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(1) Here's an ascent trail to Sakkatbong Peak. Starting a hike on an immediate steep ascent is never good to me.
(2) This is Sakkatbong Peak (1419m/4656') half an hour from the shelter. The trail up here doesn't run on the main trail but the forks and signs are highly visible. The trail back down follows the top right of the photo.
(3) Here's a look at my last summit of the day - Namdeogyusan Peak. This last stretch completely drained my energy. I was having a hard time keeping my pace and I just couldn't hike for more than five minutes without stopping to catch my breath.
I decided to skip an ascent to Seobong Peak and go directly to Namdeogyusan Peak (1507m/4944'), my final summit for this trip. The last 300m of this ascent nearly killed me. It's a good thing I skipped Seobong Peak.
(3) Hyangjeokbong Peak is visible here from the distance.
(1) Here's another look at my bagged summits and the 14.8km ridge.
(2) It felt good to see the end of my journey, but I wasn't fully rested yet to go again. I stayed at the summit for nearly an hour before I started my descent down to Yeonggak Ticket Booth.
(3) This is the route down from Namdeogyusan Peak.
I arrived at this minbak at about 8pm so these photos are all taken the next day.
My original plan was to go and camp at Gayasan National Park after descending Namdeogyusan. It was already getting dark when I left the Yeonggak Ticket Booth so I went quickly to the main road and looked for a bus stop. I was already informed by some hikers I met on the mountain, that there might not be a bus service in this area. I had to try looking for one anyway... and I found one close to Yeonggaksa Temple. The bad news was, the bus stops running at 630pm. It was already 730pm. So I went to the temple to ask about calling a cab for me... although I was hoping that they would just let me sleep somewhere in the temple. They couldn't understand me and I guessed they wouldn't let me sleep there either. The lady called someone, then she instructed me to go back on the road, and walk past the trailhead for about 400m to a minbak. She obviously just gestured the directions and I made up the words.
This minbak was a life saver. I was exhausted, filthy, and most of all hungry. There were no restaurants in this area and the road was like a ghost town at night. After a brief tour at this place, I unpacked, cooked my remaining meal, and retired.
The next day, I "communicated" with the owner about transportation. There are buses, he said. But it was taking a while already, and I still wanted to go to Gayasan. I bargained with the owner about giving me a ride. He assured me I could catch a bus to Gayasan from Muju so he took me there. There was no bus to Gayasan from Muju. I have to go to Daegu first (south terminal) then to the north terminal, then to Gayasan. I was still very tired, and easily frustrated so I just went home.
(3) I told the minbak owner about where I hiked. He pulled over and checked the mountain with his binoculars. I wasn't really sure what he was looking for. He kept pointing at the mountain and telling me something.