Descending Jirisan is no simple task. After relaxing on the peak for nearly an hour and seeing a helicopter rescue we finally decided to get moving. Before we actually climbed down we had a few kilometers of trail to cover on the ridgeline.
Traveling among the clouds we enjoyed the youthgiving mountain air and stunning views. To the horizon and beyond all you could see were mountains and valleys. Although Spring was blooming below it was oddly dead at this altitude.
The ridgeline’s steady downgrade only had a few uphills thrown in. It made for a wonderful stroll before we got to the first shelter. While there we had a chance to refill our water, sit in the shade and enjoy a few “choco pies” from the quartermaster. Silly me only brought a giant bag of trail-mix thinking I’d be able to pick up gimbap along the way. I devoured a few of these snacks before beginning the real descent and seeing my first greenery of the day.
Steps after steps; for some reason we forgot that 1900+ meters up also meant 1900+ meters down:( At least there was a babbling brook to follow. By now all the animals of the forest had woken up and birds and insects joined the river’s beautiful symphony!
Following the stream we eventually came to a massive rock riverbed. The path swerved through the stones and we paused for a quick photoshoot!
We took a brief rest in these gorgeous pools. The chilly water refreshed us all as we dipped our feet and snoozed in the shade. Back on the trail I was suddenly aware of the the forest looming overhead! The shade it provided was welcome in the heat of the afternoon. Were we really hiking for 10 hours already? Only a few more to go!
Before we knew it nature’s lullaby guided us to the park entrance. It was hard to believe how green it was down here with the barren peak above. Jirisan, you were a bitch to climb but the natural beauty you showed me made it all worth it!