okay, actually, scratch what I just said about us being above most of the clouds.



And this is part of the trail.


And we stopped at the bottom of the previous picture. At this point, Beck and I were getting altitude sickness, although Beck’s was a little worse than mine. So both of the guides said it would probably be best if we stopped there at the 8th station.

So that being said, this picture is looking over to where we crossed over to head back down the mountain. Here you can see people standing there, along with the signs pointing the directions of the trails. One was a utility trail or something like that, and the other was the decent trail.


And this was looking straight out from the cabin where we were staying that night.


And this is looking up toward the 8 1/2 station. Looking back at how far we had come, it really wasn’t too much further, but we just didn’t have it in us to go the reat of the way.


And this is all three of us in our bunk. First I have to tell you all about this place. So we get in and take our bags upstairs to where the bunks were and put all the bags in our cubby. And for the bunks, there were 2 levels of bunks. On the bottom, which was on the floor, were about 20 sleeping bags with little pillows that were filled with beans (at least it felt that way).  Then on the top, it was basically the same: 20 sleeping bags with the little pillows. SO we set all our things down and the guy shows us where our beds will be. So we crawl up there to sleep until supper time. We get up there and see two guys laying there next to where my dad was going to lay. So it was this older man, this younger guy, my dad, Beck, and then me. Then the younger guy looks at my dad and says something along the lines of “You speak English”. We smile and my dad says, “Yes Yes”. So then the guy starts talking to my dad, asking him all these different question like, do we like Japan and if we’ve ever climbed Mt. Fuji again. Then he asks my dad is Beck and I enjoyed climbing Mt. Fuji and while Beck and I are nodding our heads yes, my dad says that yes, we were enjoying ourselves. Then the man replies that many teenage girls that climb complain a lot. Then he looks at us and asks, “Do you like your dad?” We said, “Yes, we do” then we laugh, thinking he was just messing around. But he says that many Japanese teenage girls do not like their fathers. We said, “Yes we do like our dad.” Then he asked if we wanted him to take our picture. Of course we agreed!


So after a few minutes of chatting, we all lay down and sleep for about 45 minutes to an hour, till they came to tell us that it was time to eat.

Oh yeah, here are the cubbies.


And here is the changing room. Yes there was just a curtin surrounding an area that was about 3.5 feet wide, or so. But the curtain pulled all the way around and then snapped on both sides.


And here is…the back of Becks’ head, my dad, and you can see where the other two men were.


And here you can see the beds. the sleeping bags were down at the bottom folded in thirds.


And here we are eating. You can see the back of one of the guys shirts in the background.


And here is our curry and gohan (rice) that we had that night.


Sorry for the glare in this picture, but there is a fillet of fish, a hot dog type thing, some green beans, and some other type of vegetable that I don’t know the name of.


And here is a little bean cake type thing. I don’t remember the name of them, but most of the time they are in the shape of a fish, but these were in the shape of Fuji-san.


And then they gave us this stuff to pour into our green tea that would help relax our muscles. I normally don’t drink green tea, but I downed that stuff because I didn’t want to be horribly sore the next morning.

So now, this was the sun set that night. It is so pretty and beautiful, that there are almost no words to describe it. It looked fake.





And this is the hill that we were going to have to climb up to go down the next morning. Looking off to the left of the second picture, it almost makes you think, “Hm, if I slip and roll off this mountain, I’m going to roll until I either hit a boulder or some flat land, either of which I could end up with a broke arm/leg/neck.”  But it was still cool to look off over the edge.



And here you can see the sky, the clouds, and the mountain all in one glance.



And some more of the setting sun and the low clouds.


And here is how much vegetation was up that high…close to nothing.



And here you can see that the have the metal roofs on the huts but then they attach boards of all different sizes to the metal roofs by using a metal pole or pipe of some sort. Probably because they didn’t want to lose the roofs when the wind got strong.



And here is the sign pointing up to the summit.


And here we just wanted our picture on the mountain with the rest of the mountain behind us. This was after we ate that night and we were just watching the sun set. Like our sandals?


And here, in these next few, if you look closely and through the clouds, you can see the lights of the city below us.






And here you can see this very brave guy doing something I would NEVER do… actually he was calling down to the other people coming up. They were yelling, “Daijoubu desu ka”, or “Are you okay” and there was something else they said but I didn’t catch all that.


And this is where we ate breakfast the next morning, which is the same place we ate supper the night before.


And here, this is the little drink bar type thing. They had coffee, green tea, water (and it was Fuji spring water), and a couple other things for sale there. The guy in the back noticed at the last second that I was taking their picture, so he smiled real quick.


And here are some pictures of pictures of Fuji.



And this is like an observatory or something somewhere. Sorry that doesn’t give you much information but that’s all I know about it.



And here is our bunks.


And then we went to sleep after that. It was about 8 p.m. or so and we slept till I think about 4:30 the next morning. Then we got up and got ready so we could start heading down the mountain.

Ok, so before I show you the next several pictures, I have to tell you about something that God allowed my to see. So I got up to go to the restrooms, which were not in the hut, and on my way back I saw this flash. I thought someone was taking a picture until I realized it was over the clouds. Then I thought it just looked over that way because I didn’t have my glasses on and everything was blurred. Then I squinted and looked a little better and I saw the actual lightning bolts…from above the clouds. We could all see where they were going down and everything. It looked SO AWESOME!!!

Ok, back to the pictures. Here are some of the most awesomest pictures EVER!!! This is the sun rise from the 8th station. I won’t be telling all about it since its mostly all clouds and the sun rise.






And here is Beck TRYING to keep a straight face.


And more clouds.


And finally the sun decided to peak its head up over the clouds. The sea of clouds. It was so beautiful!!!






And here we are standing next to the sun.


And the sun, which does not shine as bright as the Son!!


And the Beck and I with the sun between us (and the Son in us!! Had to add that in). Sorry you can’t really see our faces. In the second picture you can.  Then there is a picture of all three of us.




And here is part of the trail that we walked down. And to let you understand what we were walking on, the trial was all made from ash. Some of it was packed down but most of it was more loose In the first picture, the trail is on the left, whith the wall on the right. In the second picture, the one guy on the right is zig-zagging down the trail. Some said it was easier to do that. To me on the loose parts, it was easier to zig zag, but on the packed areas, I could do either.



And this is looking over the edge of the mountain. In the second picture, you can see mountain, meadow, clouds, then sky all in one.





Here, the zig zags are the ascent trail, and we are looking from the descent trail.


And here you can see the vegetation getting thicker as we go downward.


And this is looking back where we came from. Good thing we weren’t Lot and his family because we kept looking back to see how far we had come!!



And here is one of the overhangs we had to go under or at least walk right up against. They had these there to protect people from landslides.


And more looking over the mountain.


And here you can see the trail, the people, and one of the horses that they use to take people a short ways up.


And here you can see the 5th station, where we would be able to relax. I zoomed WAY in on here but this is where it would have been good to see a sign that said, “Caution: objects in view are closer than they appear”.


And here is one of the carriages that they take you up in groups just a ways up.


And here we are at the finish line. We were so tired. But my dad wanted this picture so he went up ahead and snapped these.



So, my friends, this is the story of our climb of Fuji-san. We had so much fun and used so many scripture, like “We can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us” and something about keeping our eyes on the goal. But it was very educational and taught us that even when we want to stop right when the going gets tough, we need to be the tough that get going and to keep pushing ourselves because we can go further than we though we would be able to go. And when we do get that far, we will be glad that we pushed ourselves. And it definately was worth it all. I was trying to decide on the way up if the sun rise was actually going to be worth it all, but now I can say it was.

Well, that is all I have for now!! Please come back for whatever is up next!!