FASTEST WINTER ASCENT OF MT. FUJI
Word Record: 4 Hours, 5 Minutes, 42 Seconds
FROM SHRINE TO SUMMIT
Burch set the record for the fastest winter ascent of the world’s most climbed mountain in the world, Mt. Fuji. Burch ascended in snowshoes from Mt. Fuji’s Umagaeshi Shrine entrance to the summit in 4:05:42, enduring frostbite, swollen hands, temperatures below -20̊ F, and severe high winds.
Winter conditions on Mt. Fuji are equal to those found on 8000m Himalayan peaks such as Everest, with hurricane-force winds, snow, and sub-zero temperatures. In previous winter attempts, climbers have been actually blown off the mountain. “Over 300,000 people try to climb Mt. Fuji each year, but only handfuls try in winter due to extreme conditions,” stated Mt. Fuji Ranger Akiba Keita.
Considering these obstacles, the official climbing season is just two months. “In winter you must sign and fill out climbing form with us, though National park office and us urge visitors to refrain from climbing out of season, as it is unsafe,” stated Akiyama Osamu of the Yamanashi police department.
Burch trains year round for these types of extreme adventures, and before setting the world record, he acclimated to the bitter weather on Mt. Fuji for several days by trekking through the deep snow and jumping rope in snowshoes for training. “As Fujiyoshida City Hall’s Coordinator for International Relations, I confirm Sean’s time and believe his record winter ascent achievement is worthy of recognition,” declared Andrew Smith.
Burch worked in partnership with The Fujisan Club, Japan’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Mt. Fuji. “Being the most climbed mountain in the world, Mt. Fuji is a symbol for world environmental preservation, and it is crucial that everyone continues their efforts to not only protect the most recognizable image of Japan, but all of the world’s outdoor icons and nature,” said Burch.