A 3am Seoraksan hike warranted a long lunch break, unfortunately we were on a tight schedule and left for Dinosaur Ridge after refilling water and a few quick bites. Shortly after departing the shelter the real climb began. There was one small forested valley before we were pulling ourselves up the first of many crazy cliffs.
We had now idea how grueling our trek would be, luckily the first peak was the most difficult ascent. Even more lucky was the spectacular blue sky we had above us. Some of our companions have been on this trail 4 or 5 times but today was their first cloudless blue yonder.
By now the sun was high overhead. We had roughly 6 hours to tackle Dinosaur Ridge and Devil’s Ridge beyond. If we took too long it would be a long walk or a pricey taxi to Sokcho and our pension (like a hostel without beds). Thinking mostly of the gorgeous nature beneath us and not the pain in our legs we trekked onward. The path was mostly inclines and declines with a few level paths mixed in. These were often barely wide enough for 2-way traffic!
The second peak was a “mild” one. Well, that is to say we were already pretty high up and only descended about a hundred meters before having to climb back up. I found myself trailing our group between my regular photo stops and water breaks on this grueling endeavor.
The second peak turned into a beautiful plateau before quickly giving way to another spectacular climb. At least there wasn’t an insane downhill this time too! Continue reading