“The Aokigahara Forest, at the base of Mount Fuji, is the most popular suicide destination in Japan. Over 100 bodies are found here each year.” This is how VICE’s video, “Suicide Forest in Japan” begins. Watch this video and follow VICE as they visit the forest and learn about its popularity among the suicidal. Green all year round and originally formed over lava, the forest seems surreal, indeed. There’s a sign grounded at the park’s entrance to act as a message to the suicidal. It reads: “Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.” Albeit eerie, this park is beautiful.
National Geographic News announced the discovery of a once extinct, but no longer extinct, salmon. Discovered in a Japanese lake near Mount Fuji, the kunimasu salmon has been M.I.A. for 70 years. This kind of salmon, also known as the black kokonee, is a subspecies of the sockeye salmon. Found only in Japan, this fish was believed to have become extinct in the 1940’s after the waters in the fish’s only home experienced a raise in acidity levels, said to be from a hydroelectric dam.
The fish was more or less forgotten until a head of a local fishing association in the town sent an odd sample to a popular TV host, known for his scientific approach to hosting and obsession with fish. The sample was sent to labs where samples of the original kunimasu are housed, and after a month of looking closely at the two, it’s official: the kunimasu is still alive.
Makes you wonder how many other believed-to-be-gone creatures out there aren’t gone at all, doesn’t it? Now I’m going to go hunting for that island where Elvis and Tupac are hiding out.
A lot of adventure travelers also happen to be armchair mountaineers. They follow the worlds top climbers as they make bold attempts on impossibly high and remote mountains in all corners of the globe, and they cheer them on as they stand at the top of the world. Many of them secretly wish they could go on their own expeditions to these distant peaks, but for a variety of reasons, they never have the opportunity.
It turns out there are a number of great climbs that can give you the feeling of your own big mountain expedition, without the big mountain expense and the need to give up several months of your life. Forbes Traveler has put together a list of ten such mountains each of which will challenge the heartiest of travelers, while delivering a true mountaineering experience.
Several of the mountains on the list are icons that are already popular with amateur climbers. Mountains like Mount Blanc on the border Italy and France. The 12,000 foot peak is considered the birth place of modern mountaineering, and is one of the classic climbs of Europe. The 19,340 foot Mt. Kilimanjaro is also considered a classic climb, taking trekkers to the highest point in Africa.
The other mountains on the list, while possibly lesser known, offer unique mountain experiences that are sure to thrill any adventure traveler and would-be mountaineer. These peaks can be climbed in a matter of days, rather than weeks, and they won’t leave your pocket book quite so empty as say an Everest expedition, which can cost upwards of $50,000 and require two months of time on the mountain.
So, if you hear the call of the mountains yourself, and you can’t resist the lure, strap on your crampons, grab your trekking poles and head to any one of these peaks for an adventure of your own.