Friday, July 23, 2010

Mt Fuji Japan - Final Countdown

Final Countdown to Mt Fuji – Perfect 10 !!

Written by Jayne Aw

Sumimasen! I am not talking about Bo Derek. I am talking about my backpack that has grown in weight from 6 kg to a perfect 10 kg over last couple of weeks.
Of late, a lady with a loaded backpack walking around Bukit Kiara has become a familiar sight to those who frequent there in the morning. Some curious joggers would ask me where I am going; while others would give a pathetic look. A couple of kind souls would offer me some encouraging words.

Although trekking at Mt Fuji only takes 2 days but someone has done some calculation and reckoned that it may not be as easy as we thought so, mainly because we have to climb an elevation of about 2200m from the starting point to Station 8 in one day. When we did the EBC trekking last year, we ascended an elevation of approximately 2500m over 7 days. So we really have to watch out for our pace and potential mountain sickness.
As for the training, I have tested 6kg load at Ledang and subsequently 8 kg load at Apek. So I thought of trying out 10 kg load at Nuang via Janda Baik on 3 July. After a night of Bollywood at my company’s annual dinner, I was feeling a bit groggy the next day due to inadequate sleep. Carrying my 10 kg backpack, I already felt the load. After stuffing a box of “kuih” and a big banana given by some trekkers, my backpack became an over-weight piglet at 11.5 kg! No choice but to lug the backpack with me. So my Bollywood saga continued to Janda Baik, with me rolling down the slopes a couple of times, thanks to the over-weight piglet. To add salt into injury, there were numerous occasions when I have to squeeze through the fallen bamboo trunks. How low could I go with the piglet on my back …

Alas, after assessing my pace, Captain Fuji-san shook his head and said it is unlikely for me to cover Station 1 to Station 8 in 10 hours with my 10 kg backpack. So taking a bus right up to Station 5 and start climbing from there would be a better option. A wise person as I always was, I gladly accepted Option 2. Soon the other “ji mui” joined in, and followed by Fat Wong too.

What Option 2 means to us is that we only need half of the time to reach Station 8 (about 4-5 hours); and we do not need to carry extra water as there are numerous huts selling water along the trail from Station 5 to Station 8. We just need to carry more Yen (no sweat!). Upon reaching Station 8 by noon, we could sit back and relax over a cup of UCC kohi (coffee) and chizu keki (cheese cake) while waiting for the gung ho ultramen panting their way up to Station 8.

Besides weight training with my piglet, I would spend some time every night brushing up my Japanese “ka ki ku ke ko”, just in case I get lost in the train stations of Japan. But it was not as simple as I thought. By the end of the day, I was confused by “ma mi mu me mo”. So I finally gave up and thought I should join the guys to squeeze in the common train compartment (in Japan, there’s separate compartment for the ladies, just in case……..). Otherwise Captain Fuji-san will wave his hand and say “sayonara”, and “ka ki ku ka ki”……… the Teow Chew music.

Jayne Aw

Please click here for previous posting and the team members in this Mount Fuji Japan trekking trip. The team shall depart for Japan on 26 July 2010.

Here are a few of the photos extracted by yours truly (KC) from the internet. Thanks to the photographers who took these excellent photos.

Flowers in full bloom with Mout Fuji in the background

With a bullet train speeding by

It is indeed challenging to trek up to the brim of the volcano by our team
(this coming 26 July 2010)

Wow! Looks quite steep to arrive at the top !!

The Rising Sun

The moment that these trekkers have been waiting for -- witnessing the spectacular sunrise (hope we can also see this beautiful view too).
Posted by KC

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