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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Climbing > Upcoming Trips

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Unread 09-27-2007, 01:10 PM
isipau isipau is offline
Seorak Sender
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16
3-day Jirisan Ridge hike in January

A friend and I are planning to hike the entire length of the ridge at Jirisan, starting at Daewonsa on the east side and finishing near Hwaeomsa on the west side. We're planning for 3-4 days, depending out how heavy the snow fall is and what the weather conditions are like this winter. We're looking for 1 or 2 additional hikers to join in.

I don't know exact dates yet, but it will be sometime in early January. We both live in Busan.

If you're interested, please reply. People with winter hiking experience in Korea are especially welcome.
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Unread 09-27-2007, 01:31 PM
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shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
Hey mate, Kyung Ah (Naomi on KOTR) and I did that exact hike in Winter a year back (or maybe 2 I forget now...), except in reverse. We started at Hwaeomsa and took off up through the bamboo thickets there to Nogodan shelter (there is a road to Nogodan, but it was blocked by snow so we left our car in a car park near Hwseomsa temple and started there). The ridge is not difficult usually and the snow from Nogodan onwards actually made the going a bit more pleasant. Hike times were very little different from any other season. We generally started a days hike at 4.30am more to avoid the crowds (and there still were small crowds) and there is a real magic to the hike through snow covered trails (occaisionaly mid-thigh deep, but usually only ankle) under the plop-plopping canopy of pine and fir at those early hours. Your headlamp lights up a small insular world and if the skies are clear, the stars are so bright. Definitely an awesome trip. But note: The ridge is very exposed to wind in certain places especially near the top. We saw thermometers in the shelter verhandah reading MINUS 20C. The wind was so strong at times we struggled to stay upright and I grew icicles on my eyebrows and my eyes stuck together. This was so much fun though, real adventure hiking in relative safety. Advice: Take the walking crampons (Eisen). They are 100% necessary. Trekking poles are also a great idea, one is OK two each way better. Gaiters (el-cheapo type perfect) and warm leather hiking boots really help too. A face mask (buff, balaclava, ski mask etc) saved the day too when wind-born snow ripped across our cheeks etc. Good warm gloves are also needed, though heavy jackets or down are not. When hiking your body is plenty warm enough, and when you stop, you should be at a shelter (heated enough in the sleeping rooms but cold elsewhere). A plastic bottle of pick-me-up (soju, rum, bokbunjaju etc) is also a great little addition to keeping the esprit de corps going strong.
Sounds like you'll have a great time. Might join in depending on dates and so on.
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
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Unread 09-27-2007, 06:02 PM
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ricardo ricardo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Okinawa
Posts: 628
sounds like fun! i'm interested but can't plan that far ahead right now. please post again when the time nears (or i'll dig this up and pm you).
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Unread 09-27-2007, 11:08 PM
isipau isipau is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16
Cool, guys. I can't plan dates this early either, but it will probably in the vicinity of the 2nd or 3rd week of January.

Shanja, I've got more questions for you about winter hikes. I'll compile them and get them up soon. Minus 20 degrees C--- yikes.
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Unread 09-28-2007, 10:12 PM
mil-mil's Avatar
mil-mil mil-mil is offline
tinker bell
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alabama, soon to be back in Korea
Posts: 322
just to jump on this thread, i will be looking to do some mountain ridge crossing this winter... not sure when probably a few weekend trips... so when the snow starts to fall if you put up some threads i'll be in.
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Unread 12-23-2007, 10:14 PM
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jsp1001 jsp1001 is offline
Point Dume
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 169
Please keep me updated on this. I'd like to do this as leg one of the Baekdudaegan in January. Thanks also to Jake for your helpful beta.
Joe Park
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Unread 12-24-2007, 06:46 PM
Hypoxic's Avatar
Hypoxic Hypoxic is offline
Snow Leopard
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Goyang
Posts: 273
Cool. That's an awesome hike. I'm planning on spending a few days in Jirisan come late January/early February, probably just a crossing from Paemsa-gol (maybe a sleep in the shamanic village where the 1000 year old pine is - the worshipped god of the village), over Samdobong, along the Baekdu Daegan, up to Banya-bong, and down Pia-gol, where I'll hang out with Mr Ham Tae-shik (the 80 year old hermit that has been living in Jirisan for 36 years. Very cool old man. He was given the job of running the Pia-gol shelter by the NPA a few years back) - as long as the ridge is open...

...Note that some trails are closed at some point in winter (and autumn as well). Usually the trails are closed from mid-December to mid-January, and this often includes much of the Baekdu Daegan. It may be best to make sure that the entire length of the Baekdu Daegan within Jirisan is open at the time you wish to go. From recently working with the NPA (for the Baekdu Daegan Expedition Project), I know that they are beginning to crunch down on people who break the closed trails rules. Plus, the rules are there for a good reason - to protect the mountain.
I go into the forest because that is the last place where man is not in charge.
- Grey Owl
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Unread 12-28-2007, 05:14 PM
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Hypoxic Hypoxic is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Goyang
Posts: 273
I looked into it; the trails won't be closed until later in the season, closer to spring.
I go into the forest because that is the last place where man is not in charge.
- Grey Owl
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