After my talk on friday at ISIT '03, I made my way toward Mt. Fuji. In
Tokyo I met up with a group with the same plan, and we all took the last
bus of the day to Fuji's 5th station.

Brian, Yoko, Zach, Ian, and me at the 5th station (go-gome), getting ready
to start climbing at 10pm.

It was dark, with strong wind and rain at times, but the crowds were
certainly out. We could see a stream of lights going up the side of the
mountain all the way to the top, partly from rest stations, partly from

Three hours after we started, we're at 3100m. We started at about 2300m
and the summit is at 3776m, so 800 down, less than 700 to go. The lack of
oxygen and sleep was definitely noticeable at this point, but overall we
were doing alright.

Another 3 hours later, looking down on the valley and the sunrise from the
rim of the summit crater.

Looking over toward the actual peak, on the other side of the crater. It's
still too dark to really make out any details.

Another view of the sun rising.

Zach enjoying the view from the top.

Same picture, different camera settings.

Another shot of the sunrise.

The stream of people coming to the summit.

More sunrise.

A 360 degree pan from the rim.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

My attempt to get Brian, Yoko, and Ian on the final stretch. It was a bit
dark and my hand was not exactly steady, with the lack of oxygen, lack of
sleep, and 40 degree (F) temperatures, so there was some blurring.

Enjoying the sunrise.

Yoko smiling from the top.

The sun is finally up.

The gateway to the top.

Now we can see the true summit and the crater more clearly. The snow was
a bit dirty, but I still kind of wish I'd brought my snowboard -- the old
beat up one, that is.

The trail back down, looking over the clouds.

Zach and I headed over to the summit, where the snow was still plentiful.

It was hard to tell just where the actual peak was, with the buildings and
fences and stuff. There was a bolt in the rock here, so maybe this is the

Zach on the (probable) summit.

Sharing the peak.

Panning across the summit crater as some guy stands near the "peak."

Looking down as the clouds start rolling in.

Panning over the valley below from partway down.

Fuji seemed to be by far the tallest peak around, with nice views over the
entire surrounding region.

Back at go-gome. After 2 hours or so of decent, which was almost more
difficult than the ascent, we're ready to catch a bus home and sleep. When
I got back to the hotel, it was 3pm. I lay down and slept soundly for a
full 8 hours, and then slept another 8 until it was 7am the next morning.
I now understand the second part of "He who never climbs Fuji is a fool,
and he who climbs it twice is twice the fool."

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