Monday, August 23, 2010

Mount Fuji - A lifetime journey

Known as the symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is one of the most beautiful thing you will notice on a clear day in Tokyo. A symmetrical shaped mountain dressed with the ice (Not in Summer). When you look at it, it's unparalleled beauty will attract you like anything. Staring at it when you get to know you can climb on it your instinct of concurring it will not be quite untill you get to the top. This is exactly what happened to me just 2 years back in the office. Since then i was trying and trying hard to climb it. But unfortunately the plan never get materialize but this time i had better luck. During a conversation between me and my office colleague i shown my desire in climbing mount Fuji. Suddenly I've got the response with confidence i was dying to listen since last 2 year i.e. "Yes" let's go to mount Fuji. Without making further delay i capitalize this opportunity and planned everything. Since then at least we 2 were fixed to climb the Fuji. Later we hear from so many people to join us but all of them quit due to some reason. Finally it was Syam who joined us to this fabulous trip.
Me, Kawamura and Syam were the final destined people who started the 2 day trip to climb the mount Fuji. (The point to be noticed here is that I was going with at least 25% less preparation. Now what does this mean? I did not have all the required stuff. E.g I was using regular sports shoes instead of the tracking shoes, my bad). We started our journey around 10 AM on Saturday with all geared stuff and food. Syam took the Mickey Mouse pillow too, for fun. On our way we cruised through the national highway with quite good experience, seriously long tunnels, amazing mesmerizing natural beauty of Hakone and clouds. Around 1:30 PM we reached to the 5th station of Mount Fuji which is at 2000 meter altitude. The moment I walked out of the car I was blown away by the view. It was completely wonderful. In addition to the view, the beautiful clouds and cool weather was making it absolutely different.  We stayed there for almost 6 hours. Within 1 hour of our arrival, it started raining. Now this started bothering me because if it rains, things will be more difficult due to sliding rocks. With all grace of God the rain stopped. I took my coffee and around 8’o clock we started out journey. All the way we chanted konichiwa or konbanwa (Japanese way of saying good afternoon and good evening sometime also refer to hello). First aprx 20 minute we were surrounded by  the trees and feeling very warm after that we reached to the open space, now it was clear with fresh air and little cool. On the way, we drunk water ate biscuits and chocolate. When I reached 6th station I never imagined that I will encounter such a huge crowd. Never mind, now it was the time for dinner and some hot drink (I took Miso soup) and we climbed and climbed and climbed with little interval of rest. We planned to reach to the top to see the sunshine but who know what ones have in fortune. By the time we should have been at the ninth station we reached only 7.5th station. Our partner syam was dead tired and lost his stamina to go further. We settled to let him stay at 7.5th station and then we kind of ran to reach to the top. Around 4:30 AM we stepped at 9th main station just one station down to the top station. We decided to stay there, see the sunrise and then move ahead. We had some remaining time for sunrise so we searched for a good place to relaxed and shoot. Now it was the time. The sun was rising, ripping the cloud river and making Japan again a bright and sunny day. After the heavenly look it was the time to start again. Moving from 9 to top station was the worst part of tracking. It was heavily crowded, it seemed that some military training was also planned so there was a battalion of these guys also. The one liner trail was expanded to 3 liner trail making it hell dangerous. As compared to our previous climbing speed we were crawling now. During climbing, at some places I was almost out of breath due to lack of oxygen (this was a unique experience). Crawling almost 3 hour we reached to the top of the mountain around 8:30 AM. I was deadly starving out there. I took odone (Japanese food) and later moved to the crater side. The crater looked awesomely dangerous. I literally saw the layer of burned mud, scattered ice, volcanic ashes and rocks. To my surprised (Even though I expected) the mobile network at the top was live but the data speed was too slow to update Facebook J. After 1 hour we moved back to come down assuming that Syam must be waiting there. But the assumption was failed when we called him at 7.5th station. He was already moved from there. So we decided to meet at fifth station. On the way back to fifth station he called and ask for a trail on which he was travelling down. When I saw the map, I was OMG, and why because he took a trail which was almost 45 degree and far away from our meeting point. All the way we came down, coordinated a lot, searched him a lot due to some miscommunication between us and finally we met at Kawaguchi station (This searching scenarios is a altogether a story in itself which involved adventure, discovery, police and so on). All the way long, I reached back to home with all screaming, crying and burning muscles. Along with this whole lot of nice, unique, lifetime amazing experience which I never expected. After God, thank to all (Specially Kawamura) who made it possible. I don’t know what next lies in my fortune which can be compared with this experience but one thing I have already finalized and that is ladakh in India. So whoever is interested hold your horses and wait for me to come back to India J. Till then, Good bye to all my happy readers.
Cheers - Anwarul