Monday, March 9, 2009

4th Times a Charm - Jiri-san Part IV

Mountain goats!

The not so sunny day after all

View from above

Top of the mountain

Top views

Steep and treacherous 

Samjin's hideout

Snowy trees


My legs hurt!

We finally made it to the top of the 2nd highest peak in South Korea, 1915 meters up.  It was a beautiful morning when we set out on the bike with Samjin in tow to the mountain.  We arrived at the base at 12:15.  Samjin was put in the backpack and off to the top we went.  It was warm and sunny, the trail was steep and grueling but it felt good.  About 2 kilometers up we started to see bits of snow but it was still quite warm, or the hiking was making us that way.  We came across two women who were impressed that we knew a bit of Korean, they gave us 2 clementines and some candy.  By the time we got to the temple 3.5 km up there was snow and ice all over the trail and big muddy parts.  I fell again, in the same spot as last time, onto my camera, ouch! Don't worry the camera's ok, but my back hurts.  Another km up and poor Samjin was all wet and shivering, so we wrapped him in a sheet and sweatshirt and back into the bag he went.  It was getting colder we could feel the air changing with each step.  Less than 1 km from the top Mike wanted to quit, I said "If we go to the top now we never have to come back!" He agreed and onward we trudged.  The last stretch is actually scary, it feels like you are walking straight up, there is nothing to hold onto, only a loose rock here or there.  Finally, the summit, there was more snow here, the sun had tucked away behind the clouds, my winter jacket was necessary.  It was beautiful, the highest point on the SK peninsula, we could see for miles even with the clouds.  Not too long to take it all in, it was already 4:15 and we still had to go back down.  

Going down is pure torture.  

You can't stop, the pain in your legs sets in, but there is no where to go but down.  We stopped a few times but not for long, going up felt better than going down.  It was dark by the time we made to back to the parking lot.  We were tired and hungry, we got some grub at the restaurant at the bottom, some warm soup and a Korean style pancake.  Then it was off to the cold night for a long ride back to Jinju.


Anonymous said...

Triumph at last!!

Anonymous said...

OMG - you two are amazing!!! Loved the pix & story!!! The end is near! maw