Home Mt. Fuji Climbing Preparation Mt Fuji Altitude Sickness: Complete Guide & Tips Before You Go

Mt Fuji Altitude Sickness: Complete Guide & Tips Before You Go

by Ryu_C@RakuRakuJP

What to do if you have altitude sickness while climbing Mount Fuji?

Mount Fuji mountaineering journeys generally start from the mountainside at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters, and the oxygen content is relatively low compared to sea level.
If you have no experience in mountain climbing, what should you pay attention to? What should you do if you unfortunately suffer from altitude sickness?

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness, also known as altitude syndrome/altitude sickness/altitude sickness.
It refers to the acute pathological changes that occur when the body fails to adapt to factors such as air pressure drop and oxygen concentration drop at high altitude.
Altitude sickness generally occurs at altitudes above 2,400 meters. The symptoms of altitude sickness can be severe, such as pulmonary edema and cerebral edema, which can be fatal in severe cases.

Altitude sickness symptoms?

As the blood oxygen level in the body drops, the supply of oxygen to the brain will be reduced in disguise. The main symptom of altitude sickness is headache.
In addition, in addition to headaches, symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, general weakness, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and dizziness may also occur.
People with severe mountain sickness may experience hallucinations, even convulsions and coma.
However, the chance and degree of altitude sickness will vary depending on the individual's physical fitness, physical condition, training level, climbing speed, and altitude of the mountaineering route.

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How to prevent altitude sickness? 8 key points to remember when climbing mountains

1. Let the body acclimatize slowly

When arriving at the mountaineering entrance (fifth station), you should stay at the mountaineering entrance for 1-2 hours to let the body adapt to the air pressure of the mountain and the oxygen content of the air. Stretch slowly and take deep breaths to get your blood circulating better. During these 1-2 hours, you can also go sightseeing and have lunch near the trailhead.
If necessary, you can also choose to climb the mountain with a mountain hut at the fifth station. In the mountaineering route,Subaru Line 5th Station on the Yoshida LineThere are mountain huts for climbers.
detailed:5th Station Fujikyu Unshangkaku Information

2. Regularly add enough water to the body

Don't underestimate the water consumption of climbing Mount Fuji. In fact, the amount of exercise involved in climbing Mount Fuji is not low at all, and it will also consume a lot of water in the body. When the body is in a state of low water, there is a chance to cause altitude sickness.
In order to avoid altitude sickness, you should replenish water frequently during mountain climbing, and it is not advisable to wait until your mouth is dry to start replenishing water, because that is already a signal of excessive dehydration in the body.
So how should you replenish water? How much water do you need to replenish each time?
Generally speaking, every kilogram of body weight of the human body should be supplemented with 5ml of water per hour. In other words, a 70kg adult should be supplemented with about 350ml of water within 1 hour. It is recommended to take enough water before climbing the mountain before setting off, and you should also prepare enough water before setting off.
Although the mountain huts on the mountain sell drinking water, the price is relatively high. If you plan to save some money, it is enough to bring 2L to 3L of drinking water. If you plan to carry more drinking water for mountaineering, you may consider using a special mountaineering water bag.

How to choose climbing equipment when climbing Mount Fuji?
Useful Links: Mount Fuji Climbing - Equipment and Clothing
More information on climbing Mount Fuji: Overview of Mt. Fuji Climbing Information

3. Keep climbing at a slow pace

Slow climbing is the most effective way to prevent altitude sickness.
First of all, the body can slowly adapt to the altitude and air pressure; at the same time, it will not cause breathing problems and insufficient oxygen supply due to too fast pace.
In a mountaineering group composed of multiple people, those who are behind should maintain their own pace, and do not change their pace rhythm to catch up with those who are ahead, so as not to cause altitude sickness.
Ideally, plan the climbing itinerary and rest time together before departure, so that the whole team can enjoy the fun of climbing.

4. Take deep breaths often

Since the oxygen content of the air in high mountain areas is lower than that at sea level, ordinary shallow breathing may not be able to support mountaineering activities in highlands.
So whenever breathing is not smooth, it is recommended to stop first, take a deep breath, hold it for 2-3 seconds, and then exhale slowly. At the same time, enjoy the natural environment of Mt. Fuji, and continue the journey after your breathing returns to ease.

5. Maintain the habit of daily exercise

There are many slopes and steps on the climbing path of Mount Fuji. It is recommended to maintain the habit of aerobic exercise. The benefits are not only to train muscles and improve cardiopulmonary function, but also to maintain a good breathing state in an environment with relatively low oxygen content. Therefore, prior aerobic exercise training can be regarded as an important element for a successful summit.

6. Avoid smoking and drinking

After drinking alcoholic beverages, the power of cardiopulmonary function to absorb oxygen will decrease, so you should avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages before departure and during mountain climbing.
Smoking may constrict blood vessels and reduce oxygen intake, so smoking should also be avoided.

7. Get enough sleep before setting off

When the body is unwell or lack of sleep, it is very easy to cause altitude sickness. If you plan to climb the mountain quickly, it is not good for your health to take the bus to the mountain entrance at night.
The easiest itinerary would probably be to start at Lake Kawaguchi and take a mountaineering bus to the mountain entrance at Wuhekou, right?

8. Never projectile mountaineering

Dangan mountaineering means starting from the mountain entrance in the evening, without staying in a mountain hut, and arriving at the top of the mountain at around 3:00 in the morning to watch Yulaiguang as the goal.
In Japan, mountain climbing is generally prohibited, because staying up all night will make the body too tired and the chance of altitude sickness will increase.
Therefore, in order to avoid altitude sickness, when planning the itinerary, you should consider staying in the mountain hut in the evening, sleep for a few hours and have dinner as the recommended itinerary.

Don't know how to get to the Mt. Fuji trailhead?
Useful Links: Mount Fuji Climbing - Transportation

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What to do if you have altitude sickness

The first thing to do is to stay calm, because the body will consume more oxygen in a panic state, and then find a safe place to rest.

To deal with altitude sickness, you should immediately stop activities and let your body rest when you experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. When resting, pay attention to wind and rain protection to avoid body temperature loss, and at the same time take deep breaths to allow the body to absorb enough oxygen.

In addition, canned compressed oxygen can also be used to temporarily relieve discomfort, which can be purchased in advance before departure, or purchased and sold at the mountain hut. When you start after rest, you can continue to climb the mountain without any discomfort.

However, if the situation does not improve,Immediate descent is the only way and the most effective solution.

More tourist information on the Mt. Fuji area

Preparations before starting to climb Mount Fuji

Mt. Fuji Climbing Preparation Overview
Mount Fuji Climbing Routes – List of Climbing Routes
Mount Fuji mountaineering accommodation – how to book a mountain hut?
Mount Fuji Transportation – Transportation Options from Tokyo
Mount Fuji Climbing – Climbing Food Choices
Equipment and Clothing Preparation List for Climbing Mount Fuji
3776 The special route from the sea to the sky on the top of the mountain – Chapter 1 (Overview)
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Planning your itinerary after climbing Mount Fuji

Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi, and Hakone Tourist Information Overview
Mount Fuji Mountaineering Travel Information Collection
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