Part 3 of #baojingkorea2015 is the highlight of the trip! :) Hike up the Hallasan.
Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea and it's a day trip up and down. We decided to do it on a Sunday, hoping that the crowd will be lesser. :)
Prior to the trip, I went to get some equipment to prepare myself. Don't want to get caught in any situation up there as this time it's just Mr. and myself. Gotten a pair of cleats to prevent myself from slipping (gotta admit I don't have got balancing) and a pair of windproof jacket from Marmot. Super lightweight and it kept my from the cold throughout the trip! :)
FYI, I bought these from Campers' Corner at Waterloo Street. They sell all sort of hiking stuff, highly recommended as the staff there are extremely helpful with your needs.
We woke up around 4am in the morning, getting ready and having some light breakfast before driving to the base Seongpanak (성판악). We decided to start our hike here as it is the most common trail that will lead to the Peak. On our way up, rain (or maybe I should say 冰泡) started to fall. We did not expect that and the temperature dropped to sub temperature.
These photos were taken at the risk of exposing my hands to the bitter cold. But it's too serene and pretty not to capture it. I must say that these photos definitely do not justify the beauty of Hallasan. Breathtaking.
On and on we walked, we started to sweat a bit since we will all covered up with our scarf and beanie. Honestly, I felt a bit out of place when I see the other hikers wearing full gear, with the hiking stick, I was dressed thinking of posing #OOTD if there's any scenic background.
Everywhere was covered with white snow, and at some point of time the snow was falling quite heavily that my lashes was covered with it. We started to ascend and because of these fresh snow we have to take real slow steps. Our legs kept sinking into the soft snow so we had to use our hands to push ourselves up. We were quite slow and along the way more hikers caught up with us. LOL!
Anyway, we survived till the midpoint and had a quick water break and continue our trekking before our body cools down. Step by step we walked and walked, sometimes we just kept quiet and concentrate on our footsteps.
At one point of time, there was a commotion in front and I looked up to short botak trees covered with snow. First scene that came to my mind was the K-Drama "That Winter, the wind blows". Everything looked the same except there wasn't any bell ringing, but strong wind howling at us. Oh, and we're missing Jo In Sung here. *LOL!*
IT WAS SO ROMANTIC, even though there were quite an handful of people. We risked our hands again just to pose with the twist sign. The final pit stop was just a 5-minute walk away, and it was crowded with hikers taking a quick lunch.
We brought some snickers (energy bar) and triangle kimbap (삼각김밥) for our lunch. Unfortunately, the kimbap became hard from the cold. We washed down with hot water from the thermos flask (that's the best thing I brought along). The 아줌마 (auntie) sitting beside me gave me some homemade sandwich when she saw the harden kimbap. Super sweet of her. :)
When we're done and ready to conquer the peak, we went out to strong wind that took us off caught. Just about 200m from the pit stop, my fingers were so painful. I have never encountered such pain before and I was so scared. Seriously, this was the first time I was so scared I'm going to lose my fingers. The pricking pain was so consistent that I couldn't even bend them.
Mr. suggested to descend as we were not well prepared for the weather. And the wind will only get stronger as we are nearer to the peak.
The walk back to base was long and tiring. But although we didn't manage to go up the peak, it was definitely an eye opener for us. This is the first time I actually see real snow falling on me, and that was the best gift I took back. :)
:) Here's a video of the falling snow or ice pops?
Someday I'll be back again and this time, the Peak will be waiting for us.