(1) The last time we were here, it was raining really hard. We couldn't do anything but see only part of Sinheungsa Temple.
(2) Our second visit may not be as warm as summer but it sure beats the hell out of rain. Our first day was fairly nice. We had full sun the entire day and we were ready to conquer the third highest summit of South Korea.
(3) From the distance, the mountain was starting to get ready for a winter look. Only the colours on the lower elevation were still impressive.
(1) This is Biseondae Rock, about 45mins from Sinheungsa Temple. Tourist here have a chance to climb the rock. We bypassed this and we took the left fork to Yang Falls.
My camera started acting funny at this point so i missed a lot of photo opportunity here. This trail is very scenic and I was more than pissed that I couldn't take the shots.
(1) This view (and more) is what my camera missed along the trail.
(2) These are Daechongbong - 1709m/5607' (left) and Jungcheongbong Peaks. Jungcheong Shelter is on the col.
This route to Daechongbong Peak is a 10+km trail from Sinheungsa Temple. It passes a very scenic valley with a bunch of waterfalls and beautiful rock formations. Higher up the mountain, there were already snow and ice patches on the trail. The colours on this side of the mountain were also already gone.
(3) It was after 6:15hrs of hiking when we reached the Jungcheong Shelter. We were here Sunday night so there weren't so many people, and we got a nice corner spot. This shelter takes up to 150 people and is different from what I had before from Deogyusan National Park
. The heating system is different and the location is on a nice plateau. Not good for wind though. The sleeping room is on the lower level of the shelter but we could still hear the wind howling through the night. The leg-room may also not work for people over 6' tall. We were short people so we did ok on this trip. We had a good night.
The next morning, we were hoping for a nice sunrise but the mountain was covered by thick fog. The cold wind was also unforgiving on our way to the summit. We could barely stand still.
Cheers to the third highest summit of South Korea.
Our descent was via the Osaek route (Namosaek). It was a pure forest hike. No views. We reached Osaek gate after 3hrs.
Osaek is also a tourist destination, mainly because of the shorter approach to the summit of Seoraksan (about 4hrs) and the famous Osaek Hotspring. This small town was dead when we arrived. My wife went to the hotspring while waiting for the bus back to Sokcho. The bus only comes every hour. The stop is beside the National Parks Office, about 15mins walk from Osaek trailhead.