Sunday, May 4, 2014

How Not to Climb Fuji: #2

So we've already covered How Not to Climb Mt. Fuji #1, Wait Until the Last Minute

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol /

Now it is time for #2

2.  Do No Physical Conditioning

Part of the reason climbing Fuji is so popular is because it is totally doable even for a beginner.

But that doesn't mean it is just a walk in the park.

It is a very long way up and a very long way down.

At high elevation.

We meant to prepare.  We intended to do some shorter mountain hikes near home in the weeks preceeding our climb.  We meant to be working out daily leading up to the climb.

But it was a busy time (see post #1) and blah, blah, blah.

The truth is, I was the only member of the family who was regularly working out at the time.  Oldest Girl was frequently walking home the 2 miles from school and the Professor walked a lot in the normal course of his work but... the other two were essentially couch potatoes.

"We'll do a lot of hiking during our vacation in Guam," we said.  "There are lovely mountains in Guam."

It is true there are lovely mountains in Guam.  But the reality of tropical heat and humidity hit us harder than we expected and the lure of the lovely beaches and snorkeling was strong--too strong for us to resist.

We started up that mountain about 6 am full of energy and enthusiasm.  We were hiking with several other boy scout families and we were a chipper bunch.  Many of the scouts and siblings had participated in our Vacation Bible School so we even sang some VBS songs as we climbed.

We had perfect weather, warm but not hot, sunny clear skies.  Most horror stories about Fuji involve rain, fog and cold temperatures.  Not us.  It was beautiful.

I hadn't really thought much about the experience of hiking Fuji.  It was more of an item to be checked off a too do list.  But I must say I really enjoyed the hike up.  Honestly,  I throughly enjoyed the hike up.  Way, way more than I expected to.

Unfortunately, what goes up must come down.  But more on that later.

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