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Mt. Fuji Climb 2011!

August 15, 2011

Dates: Saturday, August 27 at 6:30 pm – August 28 at 3:30 pm

It’s time for ShizAJET’s annual Mt. Fuji Climb! The final price will depend on how many people sign up. Please sign up via the Facebook Event Page. Non-JETs are more than welcome to join us. The DEADLINE to sign up is FRIDAY, AUGUST 19.

See this site for English info about the trail we’re climbing:
http://mountfujiguide.com/guide/Fujinomiya_Trail

Rough schedule:

AUGUST 27, 2011 (Saturday):
  • 6:30pm: depart Shizuoka Station’s south exit (assemble by 6:20, please). 7:30pm: There will be a pickup at Fuji Station (assemble by 7:20, please; bus may be a little late depending on traffic). For each station there will be a group representative, responsible for ensuring that everyone who signed up is there.
  • 9pm: Arrive at the 5th station of the Fujinomiya Trail. Spend about 1 hour acclimating, buy your walking stick, hydrate.
  • 10pm: Start climbing.

AUGUST 28, 2011 (Sunday):

  • 4:30am: Try to arrive at the peak. Note that there will probably be a long line shuffling up from station 9.5, so aim to get to 9.5 by at least 4am.
  • 12:00pm: Bus departs the 5th station. **If you are not back by this time, we WILL leave you up there & you will NOT get a refund on the bus trip. You will also have to pay for a different bus to get back to Fujinomiya Station, and for your train fare from there. AJET will NOT be responsible for you in this case.**
  • ~1:30pm: Bus arrives back at Fuji Station.
  • ~2:30pm: Bus arrives back at Shizuoka Station.
  • Go home & get some rest.
Some information from last year’s event:

Quick Facts about the Fujinomiya Trail

  • Elevation: 2,400m (7,872ft.)
  • Ascent from 5th Station: 5 hrs. (3.7km / 2.3miles)
  • Descent to 5th Station: 2.5 hrs. (3.7km / 2.3miles)
  • Mountain huts (yamagoya) along the trail: 10
  • First Aid Station: 8th Station
  • Sunrise Viewing (Goraiko): From 7th Station onwards

The Fujinomiya Trail is the shortest of all the trails but it is steep. The Fujinomiya trail is also one of the three descent trails. The trail is made of mud, stones, boulders, stairs and steps, scree covered slopes (finely ground scoria), gravel, sand, dirt, rock ridges. Good comfortable walking boots that have been previously “broken-in” are the best type of footwear to use.

The Sheep Stations
The stations on the mountains are usually booked out by tour companies for their clients. There is very little space inside, usually the operators are grumpy, and they charge the earth. You will get stuck behind one of the hundreds of organized tours (often referred to as ‘sheep’) that are on the mountain each day. They are SLOW, hog the path, and each has a tour leader yelling at the top of his/her lungs disturbing the peace. The later you leave the 5th Station, the more crowded it gets.

Cleanliness and Trail Treasures
Starting in 1994, there has been a movement to try and get UNESCO to register Fuji as World Heritage Site. So far the campaign has failed due to the pollution, consisting of garbage and human waste left behind by hikers. Watch out for meadow muffins and yellow snow. Fuji-san operates on a `pack-in, pack-out` basis. You must take all your garbage with you.

Friendly Warning
NEVER leave the marked trail. There are several cliffs just outside the marked areas. Pay close attention to the trail that you are walking on. If you end up on the wrong side of the mountain, expect up to a 2-3 hour walk back, or a 30,000 yen taxi fare to get you where you should be.

The following items should be considered to be essential for climbing Fuji-san:

  • Sturdy comfortable footwear. Boots are preferable for the scree slopes on the descent.
  • Thick, tall socks. These will help cushion your feet during the climb and prevent your keep the mud off your skin.
  • Ankle band: this prevents mud from getting on your legs: just put the ankle band around the bottom of your pants legs.
  • Gloves Preferably ski-gloves, but the white cotton ones that are popular for work in Japan are adequate if nothing else can be found.
  • Adequate head wear. Something to keep your head warm at the top and to protect you from the harsh UV light.
  • Comfortable lightweight non-restrictive clothing for hiking in.
  • Something warm to put over your hiking clothes when resting or stationary at the top.
  • Lightweight hooded rainwear including pants. This is essential!
  • A pack that can easily hold all of your hiking equipment. Place your dry clothes inside a rubbish bag inside the pack. If it rains, your clothes will stay dry.
  • A waterproof flashlight with fresh batteries and a spare bulb. You will be hiking at night for up to 10 hours in complete darkness. Mini-maglites are ideal.
  • Sunscreen.
  • 1 roll of toilet paper. (You know why)
  • Sunglasses.
  • At least 1.5 – 2 litres of water or sports drink.
  • A basic first aid kit. Avoid stocking your kit with aspirin based pain-relievers.
  • A packed meal and enough snacks for the walk. DON`T BRING ALCOHOL as it both dehydrates you and encourages the onset of hypothermia in cold conditions.
  • Money
  • Camera
  • National Health Insurance Card. You`ll be given this by your Board of Ed when you arrive.

Things you should also consider:

  • Purchasing a walking stick from the 5th station. It makes the walk a lot easier plus you can get it branded at top (and every station in between!). It also make a great souvenir of the climb.
  • Locating some hokairo. These are small heater pouches that cost about 100 yen each. They maintain a temperature of about 50-60C for up to 8 hours and are great when you are stationary at the summit. Your predecessor may have some left over from the previous winter.
  • A change of clothes and a kit of basic toiletries to leave on the bus.
  • Polypropylene thermal underwear is ideal for hiking in.

Most of these items can be purchased from your local “home store” or sporting goods store (e.g. Cainz Home, Swen Mont Bell, Sport Authority).

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