Ascent to Fuji-san-Just below the 9th station on 2009-07-21

Climber: Paul Nitkowski

Date:Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Fuji-san - Just below the 9th station
    Elevation:3500 m / 11483 ft
    Remaining Elevation:275 m / 905 ft (4% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

We left with a group of 19 plus a Fuji mountain guide early in the morning and made our way to the 7th station by about 5 PM. We stayed at a mountain hut until about midnight and then hit the trail to the top in the night darkness. Our plan was to hit the summit as the sun rose over the horizon. When we started up in the dark the wind was very very strong. We needed to do a bit of scrambling over the rocks on the way up and the wind was strong enough to push us off balance as we scrambled on the rocks, especially in a few areas that were exposed as we ducked in and out of the cowl on the way up. We cleared 3,500 meters with only a few hundred meters of elevation left to climb, when we started to notice groups making their way down the ascent trail. The groups making their way down reported that the ascending the summit would be impossible (dangerous) due to the weather conditions. Our guide made a decision to stop short of the summit and await the sunrise from a point protected from the wind. We were all a bit more than dissapointed with the decision. Upon our return, however, we read thenews reports that two climbers had died of exposure due to the weather condition at about the 9th station, actually they were already dead that night when we on the mountain near that point. Although dissappointed we couldn't make the summit this time, in retrospect it was probably a prudent decision by our guide and reinforced a point that we shouldn't take ANY mountain lightly
Summary Total Data
    Route:Yoshida Trail
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Extremely Windy

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