Humboldt High’s own James R. Crossnoe recently had the experience of a lifetime. On Sept 1, he spent a special birthday atop Mt. Fuji.
Crossnoe is a pilot for Delta Airlines and during his layover in Nagoya, Japan on August 30, he and several other crew members decided to climb Mt Fuji.
Crossnoe graduated from Humboldt High School in 1980 and MTSU with a BS with aerospace major with emphasis on aerospace technology and a minor in Science in 1986. He is the son of Royce Harris.
Graduating from college, he began ferrying aircraft from Alaska to Tennessee, flight instructing at Smyrna, flying bank checks, cargo for another freight airlines.
“And I kept asking, ‘But when are you going to fly ‘people’?” recalls his mom. “His first experience with that was with American’s smaller airlines, then Northwest who was enveloped by Delta some years ago.”
According to Crossnoe:
“I was one of four Delta Air Lines pilot crew members assigned to fly from Detroit, Michigan to Nagoya, Japan on August 30th, 2016. I was thankful to be on duty in the flight deck as we flew along the Canadian Border with Alaska just north of Juneau. Blessed with a beautiful clear day (uncommon to not have cloud cover), we could see glaciers flowing into the Gulf of Alaska and majestic snowcapped mountains, some of which are the tallest in North America. As we continued westbound passing south of Anchorage, Alaska we could see in the distant the tallest mountain of all North America: Denali, which means ‘the High One’ or ‘Great One’ in the native Alaskan language. After our 13-hour flight and safe landing of our Airbus A330-200, it’s off to the Nagoya layover hotel. We meet for a quick ‘bite’ consisting of various types of Gyoza. Traditionally a seasoned pork/ginger filled wonton, steamed and pan fried, Gyoza can be shrimp, chicken/cheese, mushroom or just about anything of your choosing. After a good night’s sleep and morning coffee, we all decide to go hike Mt. Fuji.”
Crossnoe continues, “This iconic mountain is the tallest in Japan and was once worshipped as a god. ‘Fuji-san’ still has a spiritual reverence to most Japanese people. Our journey began at 2 p.m. with a taxi to the Nagoya Train Station for a 2:36 p.m. departure on the JR (Japanese Railway) Shinkansen (bullet train) bound for Tokyo with several stops along the way. Entirely electrically powered, Shinkansen has a top speed of around 320Km/hr (200 mph); however, during our 110 minute ride to Shin-Fuji station we only reached 275Km/hr (170 mph). After dinner, some limited rest and a 45 minute taxi ride; we arrive at Mt. Fuji 5th station of the Fujinomiya Trail. Elevation: 2390m or 7841 ft. Starting our climb at 9:15 p.m. with short rests and stops at stations #6, 7, old #7, 8, 9, 9.5, we reached the top of Mt Fuji at 5:05 a.m., elevation 3776 m (12388 ft). Legs, bodies, and minds fatiguing, we were all nearly exhausted. The cool crisp mountain breeze brought a refreshing chill over us as we witnessed a most beautiful awe-inspiring sunrise! The views from the top were magnificent! Sitting on the craters edge we took time to reflect and be thankful (wondering how we would have the energy to make it back down). Two of us were sharing a September 1st birthday atop Mt. Fuji! Albeit September 2nd in Japan now, and I’m reminded of my mother-in-law’s wisdom that ‘there are no coincidences’.”
“I was actually able to Facetime my wife, Sharon, from Mt. Fuji crater’s edge to share the experience with her and her family. Similar to my experience on the western rim of the Grand Canyon, my Fuji experience brought tears to my eyes and humbled me before God. We made our way around the crater’s edge to the Yoshida Trail. Although very steep going down, switchbacks and grooming made the Yoshida Trail much more user friendly, but would still take us nearly four hours to reach Station 5, elevation 2305m (7562 ft). Another bus, taxi and Shinkansen and we arrive safely back in Nagoya around 5 p.m. for some much needed rest and sleep.”
“Truly a trip of a lifetime and I am very thankful,” said Crossnoe.
Some great Mt Fuji info and pictures can be found at mtfuji-jp.com.