Edit Blog Post
Published: April 13th 2016
Gwanaksan is a popular hiking spot in Seoul. There are many trails and it is easily accessible from various subway stations. I started from Sadang station and came out of exit six. I took the same route I had done previously, when walking the Seoul Trail, and headed up through the streets of small apartment buildings to reach the start of the trail. Last time the steep driveway up to the temple was a killer, but this time it wasn't too bad. I headed past the temple and instead of heading around the base of the mountain headed upwards. The mountain is only 629 metres high, so the trails aren't too long. The trail we took up was quite steep and rocky. However, it wasn't too bad. There were some cool rocks that had a lot of writing on them, if only I understood Korean better, I would have been able to understand what they said. There are also quite a few army bunkers about, I wonder if they are still used for training, or if they are now defunct. Gwanaksan has a great position in southern Seoul and I am sure the armies used that to their advantage during the
On the hike up, we came across Turtle Rock, I can't remember seeing that before. Some brave souls climbed on it and sat on the turtle's neck/head. I am too much of a scaredy cat to do that, but watched on in admiration. The rock hangs over the edge, if I did it, I am sure I would plummet to my death. The views on the way up were fantastic. You can see pretty much the whole of Seoul, rows and rows of high-rise apartment building and even higher office blocks. I could see the Han river too. After a while the trail evened out and were walking long fairly flat ground. This was nice and we soon came to the spot where we would have lunch. It didn't take us long to get up there, but was sit to sit and relax for a bit. From there we continued on. I could see all the craggy rocks that make Gwanaksan look so pretty, I could also see lots and lots of stairs. We climbed the stairs and we rewarded with great views, the hard work is all worth it.
I have been to the peak
before using this route and it was pretty scary as me and my friends were climbing up a steep ledge and if I hadn't of had their help, there would have been no way I could make it up there. This time however, when we came to the crossroads, we headed in a different direction. I was slightly relieved that we weren't heading that way to the peak, and I wasn't even sure if we would go to the peak. The trail we took lead us down the mountain on the opposite side. We continued downwards until we came to a nice big rock where we sat and chilled. There was a steep slope in front of us, we watched a lone wolf walking up the rock. We were all looking on in admiration. Then we found out we would be heading up the same slope!
Luckily, the guys in our group had some ropes so they scaled the rock and put out the ropes for us to use to climb up! It was steep, but with the rope, easier as there was something to hold on to. Plus everyone was encouraging each other. After our rock climbing we
continued up a steep rocky slope. It was fun as seemed easy in comparison to what we had just done. We weren't heading to the peak today, so we kept going and came to a rocky outcrop, where we had another view over the city. Then we headed down. This part was a little tough as there were lots of big rocks and we have to scramble down them. We had went in a circle and we ended up back at the big rock, where we had climbed from. We took a rest there and then continued back to the crossroads we had stopped near earlier for lunch. We took a different path, a more gentle slope back down to the base of the mountain. Then we headed through a small neighbourhood and were back at the subway station.
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