The Marine Corps members carried an ill woman for two miles to safety.
Hiking Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak at 3,776.24 meters (12,389 feet), is no easy feat. Along with altitude sickness, you also have to handle the extreme temperature difference between the base of the mountain and the top, which can dip below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) even in the summer. Strong winds are also characteristic, with an average annual wind velocity of 11 meters per second, which greatly intensifies the chill and makes the climb overall more difficult. Still, more than 300,000 people a year climb Japan’s iconic volcanic peak, both Japanese and foreigners alike.
Last week, on July 3, five of these climbers were members of the United States Marine Corps, and what may have been just a test of endurance in the beginning turned into a rescue mission when they came across a woman who had passed out on the trail. The five Marines worked together to create a makeshift stretcher, and carried the woman for approximately 3.2 kilometers (two miles) to get her some much-needed medical attention. The story was shared on the United States Forces Japan’s Twitter account, along with a photo of the heroic men posing in their fatigues with their iconic Mt. Fuji hiking sticks.
▼ “On July 3, five members of the US Marine Corps, while hiking on Mt. Fuji, came to the aid of a Japanese woman who had passed out from hyperpnea. They worked together to make a simple stretcher and carried her for two miles (3.2 kilometers) to get medical assistance.“
在日米軍司令部(USFJ) (@USFJ_J) July 10, 2017
Japanese netizens picked up on the story, and many commented their awe and gratitude to the men who helped out:
“That they call it ‘hiking’ and not ‘mountain climbing’ is really telling of the strength of the Marines.”
“Thank you! 3.2 kilometers is a long way to carry someone, especially on a mountain trail!”
“Thank you for your efforts!”
“Thank you very much. As a Japanese citizen, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for your kindness.”
Peak climbing season is underway now, so if you’re planning a trip to the top yourself, be sure to do your research and prepare yourself for the worst, because the Marines won’t always be there to help! But there will be free wifi for those less-pressing emergencies, like updating your Instagram.
Source, featured image: Twitter/@USFJ_J