At this very moment, they are climbing--with their heavy backpacks on--toward the summit of the highest mountain in Iwate prefecture. They are spending the night in a cabin near the top, then waking up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to go the rest of the way, in order to see the sunrise. I'm sure it's absolutely gorgeous, but I'm content to see the pictures they take.
From what I've been told, the four-hour ascent (which would probably take at least six hours for me!) is treacherous and steep, there is snow at the top of the mountain, and the dangerous descent is especially hard on the knees. Not to mention hiking in the freezing darkness at 4 a.m.!
So thanks for the invitation, friends, but I'll have to pass on this one.
I love a good adventure, but I also know my physical limitations. I enjoy my life and don't want to die this weekend. :) If I had spent months training for this mountain climb, that would be a different story. But not only am I out of shape, I don't have the right equipment. No backpack. No sleeping bag. No hiking boots. So it's a no go. (this year, anyway)
Besides, I can already say that I've climbed a mountain in Japan! Mt. Hakkohdaoahdake, to be exact. (Not that it's easy to say!)
According to Mayla, last weekend's mountain climb was ten times easier than climbing Mt. Iwate! So hearing that reconfirmed my decision to say "No way!" to Mt. Iwate. I thought last weekend's trek was grueling enough! I went up slow and steady with the help of my new best friend for life, Yasu, who was so good about encouraging me and let me borrow his extra pair of gloves. Here's us high-fiving our successful journey to the peak...
I don't think Yasu has ever seen someone so thrilled to be at the top of a mountain! :)
Here are a few more pictures from last weekend...
Group photo at the summit!
Mayla and I pose in front of the scenic background.
So beautiful! The picture didn't capture the sunrays as well as I hoped it would, though. It looked like God was reaching down from heaven. *sigh* Absolutely breath-taking.
I really do love being out in nature. Last weekend's hike was extremely scenic, and although there were some rough spots during the climb, I enjoyed the natural high (literally!) that I got when I stood at the summit. Overall, it was a nice time.
So far, I'm having a good time this weekend. (By the way, it's Saturday evening as I write this, and not Friday like it shows for some odd reason.) I went on a nice, FLAT, mountain-less walk around Kuji today, and it was great. :)