Is easily my greatest (at least physical) accomplishment. It took 7 hours to reach the summit and 5 more to go back down. At 12 straight hours of physical activity, it is also an accomplishment I don’t think I will ever attempt to outdo.
In order to reach the summit by sunrise we started climbing around 9:30pm. We took a bus from Shinjuku at 6pm, where it was hot and humid and all we could think about was how much we would love the cold of the mountain.. ha! So we took a bus to the area, then another bus to “level 5” of the mountain, which is where we started the climb from. The summit is level 10.
We got a little worried about L. Ploy for a while there. She got a pretty bad headache from the change in altitude. She had also been out clubbing the two nights before we climbed! Insane right? So she deserves some serious applause for doing this I’d say. Some of the people on the mountain looked really sick. They were using oxygen containers and laying down and throwing up in the bathrooms… glad that didn’t happen to any of us!
It was dark and rocky the whole time so I didn’t take pictures again until we approached the summit. The best part about climbing at night was that we got to see stars! You can never see stars in Tokyo. We all got separated after level 9, which is when the path started getting really congested (seriously, only in Japan). Around 45 minutes from the summit we were barely moving and I actually started to fall asleep – which, once I realized I was, freaked me out enough to give me a burst of energy to finish the climb as fast as I could.
I got to the summit alone just before the sun came up so I got to watch it rise. It was so beautiful and overwhelming that I actually got a little teary.
It was also pretty moving to see all the people admiring the sunrise, clapping, praying, taking pictures. It was a pretty surreal moment.. This sounds cheesy but there seemed to be this immense feeling of peace and togetherness. It only lasted until the sun finished rising though – then it was mayhem and the summit became more crowded than a morning train. -_-
There wasn’t much snow on the top but I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that cold. It might just be because we had stopped moving. As soon as the sun rose though I just wanted to get off that mountain! Haha little did I know how the descent would be..
Photos of that tomorrow!
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