Today, Akadake took almost three times as long as last year. But then hiking with a group of 25 from the Tokyo “Aspen” cycling/running club was never going to be fast, especially after they had cycled 150km yesterday to get here.
Three years ago, when Hana was a wild adolescent, she would have been uncontrollable with the excitement of so many people, but today, with 100 mountains under her collar, she remained close at heel and was a model of good behaviour.
The whole group celebrated together at the top, then we beat a hasty running retreat as the first drops of rain fell.
It feels good to have finished, after starting on February 2 with Amagi-san. The geographical spread of the mountains has taken me to beautiful parts of Japan that I would never have seen otherwise. And apart from the occasional dog-hater, I have received so much kindness and encouragement, both along the trail and on this site.
To everyone who has read this blog, I owe you a big thank-you. I never used to understand why people write blogs. But seeing the visitor statistics encouraged me to persevere through the rain and darkness on another unknown and lonely mountain when I desperately wanted to abandon and return to a warm home.
What next? Last week I came home to find that Kin had left a printed list on the kitchen table: 山梨の百名山 (The Hundred Mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture)….