Climbing Mt Seorak in Korea


Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#1
I have about 5 days in early Nov in Korea.
In all probability will be alone.
Dont like city stay in general, so thinking about going to Mt Seorak and climbing up to see the sunrise from the peak.

Does any one have any similar experience or advice to share ?
There seems to be a relative lack of information with regards to traveling in Korea compared to places like Japan / shanghai .

Thank you !!! ;)
 

Prismatic

Senior Member
Feb 25, 2003
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In the void.
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#2
I have about 5 days in early Nov in Korea.
In all probability will be alone.
Dont like city stay in general, so thinking about going to Mt Seorak and climbing up to see the sunrise from the peak.

Does any one have any similar experience or advice to share ?
There seems to be a relative lack of information with regards to traveling in Korea compared to places like Japan / shanghai .

Thank you !!! ;)
I will be going there in 2 weeks time, spending about 10 days there but will be mainly around Gyeonggi-do though. From my previous experiences there, there might be difficulties in communication once you are outside the cities.
 

gnohz

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2008
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www.truphotos.com
#3
I climbed Mt Seorak last year. We didn't climb the entire height though. Took a cable car up and from there climbed up all the way. It was very windy, not to the point of being cold but that was in spring, so you'll need more warm clothing in Nov. Instead of gloves I suggest mittens as they don't interfere that much with handling :)
 

blurfoto

New Member
Sep 16, 2010
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#4
I went to sorak as a day trip few years back, not too sure anything have changed now

took overnite bus from seoul - sokcho (about 3hrs?), which i slept a while at the bus terminal b4 catching the first bus to sorak national park (think within an hour ~ sorry can't remember but it wasn't long)

basically to me there are 2 routes (there probably be more) that end up at different points of mountain range
1. gondola which opens at 8am
2. hike up (about 2~3 hrs? depending on your fitnss level) which you can start as soon as you reach there

but to catch the sunrise, i dunno how unless you camp near sorak entrance or have your own transport
early nov is nice as it's autumn season, nice foilage ....

hope that helps
 

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driveanegg

New Member
Sep 8, 2009
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Choa Chu Kang
#5
Thanks blurfoto, Prismatic and gnohz !!!
Every bit of information is useful !! ;)

looking forward to this big adventure :D
 

toejam

New Member
Mar 20, 2008
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#8
check if the park is open then. I was there for a month in Feb (alone, and cold as well), seorak was a day trip. there are surprisingly quite a few mountains to climb very near seoul, i did 3 + seorak.

btw, u'll need crampons if there is ice (i dunno how early it gets cold/or ice forms there). hiking boots are not good enough on ice. especially so that there's nothing to stop you from sliding off seorak's peak... :)

and ummm, seorak was ... okay.
 

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blurfoto

New Member
Sep 16, 2010
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#9
check if the park is open then. I was there for a month in Feb (alone, and cold as well), seorak was a day trip. there are surprisingly quite a few mountains to climb very near seoul, i did 3 + seorak.

btw, u'll need crampons if there is ice (i dunno how early it gets cold/or ice forms there). hiking boots are not good enough on ice. especially so that there's nothing to stop you from sliding off seorak's peak... :)

and ummm, seorak was ... okay.
wow u did 3 + sorak in a day?!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

Oct 8, 2010
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#10
I climbed Seorak in Feb this year and saw the sunrise at Daechongbong, the peak of Seoraksan... you will need to stay overnight in one of the ranger huts/shelters.. i was backpacking on my own also... here's my itineray for your reference...

from Seoul, take a bus to Sokcho, about 3-4 hours...

at Sokcho, i stayed at House Hostel... the owner, Mr. Yoo, is a great guy, friendly and always ready to give your suggestions of places to go and how to get there... he speaks pretty good english... i paid only 20000Won per night for a single bedroom with a private bathroom and tv and heated blanket... breakfast is free!!! and so is laundry!!!
http://www.thehouse-hostel.com/

from the hostel, take a bus to the Seoraksan National Park Visitor Centre.


At the Visitor Centre, ask for a map of the hiking trail, like this:


Ask the latest weather conditions up in the mountain and any restrictions for hiking (the mountain could be closed to prevent forest fires). Ask about the availability of sleeping berths in the shelters... I stayed in Yangpok shelter, which is on a first-come-first-serve basis... there are two other shelters that are on FCFS basis... there are also 2 shelters that you can reserve beforehand on this website (ask Mr Yoo to help you book the shelter online)... http://english.knps.or.kr/Experience/Shelters/Default.aspx?MenuNum=2&Submenu=Shelters

photos of yangpok shelter here:
http://intro.knps.or.kr/sandorinet/shelter_photo/photo/Seorak_Yangpok01.jpg

have a very full meal at the eatery near the Visitor Centre before your hike...

you will need to buy ticket into the mountain...

i started pretty late in the day, about 2.30pm... so i hiked very quickly and hardly stop to take any photos... i wanted to reach the shelter before it got dark... i took about 2 hours to reach Yangpok Shelter (normal walking speed may take up to 4 hours)... along the way, you may meet fellow hikers, so be nice and greet them with "An nyeong ha se yo" and tried to follow them or at least keep them in sight in case you meet with any difficulty and you can shout out to them for help.... (i suggest you start the hike in the morning)...

when i reached Yangpok, it was about 4pm... the place was also pretty crowded already... people setting up their stoves on the floor to cook dinner... the shelter sells instant noodle and rice and chocolate and water/pocari... i bought a packet of instant noodle and sat down with a group of young guys to share their pots and solid fuel... they were a bunch of undergrads from Seoul, also intending to catch sunrise, and we set to move together... oh, for cooking the instant noodle, use the river water...

The shelter provides us with 2 blanket, so it is quite warm in the shelther even though it was freezing cold and windy outside...

we woke up at about 1.30am to start the hike up Daechongbong... MUST bring a torchlight... best if it is head-mounted torchlight so your hands are free to maneouvre... eat plenty of chocolate/snickers for energy... it was a pretty tough climb in the dark and we made several U-turns when we discovered we were on the wrong track...

we took about 4 hours to reach the Jungcheong shelter at about 5.30am, which is the nearest shelter to Daechongbong... it has a good view of the Daechongbong peak... we had a rest there, bought pocari to drink and ate chocolate...

then, we started the rather steep climb up the slope of Daechongbong... it was very windy and very cold... it was very foggy also, so we could not see the peak clearly... it took about half an hour to reach the peak... by that time, about 6am, there were already several groups there, surrounding the stone plaque that marked the highest point of the mountain...


it was cloudy, so we knew the chance of seeing the sunrise was very slim... sometimes, the cloud would break up a bit and the morning sun rays would burst through and shine upon us...


for the descend, we choose the trail that lead to the Osaek ranger station... the descend was very tough on the knees... we stopped by one of the several river streams along the way and use the river water to wash up... the descend took about 3 hours... it was a very picturesque journey... at Daechongbong, it was all snowy and white... as we descend, the forest color changed from white to yellow as the snow disappeared and vegetation became more dense...


at Osaek, i took a bus back to Sokcho and back to House Hostel for a well-deserved nap...

the photos are in my gallery... sadly, i did not take many photos because we were frequently walking very fast... for the early morning hike, i did not take any photos at all because we were busy finding the correct track and walking very fast so that we could reach the peak for the sunrise... we took more photos on the descend as we had more time and we were all very glad we achieved our aim...
http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphoto.php/photo/167716/ppuser/131446

for hiking equipment, it was still snowing in Sokcho/Seoraksan in Feb, so I wore jacket, pants and shoes that are waterproof... ice-crampons are essential, as mentioned by toejam... i bought them in Seoul for 7000 won... the better ones can cost 50,000won... do check out whether it will snow in Nov in Seoraksan...

have a nice trip!

PS: i climbed up Hallasan and part of Jirisan (the Nogodan area, highly recommended in winter! very beautiful there!!!) too. If you need info on these places, just PM me. =)
 

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Sep 8, 2009
615
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Choa Chu Kang
#11
I climbed Seorak in Feb this year and saw the sunrise at Daechongbong, the peak of Seoraksan... you will need to stay overnight in one of the ranger huts/shelters.. i was backpacking on my own also... here's my itineray for your reference...

PS: i climbed up Hallasan and part of Jirisan (the Nogodan area, highly recommended in winter! very beautiful there!!!) too. If you need info on these places, just PM me. =)
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUCH A DETAILED REPLY !!! :heart:
going on tuesday.... hope to bring many pictures back :)
 

icarus

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2002
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East
#12
I was there in January this year and it was really freezing but the scenary is worth it.. Tip - do bring a GPS logger along to geotag your photos... its easier to know where you have been :)

Just sharing some pics taken at Mt Sorak... enjoy your trip!





 

Sep 8, 2009
615
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Choa Chu Kang
#13
I was there in January this year and it was really freezing but the scenary is worth it.. Tip - do bring a GPS logger along to geotag your photos... its easier to know where you have been :)

Just sharing some pics taken at Mt Sorak... enjoy your trip!
Beautiful !!! were they taken near the summit ???

I think I dont have the climbing power to go up to summit. Only a climbing newbie.... and prob have very wrong equipment... only trying to get proper hiking boots and a thick jacket now....
:(

So hoping to get nice pictures by doing the more common trails lower down.... hope it turns out ok... :)
 

focus627

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2006
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#15
Hi, there. My wife and I are going to Seorak mountain from Nov4-7. Select quite a few hiking pathes and booked a shelter on the mountain for one night on Nov 4 night to see the sunrise and enjoy a cold night on the moutain. Any chance we may meet in seorak mountain. :)
 

focus627

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2006
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#16
Hi, bro. Thanks so much for your information. We used to plan to climb to Jungcheong shelter in 6-7 hours by the same route after leaving Seoul in the early moring. Now I know it is impossible. We will change the plan to climb from Osaek to Jungcheong shelter. Going just the opposite direction as your hiking route. Hope we can survive.:) We have no hiking experience before. Really worried get lost in the mountain.:sweat:
I climbed Seorak in Feb this year and saw the sunrise at Daechongbong, the peak of Seoraksan... you will need to stay overnight in one of the ranger huts/shelters.. i was backpacking on my own also... here's my itineray for your reference...

from Seoul, take a bus to Sokcho, about 3-4 hours...
 

Oct 8, 2010
80
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#17
you are welcome! =)

I think there are also buses direct from Seoul to Orsaek... check it out at the Seoul bus terminal...
 

focus627

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2006
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#18
you are welcome! =)

I think there are also buses direct from Seoul to Orsaek... check it out at the Seoul bus terminal...
Thanks. Probably have to go to Sokcho first to find a place to store luggage. Not sure if there is luggage storage service in Orsaek or not.:think:
 

Sep 8, 2009
615
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Choa Chu Kang
#19
In korea now !!
Walking about is really a nightmare .... cant read a single sign on the streets. Going out of jeju to seoul and mt seorak on Nov 1-3.

Tomorrow is an attempt to climb Halla-san !! Will let everyone know how difficult that is if I do get up there .... hahaha

thanks for the encouragement and help from everyone !
 

Oct 8, 2010
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#20
An nyeong ha se yo! =)

All the best to climbing Hallasan! Hope it will be blue sky day tmr in Hallasan! =)

Probably it's too late to tell u this... there is a cut-off time to reach the midpoint ranger station, start your day early...



Ke se yo!
 

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