Biking Mt Fuji- Mtbr.com
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Thread: Biking Mt Fuji

  1. #1
    Its only 1" on the map!
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    MTBing Mt Fuji

    Climbing Mt Fuji was something I had planned on doing since I first found out I would be in Japan for the summer. It is a once in a lifetime event for most people and I was not going to miss the opportunity. The supported climbing season for Fuji is July and August when the snow is clear and there are series of huts operating along the climb to offer aid, food and shelter. One of my riding regulars, Ken Morgan, came up with an awesome idea; lets carry our bikes up Mt Fuji just before the main climbing season, and then ride down! Crazy? Yeah, but what the heck, how often does one get a chance to mountain bike down Fuji?

    Well anyway I have a rather long write up on my website about the hell of a hike-a-bike and subsequent downhill ride. But here are some excerpts and pictures:

    ....We only rode along this way for about a mile before the terrain became loose enough that it was taking more energy to pedal than it was worth, especially considering we knew we had along long way left to go yet. We were right along the timberline now at 8,000 feet and views of the large expanse of clouds below us and the towering mountain above us came into view. ....




    ....There would be no carrying the bike on my shoulder up the next section; it was time to strap on the bike onto the backpack. ....


    ...Between the 7th and 8th stations were some particularly difficult sections that required more climbing and two handed scrabbling than hiking. The awkwardness of the bike required some tricky maneuvers on more than a few occasions to get over and between some of the larger rock formations. ...


    ...I was above 12,000 feet now and my heart was racing, my lungs struggled to pull oxygen out of the thin air. I’m sure some of my Colorado cycling friends would laugh at me for whining about a little thin air at this altitude, but if they were here now, I would let them carry the bike for a while...


    ...Before long I could make out the facing lions and the arch that marked the entrance to the summit. ...

    ...I had made the climb in 5 hours and 25 minutes. I found out from our trip leader that Ken had his asthma act up on him so he would not make it to the summit today. ...

    ...The trail is quite steep and the lava rocks make the riding seem like you are descending a road covered six inches deep in marbles. The switchbacks were even worse as they were exceptional loose with deep ash and crushed lava rocks. The slightest twitch of the front wheel or more than a whisper of a feathering on the brakes will cause your wheels to dig way down and you will most likely tip over or put a foot down if you are lucky. ...

    ...The whiteout continued until we were nearly back to 5th Station where we suddenly rode out of the clouds and rolled into the parking lot about a minute later. After a change of clothes we were ready for a well-earned celebratory Japanese Beer. ...It only took 40 minutes to make the descent down from the summit at 12,388 feet...

    ...There is an old Japanese saying that goes, “A wise man hikes Fuji once, but the person who hikes Fuji more than once is a fool”. I would like add onto this saying “…and anyone who bikes Fuji has a village somewhere searching for their idiot.”

    -Bill
    Last edited by mtbbill; 07-02-2004 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Hit the wrong button :-)

  2. #2
    Flying High Again
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    sometimes it's just gotta be done

    very cool! thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
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    wow!

    very cool.

    no video?

  4. #4
    Its only 1" on the map!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodiegrrl
    wow!

    very cool.

    no video?
    I having the makings for one, but I will have to be little more creative and carve out some time to do it. The moisture in the whiteout at the summit created a bunch of water droplets on my lens which the autofocus feature found to be much more interesting than me going down Fuji. I also forgot to unzoom the camcorder after some off the bike shooting so I had a good section of it zoomed which looks interesting for a second or two but after that it is pretty much unusable. I am thinking it will not be the normal music style vid. I'll figure something out.

  5. #5
    MFin' Princess
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    So Cool!

    I was there about 6 months ago. Didn't have the sense to bring my mountain bike, though.

    Look familiar?

    Ride on!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by W'04; 07-02-2004 at 10:40 PM.

  6. #6

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    Not going to, and climbing, Fuji is easily the biggest regret I have about the time I lived in Tokyo.

    To add to the Japanese saying regarding Fuji: The biggest fool never even tries to climb Mt Fuji.

  7. #7
    (was) Big in Japan
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    Awesome!

    Wow, looks great. I wanted to do that too. I am surprised they let you though, Mt Fuji has been closed to MTB for a couple of years now. Did you have any trouble with officials? There was an American paraplegic adventurer who was stopped for eight hours before his ascent because some offficial said his wheelchair was "a bicycle" and they weren't allowed. Maybe if you went out of the "climbing season"....

    Beautiful photos, too!
    Ride.

  8. #8

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    Very very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    suck it trebeK
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    Wow, I'm in awe sir. Definitely added to my endless list of stuff to do in my life.

  10. #10

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    Hope and.. they say your crazy to climb it more than once...

    Quote Originally Posted by ions
    Not going to, and climbing, Fuji is easily the biggest regret I have about the time I lived in Tokyo.

    To add to the Japanese saying regarding Fuji: The biggest fool never even tries to climb Mt Fuji.

    Where that puts me? climbed it 4 times already , if I start climbing it with my bike, my japanese boss I guess will have serious word with me

    We'll climb it again this August ..nahh without a bike, dont have a enough balls (titanium?) to do that.


  11. #11
    Its only 1" on the map!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSingleGuy
    Did you have any trouble with officials? .... Maybe if you went out of the "climbing season"....
    No bikes allowed during the climbing season (July to August) is the word we got. From what I understand, even if they did allow them duing the season, the trails would be too crowded to safely ride down.

  12. #12
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    Ok!

    That makes sense, and is good news. I might try in September. BTW, I guess I saw you at Fujimi Panorama, you had the helmet cam on, we passed each other out front of the restaurant at the bottom of the A course. I am glad you enjoyed it and I thought your video REALLY caught the feel of the place. I ride there nearly every weekend in summer, I guess it is my "local trail".

    What brought you to Japan? Work or a vacation?
    Ride.

  13. #13

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    There was talk...

    of running a downhill race down Fuji...

    I heard that about a year ago, and it probably has died an awful death by now.

    Helicopters to bring folks up, full video coverage, etc, etc.

    If it does happen to happen, then I am definitly going to hijack the big nasty Chumba Wumba Zulu hiding in the back of my LBS I can tell you that...

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