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Japan Tour

This is a small adventure story from the land of the rising sun. July 17th 11:00 AM 7 TCSers from Seepz, Pune, Chennai set out to explore the unknown –Mount FUJI. The most revered mountain of Nippon known for its beauty and for its climatic drama. We reached mid-way Fuji via bus, which runs along the scenic FUJI-Subaru toll way. This point is known as the 5th station and is the place where the actually FUJI adventure begins. The mountain is known for its notoriously extreme weather swings, which it creates, all by itself. The winds can shoot up to a smashing 160 Km/h and temperature can drop to near zero. (Winters experience sub zero also. well for now its summer here!). Well that much for an introduction to the FUJISAN , Japanese for Mount FUJI, lets get Climbing . The TCS gang just on the prowl …

View from Mt. Fuji We started climbing at 15:30 PM budgeting an extremely leisurely climb, that’s because we got impatient of waiting at the bottom for 5 more hours .A couple of mid-stations came quite naturally. Then we switched on to full Fuji gear – triple layered jackets, rain pants, gloves and mufflers and so on. Now Fuji was turning into a nightmare. The wind started sand blasting volcanic sand at 100 + km/h ( aaah ) ..One step without caution and our life would become Fuji's private property.

The wind had the strength that could have easily swept off the not-so-surefooted. (breaktime !! ) At station 8 … all covered up We are at station 8 ( as for the numbering , they start from 1 till 8 .. 8a and 8b , the stations breakpoints with huts and couple of keepers ). The wind now can make the toughest weep , any less prepared we could have suffered hypothermia . We took a short break. The stations had their own character, they are run at high risk, high profit by some locals. They work 75 days a year, which makes up for the rest of the year ?. We had some quickies to eat. People could rest at these stations for an hour or so, but at 5 * (may be 10 * rates). We just rested outside the huts with plenty others who were to turn back from here. This is the average human limit, from here on only the tough get going. At 3500 m oxygen levels are low and altitude sickness sets in. Some had headaches , and we were treading semi consciously. Winds were tearing us apart and every now and then FUJI tried to push us off the mountain. At every gush we had to kneel down and wait till the mighty settled down. The last 0.5 km up the hill was the worst torture of all worlds, It started raining. Imagine the near freezing temperature coupled with rain, this was a killer combination; (call it Japanese torture if you wish ?). But we didn’t stop, not NOW. In fact most of us got lost among other climbers and were climbing alone. The night, the winds, the rain, less oxygen….What more does one want!!

Finally its morning and alas Destination, call it victory !! , All of us reached the peak between 03:10 and 03:30 AM JST. The sun rises at 3:45 on FUJI. And for the reward, we had a lashing rain with whipping winds. We were facing Fuji’s most violent rage. Hope struck again; there was a hut there too, just a consolation away from the rain. This had the meanest business on all earth, we kept ordering coffee, just so that he wouldn’t throw us out (he does if are window shopping !! ). We waited for FUJI to clear up rather warm up and brighten up. But the holy mountain was in no mood. We saw the crater (last volcano erupted in 1707) and started our descend. High above the clouds Drama of the clouds and the light Descend was mostly peaceful at least it mattered no more to us after having reached the top. (The chills were omnipresent though). To our fate, we broke up again, this time into groups of 5 and 2. The twosome reached the station 5 (start point) as per plan; the five went wandering into forest tracks and finally came out through another prefecture (district in Japan). But they had a better bargain, they reached home in 10% the actual fare (don’t ask me how!). The Lions Guarding FUJI at the FUJI temple at station 5.

To conclude the success rate for the TCS team = 100 %. Isn’t this beyond 6 sigma? . It makes me proud to be among such a focussed clan. Only 2 or 3 % make it to the top and even lesser on a day like ours. There was another IT company, 24 started the trek only one soul made it to the top, success rate = 1/24 .

Written by Mr. Narahari Raidurg.
(Bhramanti Member since from 2003)

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