Fujisan: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Fujisan from the Air
Fujisan from the Air

According to an article by Ken Belson in this weekend’s Travel section of the NYTimes, the number of climbers on Fujisan has increased 15% since Unesco declared the mountain a World Heritage site on June 22nd of this year.

Apparently 320,000 climbers attempted the summit last year, including 25 who died in the attempt (I tried, but failed, to find out more about the deaths, such as in which season the climbers were on the mountain).

I climbed Fujisan two years ago, on September 11th which is just outside the official climbing season. A) We had a great climb, under ideal conditions, and summited in time for “goraiko”: sunrise over the Pacific. B) I’m glad I never have to do it again. Truth be told, and it’s been told by many before me, the climb itself is a slog both ways. For the record, Rishiridake off the north coast of Hokkaido is still my favourite climb…


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