10 August 2008

Kintoki Yama Climb

The whole Yabanjin Crew (SK-1, SK-2 & SK-3) challenged Kintoki Yama yesterday. The day started with nice weather and our biggest concern was sunblock. Everything went well for a while and SK-3 was not too heavy in her backpack but...we heard thunder in the distance, echoing off the surrounding mountains. When we made it to the final trail checkpoint just below the summit we ran into a bunch of climbers scurrying down the trail. The Kintoki Musume (the 80+ year old lady who runs the mountain hut on the top of the mountain, and calls herself the mountain's daughter) had told everyone to evacuate as she predicted a dangerous squall to come through. It was to be a very bad electrical storm.
We weighed our options and decided to take her advice. It started pouring we made sure SK-2 and SK-3 were weather tight and kept moving. We flew past some slow pokes who were obviously not concerned with the inbound lightning. It got dark as night...good thing we had our light!
We made it to the bottom in record time, wet and tired but safe! Everyone else on our trail made it down shortly after us...all were safe.
Unfortunately, lighting was striking all around Mount Fuji and several people were injured on the big mountain during this squall, with one climber killed by lightning on Mount Fuji!!!
The Kintoki Musume was right!!! We will be back to climb Kintoki Yama soon!