Here are some images from and related to the June 2008 High Country article about Scott and Denice Toney heading to Mt. Fuji.
Just in case we forgot where we, and seemingly everyone else in Japan, was headed in the middle of the night, we had a few clues along the way.
Along the way to the top was a series of huts that served as convinince store, bathroom and motel. For a few dollars ( a few hundred yen) you could get a beer or some noodles. For $50, you could get a sleeping bag and a mat to lie on.
Denice poses at the last Tori (gate) before reaching the top of Fujisan. The sun is threatening to rise before we make it to the top. Fortuantly we beat the sunrise by a few minutes.
The gathered crowd takes in the sunrise at the top of Fujisan. It was a crowd primarily mad up of Japanese, but there were travelers from around the world as well. It is difficult to estimate the size of the crowd. 1000 would be a good guess.
The top of Fuji boasted a bustling market. Big sellers were hot coffee, Sake, beer and noodles. Any kind of souvenir you could imagine was also available, for a price.
Everyone, including Scott and Denice, posed for a picture by the Tori on the peak. The coins pushed into the cracks were an offering and the bells hanging on the ribbons were for luck in climbing.
As is often the case, the hike down was difficult and miserable. The view was spectacular, as to be expected from the highest point in the land. Directly ahead in this picture is one of the huts visited the night before.
The switchbacks down from the top were steep and dusty. Luckily, someone in Japan had done some good planning. There was a separate trail for going up. No wondering about right of way on the hike.
The fine volcanic dust reminded you with each step that Fuji is a cinder cone volcano. That dust never comes completely out of some articles of clothing.
Denice taking a break to enjoy the view.
Near the bottom, everyone just wanted to get back to the fifth station. The train ride back to Tokyo was going to be a great time to catch a few z’s after an all night climb.
Scott and Denice at the top of Baldy in 1990. Little did they know that friendships formed at Philmont would lead them around the world.
Denice Checking out the view of the Baldy saddle.
Denice Looking at Eagle’s Nest and the Moreno Valley.