the winter 14/15 Mt Fuji season kicks into high gear with the iciest conditions on Fuji-san weve ever seen. a dramatic freeze-thaw has the mountain covered an excellent layer of neve that makes for fast progress and anything exposed is covered in several centimetres of clear ice, with howling winds ripping off anything not solid.

Mt Fuji on the 22nd, safely frozen but ripping ferociously in the +70kmph winds

temperatures and winds so far this season have been siberian, and with the sun long-gone from the northern slopes theres ice all the way down to Naka-no-cha at 13500m. that means 2500m full meters in deep winter conditions, something that doesnt usually hit for another month.

the Fugu (puffer fish) tempura set: quality nutrients with the right amount of danger

meanwhile, down in Kawaguchiko and new restaurant has opened thats become our go-to for pre- and post-trip calorie loading. no more grotty climbers descending on family ramen and gyoza restaurants, now we head for the Fugu tempura place for Japans most (in)famous meal. why keep the risks on the mountain right?*

*actually, Fugu isnt as crazy as its made out to be. yes, theres serious toxins, but all restaurants that serve it are licensed, and with only about 6 incidents per year (not all being fatal) as Yvon Chouinard said, ‘more people die from eating bad mayonaise’.