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Climbing Mt. Fuji, Tradition of Grade 9
The climb seemed to stretch on forever, with each hour blending into another when we climbed up the highest mountain in Japan: Mt. Fuji. We, the 9th graders, along with 6 teachers, climbed Mt. Fuji on the second day back from the summer holidays. The bus took us up to the 5th station and within the first couple of hours, the constant uphill climb began to take its toll on our legs, and our rests were becoming more frequent. For what seemed like an eternity, the scenery did not change, with endless dirt roads and sharp hairpin turns leading up what is a quite steep incline. One thing that made the climb more enjoyable, however, was the sense of camaraderie, not just with the people from our school, but with everyone else struggling up the mountain with us, with whom we exchanged smiles of encouragement. Even when the sun started to set, there was a long way to our hotel at the 8th station.
Sleep was brief as we rose at 1.30am to climb to the summit. There were no lights to show us the way, but our group's headlights formed part of the long line of lights that could be seen continuing up the mountain. As we approached the top, a thick cloud blew across the summit, colouring everything white and blocking out any chance we had of seeing the sunrise. We had all made it to the top, though. I felt relieved that I could finally rest my legs, and the taste of the ramen at the top was heightened by the achievement.
If you thought that the hard part was over once we reached the summit, you would be wrong. Nothing prepared us for the hot, windy, and dusty descent that again took hours and hours. The dust blew into our eyes, mouths, and ears, and every time we wiped at our faces our hands were smudged with black dust. By the time we finally got back to the 5th station and the bus, we were certainly tired and dusty. However, we felt a sense of accomplishment for persevering through our challenges and climbing the highest mountain in Japan. (written by Serina, Grade 9)