Thursday, October 01, 2015

Mount Halla & Photographs

Me, standing at the trail entrance.
At 1950 meters, Hallasan (한라산) is the tallest mountain in South Korea. It is a dormant volcano that is now a popular tourist attraction for hiking enthusiasts and other travellers.

The tour books and websites will tell you that it is a 9 hour round trip to the top of Mount Halla and back again.  This might be true depending on your walking speed and the current weather--it will most definitely take longer when there is snow on the mountain.  But on the whole, if you are an avid hiker or in good physical fitness, you can do it a lot faster.


This past Monday, it took me 2 and a half hours to climb to the summit of Hallasan.  This was followed by a 45 minute break at the summit to enjoy the view and have a picnic, and then another almost 3 hours back down the mountain.  In total, I was 6 hours on the volcano.

If you don't reach this point by 12:30,
you can't continue to the summit.
The trail is only accessible between certain hours, depending on the season, and the park workers refuse passage to those who reach the last check point too late in the day.

Sheltered by a rich forest of spindly-trunked trees and thick, verdant bush cover, the trail rose steadily up the mountain side for the first stretch.  Then, the last couple kilometers switches to a more rigorous stair climb with a mixture of stone steps and wooden stair cases.  By the time I reached the top, my legs were like red bean paste: all mush and shaking from the effort.

It was so worth it.

I made a new friend while climbing.  Here we are at the top.
Even though it was a pretty clear day, the distant ground looked shrouded in fog.
Back down the path.
Me and the sign.  Gotta pose with the sign.
This is the "summit." At this time of year, it's more dry, but in the spring, there is a small lake/pond here.
 And, some of the other highlights from my vacation week include the following images.  Today I am back to work.  To all my friends and family in the world, Love and Hugs. ;)


Olle Trail 14-1: I found some horses on one of my many hikes. No petting allowed.
Olle Trail 14-1: I love looking out over the farmlands.  They can be so colourful at times.
Olle Trail 9: Daepyeong (대평)
Olle Trail 9: Me and SanBangSan (산방산)
Olle Trail 9: Panorama of SBS and the sea.  So beautiful!


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