SharePrint RelatedA List to LoveNovember 6, 2018In “News”The Seanachai: Keeper of the Old Lore, Reviewer of the New CachesMay 6, 2015In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community” Written by Annie Love, a Geocaching HQ EmployeeThis article was originally published in the Portuguese “GeoMagazine.”Group shot at the beginning of the trekI had heard August is the worst time of year to travel to Japan. So what did I do? I scheduled my two week holiday in Japan at the end of August. Naturally, the only reason I’d do something so silly is because of geocaching. I also wanted to climb Mt. Fuji and the window for doing so safely falls right around this time.After cashing in airline miles for a free ticket to Tokyo, I started planning my big adventure. I knew I’d need help from locals over there, so I reached out to every contact I knew in Japan. After some months of planning, I decided to join a group of local geocachers at GC5VHCG — A CITO event that would take place on Mt. Fuji. Every year a group of Japanese geocachers makes the trek with the goal of giving back by cleaning up trash on the mountain.While you can climb to the top and back in a day trip, the group wanted to catch the sunrise on top of the mountain, so it would be an overnight adventure for us. We left Tokyo by 8am and were at the trailhead at 11am. There were 11 of us total. Even though only three of us spoke English and I only knew four words of Japanese, we had little trouble understanding each other along the way.Taxi drive up to 5th station, the trail headWe started off on the trail and were welcomed by the greeting of “Konichiwa” from every climber we passed along the way. Since the climbing season is very short on Mt. Fuji, there were plenty of climbers heading up and down the mountain. The clouds were low and a mist was falling, so we weren’t treated to great views in the first few hours of our trek.Approaching one of the many stations on the trailThe Fuji climb is broken up into stations, which provide naturally good rest points every 45 minutes. We started at the 5th station (2400 meters) on the Fujinomiya Trail and had booked a hut at station 9.5 for spending the night. The goal was to reach this station around 5pm, have dinner and head to bed early. We’d get up before dawn and finish the last half hour of the hike to the summit to see the sunrise on top.I’ve done a lot of hiking over my lifetime and I must say, it’s very rare to run into places that will sell you snacks, water, or even beer mid-hike! Each station on Mt. Fuji did just that, along with providing other climbing gear, souvenirs, or just a warm, dry place to rest. For 200 yen (€1.50), you could even use a vault toilet.Group dinner/break at station 9.5Most of the climb feels like you’re walking on a Martian landscape. Everywhere you look, there’s beautiful red and black volcanic rocks and soil. We took the shortest, steepest route up the mountain. Some consider this the easiest route as I learned other routes tend to be filled with so much loose rock or scree that every step you take, you slide down the hill.At around the 8th station, the higher clouds lifted and revealed a spectacular view of the side of Mt. Fuji and a never-ending sea of clouds. These are the types of views that make it all worth it.When the dense fog cleared, this was the incredible viewWe reached station 9.5 (elevation 3250 meters) on schedule around 5pm. From here, we could see the Torii (traditional Japanese gate) at the top. I could almost reach out and touch it, we were so close! After getting settled into our hut and having a nice warm meal with beer, we settled in for the night. In the middle of the night, I woke up to sounds of the wind and rain outside our hut. I worried that this storm wasn’t going to go away by the time we were to make our summit attempt.My worries became reality when the heavy gusting winds and rain were still there at 5am. The workers at the hut warned us that conditions were only worse on top and that it would not be safe for us to summit. My heart sank. We had worked so hard and were so close. With all the planning and effort that went into making the trip and climb possible, getting turned around by bad weather was very hard to take. But safety must come first.Sunset outside our hut on the mountainSometimes on an adventure you don’t win the “prize” you originally set out for, and that’s okay. The journey you take, the friends you’ve made, and the memories you keep make it all worth it. Now I just need to figure out when I can go back and try for the summit again. I told my new geocaching friends that I would be back someday. After all, the geocaches on the summit are still up there waiting for me!9th station… almost at the top!Share with your Friends:More
The last time Jeev Milkha Singh turned up for The Open, he had to leave even before the tournament began in 2009 at Turnberry and two years before that he missed the cut at Carnoustie. So there is some unfinished business at The Open for the Chandigarh golfer.India has a lot of interest in this year’s edition with Anirban Lahiri and Daniel Chopra, the Indo-Swede, also in the field.This is only the second time two Indians are teeing up at The Open. The first time it happened in 2009, Jeev pulled out before the start due to injury, while Gaganjeet Bhullar missed the cut on debut.Jeev comes as almost the last man to get into The Open by winning the Scottish Open to end a four-year title drought.Jeev, whose sole top-10 in a Major has been tied ninth at the PGA Championships in 2008, is hoping to continue his great form in links golf.”I like golf in tough and testing conditions. Wind, cold and even rain makes golf, particularly links Golf a real challenge and I actually love it, even though many find it taxing and even frustrating,” says Jeev.The two-time Asian Tour number one produced a stunning play-off victory in Scotland and now wants to treat his third Open appearance as just another tournament. He did not subject himself to any additional pressure by flying to his London home to relax for a day before coming to Lytham on Monday evening and then playing just six holes on Tuesday.advertisement”The course is looking superb. It is in great shape, just the way an Open course is expected to be. The key is to avoid the bunkers of which there are 206, and the rough is unforgiving. So one has to hit straight, stay in the fairways and not get too ambitious,” said Jeev.”This is just another week for me. I’m not going to treat it differently. I want to treat it like another event. That’s why I’ve just showed up on Tuesday and take it from there.”However, the Indian has yet to pop a bottle of bubbly to celebrate his 14th international victory. “It was great satisfaction winning against a top field and tough conditions. We didn’t celebrate. All plans had to change (as he initially wasn’t in The Open field) and I went back to London, got in at 1.30am after Sunday. We didn’t have a chance to celebrate but we’ll do it next week,” he said. “I take a lot of confidence and want to move back into the top-50 and do well in the Majors.”Jeev is happy not just with his form but the fact that he is injury-free. He won four times in 2006 and four times in 2008, followed by a tough period with injuries.”It was a frustrating period. You just have to hang in there and believe that things will turn around. If you do the right stuff, good things will happen,” he said. “When a player is injury-free, he can work harder. It gives him more confidence. Last few weeks, I was having two or three good rounds. I just needed to put in four good rounds. It happened last week and the win came.”
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