Sunday, February 11, 2007
Although we've already scaled its mighty peaks, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to climb Dobongsan. Who'd a known we would choose the snowy and icy-laden path this time? Well, perhaps our monkey, but he's not much of a talker so a whole lot of good THAT did us.
Neverdeless, it was a refreshing and challenging hike, and we got to go along with our friend Marina, a fellow coworker from "the Topia".
And it was a beautiful day to hike. A little smoggy, but that is the way of things in Korea, so no surprises there. It was also 'free admission' day at the mountain so it was like hiking in a mall. Korea is crazy that way: crowds are to this country as the lack of them are to Canada. The further up we went though, the thinner the numbers of hikers and drinkers dotting the paths.
This was a welcome change at around the mid-way point where spectactular views greeted our wintry faces.
Spectacular views, and this cheery little rock man head.
Then we headed on a wee bit higher, and the paths began to get a little bit more interesting...
Note the mid-mountain suspension bridge?!?!?! Yeah, we did too. Superrockin.
Suddenly we found ourselves aiming upwards a little bit more than usual. Thankfully there were old cables to grab onto with our trusty wool mittens. Wait a tick... is wool grippy on slick metal in the dead of winter?
We soon found out that mittens weren't perhaps the best choice...
Marina braved this one first: it was an all-arm effort and SUPER sweet!
Hil was the next to head on up, but just after I took this shot, her right foot slipped on the rock and she almost went over the edge. Hot tootin' running shoes! However, Hil's a champ and she just used her mighty-might strength to hoist herself up. And then, she just kept heading up! In her words: "There's only one place I'm gonna go, and it's NOT down!" I love my wife!!!!
So up we went. We were all glad we did, because the journey up was full of.... bomb shelters!
Tucked away strategically, these shelters were long-abandoned but lasting memoirs of the war back in 1950.
And we tried to keep the monkey from holding us up, but he really wanted a picture.
Such a cutie.
We had thought that this ascent would prove easier because it went along the ridges, but it turned out the ridges were on the North side of the mountain, and we found the paths full of ice and snow. That was a little treat for our shoes, and reinforced Hilary's impetus to buy some hiking boots. Nevertheless, slippin' and a slidin' we made our way to the peak and the beautiful views...
Adrian! I LOVE the hair! -I thankyouverymuch.
And the peak is the perfect place for some snackies. We brought some beef jerky. Simply delicious.
As we made our way down this crazy staircase (better than the icy rocks!) we stumbled upon a little Buddhist hermitage nestled under an entirely immense boulder. It was in the middle of a steep valley and hard to see for all the rocks surrounding it.
It was just beautiful, and a nice view to see before we made our way to the base. It was a great hike and sooooooo cool to have some sweet little climbs along the way. When we got back down we were starving and sore (as usual) but the Korean restaurants didn't have any pictures of their food so we really had no clue as to what we should order (restaurants on the mountains serve some weird food for the extreme hiker-types). So we headed over to the wonderful jimjilbang in Banghak and had ourselves a loverly relaxation session. And food. What bliss!!!