Final Baekdu Daegan Photos
We finished hiking the portion of the Baekdu Daegan in South Korea on Wednesday October 5th. It feels like an accomplishment to have completed it, but because the ridge as a geological feature continues on northward to its namesake, Baekdusan Mountain, in North Korea, it feels as if there is unfinished business. But, until North Korea opens its doors to the world, and the National Park Service in the South opens the closures that we didn't hike, we consider this project complete.
The final stretch of the trail takes the hiker through what we feel is South Korea's scenic and geologic jewel, Seoraksan National Park. The ridges and valleys are suddenly steep, jagged and dramatic. Granite spires tower above gushing waterfalls and deep valleys. Its a magical place, and we luckily timed our walking perfectly with the arrival of the peak autumn foliage. We also had the chance to visit the Bongjeongam hermitage, at the head of another gorgeous deep, stream-cut granite valley, set in one of the most beautiful alpine environments anywhere in Korea's mountains.
Here are some photos from the last section
At the moment, we're in Incheon visiting with Liz's family, eating and relaxing after a solid push of nineteen days of hiking. While we're here, we plan to do some rock climbing on a peak called Insubong in a national park just north of Seoul. The route is supposedly moderate, having been established by Yvon Chouinard in the 1960's. We'll see how it goes.
Back in Seattle on the 14th of October.