A CLIMB Photo Companion

So many people have mentioned how much they enjoyed seeing photos of the #100Summits climbs, and the photo insert of CLIMB, that I decided to create this photo-companion to accompany the book.

Each of the links below corresponds to the relevant chapter of CLIMB, and contains a selection of photographs that illustrate the events in the chapter, along with captions describing the photographs themselves.

I hope you’ll click through and enjoy them, whether or not you’ve read the book (the captions tell enough of the story that you won’t be lost)!

For first-time visitors, here’s a brief explanation of CLIMB:

Dare to dream, and you can change your world.

After more than forty years of living “safe and scared,” California attorney and mystery author Susan Spann decided to face her fears and climb one hundred of Japan’s most famous mountains, inspired by a classic list of hyakumeizan peaks. But after an unexpected cancer diagnosis forced her to confront her deepest fears, the mountains of Japan became the setting for an even more transformative journey, from pain and fear to a new life fueled by hope, confidence, and strength. 

This immersive, inspiring, and witty page-turner captures the terrifying lows and breathtaking highs of a woman’s journey from timidity to confidence, cancer to healing, and regret to joy, as she breaks the mental and physical chains that once prevented her from living out her dreams. Susan chronicles her journey with an insightful, often humorous eye for not only her travels across Japan, but the culture, food, nature, and obstacles she encountered along the way, and complements her honest and vivid prose with breathtaking personal photographs.

You can buy the book (in hardback and ebook formats, and either in person or online) at your favorite local bookstore or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

And now, with no further ado, on to the photographs and special features:

Chapter 1: Victory–and Misery–on Misen

Chapter 2: One Hundred And One

Chapter 3: Cherry Blossoms and Liver Spots

Chapter 4: You Are Not Prepared

Chapter 5: Don’t Forget the Bug Spray

Chapter 6: Hope for the Best, GORE-TEX for the Worst

Chapter 7: Fear Is a Liar

Chapter 8: Horses’ Bells and Dragons’ Eyes

Chapter 9: No Raisins on the Summit

Chapter 10: Cuckoos and Chains

Chapter 11: The Mountain Wants to Be Climbed

Chapter 12: At Least the Frog Was Happy

Chapter 13: Walking on the Road

Chapter 14: Too Many Bees

Chapter 15: Magic in the Mundane

Chapter 16: Daisen’s Giant Chipmunk

Chapter 17: All Roads Lead to Kyoto

Chapter 18: Goddess of All that Flows

Chapter 19: Even Ants Like Kakigori

Chapter 20: On Mount Inari

Chapter 21: Mount Fuji

Chapter 22: Summit Dawn

Chapter 23: Tidal Shift

Chapter 24: To Play With Crows

Chapter 25: Hokkaido Nature Tours

Chapter 26: Peeping Tom

Chapter 27: Tokachidake

Chapter 28: Takuto and Tomuraushi

Chapter 29: Lake Akan and Meakan

Chapter 30: Water Over Rock

Chapter 31: Rausu Rainbow

Chapter 32: From Snow to Snow

Chapter 33: I Love Rishiri

Chapter 34: Return to Mount Kōya

Chapter 35: Chicken and Towels

Chapter 36: Stone Hammer Mountain

(This page is a work in progress, so check back regularly for more chapters – I hope to have all of them posted soon!)


Despite many reads, several sets of eyes, and the best intentions, sometimes mistakes get through. With apologies to readers (and Amazake Chaya), the following corrects a couple of typographical errors or inaccuracies in the finished first edition of CLIMB:

Chapter 4: Mt. Akagi sits near the city of Maebashi (as correctly identified at the start of the chapter), not Maebara (which is a city in Chiba Prefecture).

Chapter 43: Amazake Chaya was founded in the 16th century. The teahouse is currently owned by the 13th generation of innkeepers, and has been in continuous operation for over 400 years.