Hi, hope you are having a great week.
My past week of exercise did not go as planned. The main reason for that was a massive hike we did on Saturday. Here’s what happened…
As you know from my last post, Steve and I just spent 8 days on Jeju Island. The weather for Saturday was forecast to be clear and sunny so we planned to hike Mount Hallasan that day. We didn’t do too much research on it beforehand, but I figured it would be just a bit more strenuous than Mt. Mudeung in Gwangju. I was wrong.
So we set of Saturday morning, nice and relaxed, just taking our time. Our lonely planet guide said that the trail is about 10 km…this should be a nice walk. We grabbed a coffee and got on the bus to the start of the trail. We bought some kimbap (sort of like a massive sushi roll) and snacks for the summit and then stopped by the information desk to grab a map just in case. By this point, the time was 11a.m. The woman at the information desk then informed us that we won’t be able to make it to the summit. What?! It’s only 11am, we thought, we have hours before it gets dark! She tells us that all hikers must reach a point 6.7km up by 12:30p.m in order to summit by 2:00p.m and make it back down by sunset. She said that it takes 4 hours to get to this checkpoint 6.7km up. We had an hour and a half and 6.7km to climb.
Challenge accepted- there’s no way we were leaving Jeju without getting to the top! So we started off at a good speed. The trail was a bit tricky to navigate with massive rocks everywhere but we scaled that mountain as fast as we could! My body was working harder than on a long run and I’ve never been so sweaty.
We finally made it to the cut-off point with 10 minutes to spare! After a quick water break, we got back on the trial to the summit. The next 3km we definitely the toughest terrain…particularly when you get stuck behind a slow crowd. After about an hour we made it to the summit. The view was incredible and made the climb well worth it. It was bliss just sitting at the top of Mt. Hallasan, above the clouds, eating kimbap.
But all good things must come to an end. We were herded down the mountain at 2:00pm and began our descent the same way we came up. The way down was slower but much more difficult because we were having to pass all the slower hikers on slippery rocks. Luckily no one fell and we eventually made it to the bottom at around 4:30.
Overall, we were on the mountain for about 5 and a half hours and hiked just under 20km.
Side Note: The lonely planet guide write-up was quite misleading- stating only the distance for one way not the return trip. In case you find yourself at Mt. Hallasan- expect a hike of around 20km!
I suppose we should’ve known better considering Mt. Hallasan is the largest mountain in South Korea!
Anyway safe to say this hike was a great workout and substitute for my Sunday long run.
Hope you had a great week of workouts. Follow the blog for more posts!
Until next time,
The Health Heads