Through Wind and Rain

Wind and rain did not stop me from climbing that mountain.

With plans to go trekking up in Yatsugatake this past weekend, I got worried when my wife popped up on chat Friday night — we had reserved tickets for a night bus that would leave later that evening — with a link to Yahoo! News that warned of terrible rain (let’s call it a storm, even) the following day. She still wanted to go (“mountain weather is unpredictable, anyway”) and so with our rain gear packed — which, to be honest, is always packed when we head to the mountains — off we went.

As we started the hike early Saturday morning (5am), the sky was cloudy but rainless, but then a few hours later we had to take out our rain gear and persevere through the rain. Then we started the real climb. Enter the wind.

Did I mention I have a fear of heights?

I believe the photo above does a good job of referencing the absolute joy I felt as I climbed up to the top of Akadake. Or maybe it doesn’t. Or maybe I wasn’t feeling much joy. (I wasn’t.)

I did make it to the top, hands on wet rock, holding on to a chain for my life. We got to the top at about noon, and entered the hut where we would be staying the night. During the day, our friend Ono also made it up, and then he and my wife started planning what route they would like to take to get back down. It involved walking along the top of the range, with a path that was barely the width of a human being.

I would not be taking that route.

The next day we left the hut at 4:30am, and I came down by myself (I would meet up with them at another location) the way I came — which I was still nervous about doing, but ended up being fine when I realized that being able to see what was around me (it wasn’t raining at the time) made it less frightening.

So how’s that for a weekend?

By Jean Snow

Production Services Manager at Ubisoft Shanghai. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.