Risks of climbing Mt. Fuji

1. Altitude sickness

One of the most common reasons that forces people to give up climbing Mt. Fuji is the altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a condition that occurs when the oxygen concentration in the blood decreases when climbing high mountains where oxygen is thin. You will experience headaches, nausea, and malaise, and your symptoms will get worse if you continue climbing. It also depends on your constitution and physical condition.

2. Heat and Cold

The time when you are waiting for the sunrise near the summit of Mt. Fuji is the lowest temperature of the day. Even in midsummer, it is in the single digits, and it is not uncommon to drop below freezing in the first half of July or the second half of August. There is a risk of “hypothermia” due to the cold. On the other hand, there is also a risk of “heat stroke” due to sunlight during the day and poor body temperature regulation.

3. Accidents & Injury

Mt Fuji has a structure made up of multiple accumulations of volcanic lapilli and is prone to collapse. Thus, there is the risk of rockfalls on slopes and slip drops at craters and valleys. In the past, large rocks have fallen and fatal accidents have occurred.

4. Stormy weather

In Japan's summer climate, cumulonimbus clouds are formed when warm air rises, and even if the weather is nice in the morning, it is often the case that thunderstorms occur in the afternoon. In addition, typhoons that come from the southern coast of Japan can also cause storms. Please check the latest weather information frequently and consider giving up on climbing if necessary.

5. Volcanic eruption

Mt. Fuji is a volcano which is still active today. Since the enormous eruption in 1707 that created the Hoei Crater, no significant events have occurred. However, the possibility of disasters must be mentioned, such as generation of volcanic toxic gas, eruption and phreatic explosion, as well as pyroclastic flow, earthquake, and falling rocks associated with an eruption and explosion.

6. Wrong path

It is sometimes difficult to see the path in fog and darkness, which often leads to being lost and taking the lost way.
Especially when you go down to Yoshida Trail Ent. or Subashiri Trail Ent. from the summit, be aware that the Yoshida Trail and Subashiri Trail diverge from each other at the 8th Station. More than 1,000 people every year choose the wrong path at the junction.

7. Fatigue

Climbing Mt. Fuji takes 10 hours even at a standard pace (round trip). Ascending the mountain puts a lot of stress on the heart and lungs, and descending puts strain on the joints and muscles. Lack of regular exercise can cause physical fatigue and result in inability to move. Many climbers ascend Mt. Fuji overnight to see the sunrise at the summit, so-called “bullet climbing.” Bullet climbing without getting enough sleep increases the risk of fatigue and other risks.