Fuji-san Trip Report (#2219)

I was just visiting Japan on a business trip and decided to try an early winter climb of Fuji. The Kawaguchi approach was the only route open up to the 5th station (north side) at this time of year, so this is obviously what we chose. Most of the literature on Fuji I saw beforehand indicated climbing Fuji in the winter meant you had a death wish, but with proper equipment and experience it's a very easy winter climb if the weather cooperates. We hiked up to between the 7th and 8th stations on Saturday afternoon, and set up camp (around 9000 feet altitude) on snow near a long-closed up summer climbers' hut. Departed this base camp at 8am the following morning, arriving at the summit around noon under clear skies and light wind. Very easy terrain, although crampons were required due to mixed snow, rock and small patches of ice. My climbing partners used mountaineering ice axes, while I felt very comfortable on the grade with just trekking poles. We never saw the need to rope up, and the chains marking the route meant never having any uncertainty about which direction to head. Saw only 8 other people on the mountain during our climb --- a great season to avoid the famous crowds!

Climbing partners: Wakata-san, Sato-san and Usui-san. Feel free to contact me by email if you have any questions. Good luck!

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