Backpacking in South Korea - Backpacking at Eunbongsan Mountain in Yangju
Since Must Outdoor crew started backpacking in Korea, we would like to stay out in cold weather, and check how possibly we can endure a cold weather in Korea.
The day we choose to go to backpacking was reported that weather would still remain far below the seasonal averages. Cold wave warning is in Yangju, low of minus 15 degrees Celsius, besides, the wind chill is making it feel even colder. What a crazy…. We anyhow packed a bag for another great backpacking journey and headed to Eunbongsan Mt. located at Yangju-Si, Gyeonggi-do.
The name of Eunbongsan[은봉산(隱鳳山)] Mt. was made that silver(Eun) deposits are rich and phoenix(bong) hid in the mountain. The height of Eunbongsan is just 380m which is not that high, and mountain path is generally gentle and not a steep and well maintained, that is easy to climb up.
We chose a basic mountain path, from last stop of bus No. 8 at Hongjuk-ri as entrance of mountain, where is a very close and accessible from the village.
Carrying heavy backpack and we walked into trail course that is on the right-side path from roadmap of village entrance.
Trail course was covered with a heavy snow that did not even thaw on the ground, and slippery. We could not figure out exact trail course, but the trace of footprints guided us to the top of the mountain.
After 10 min of walk, we could find another signpost that shows direction toward Naenggol mineral spring. Thanks to the signpost, we thought it would be easy to get to destination. But it was a bit mistake due to covered heavy snow.
Headed toward path of Naenggol mineral spring, it made us approached in the middle of bunch of trees. We could not find any clue except traces of footprint spread out in many ways. We kept traced out one path that has a lot of footprints on the ground.
Yeah! Found another signpost showing direction toward Naenggol mineral spring and top of Eunbongsan Mt. From this signpost, trail courses are divided into several ways. We continuously stepped toward mineral spring.
Way toward mineral spring, there are a lot of stone towers. These exquisite stone towers, I think, are made from many hands. Visitors come and go to mineral spring stack up a piece of stone, then finally build up as a fine artwork in the middle of mountain. We could imagine how many people exert themselves to the utmost to stack up stone towers by come and go.
Reached Naenggol mineral spring, we took a first rest drinking water. Mineral spring water keep running though freezing and chilly wind is in the middle of mountain. Taking off the backpacks, we tasted hmm.. gulp mineral water. It is just like clean water took out from the fridge.
Only got 0.4Km to the top from mineral spring. We rushed again toward top of the mountain.
Finally reached top of the mountain. It roughly took 1 hour from the entrance of trail course, bus terminal. The top of Eunbongsan Mt is heliport, and shows a great view of Yangju town. Watching landscapes, chilly wind dried the sweat off quickly, then felt body temperature goes down. Left beautiful scenery behind, we rushed to pitch a tent before getting chilly and dark.
To comfort cold of our body, something hot is essential. Thus, I prepared fish cake soup for heat up the temperature together with kimbap.
After alleviated our hunger slightly, it became warmer than before. Darkness fell down early, the landscape from the top lights up with shining lights of buildings and roads, whereas other side is holding deep darkness only with small starlight. Seeing a down ground from a higher ground is beautiful and amazing as always, especially at night. It gives us unforgettable memories of backpacking in Korea.
After looking down at the city night view, our official dinner begins. Let’s start eating! Foods for backpacking are just heating cooking food with hot water. It is pre-cooked food, and easy to bring, cook, and delicious. Especially today homemade sous-vide pork belly is ready for dinner. Yammy~ @_@;
As I mentioned, it was totally freezing day with cold wave warning. But we get through cold wave warning of below 18 degree and survived without big difficulty or problem. Sunrise view of morning overcame cold wave warning is another wonderful landscape. It feels like standing on the cloud.
Again, we had to rush taking down the tent not to cause inconvenience for visitors of this mountain. Make sure that no trace behind at all. All the trashes we made for the night, take it all at home. It is important manner for backpackers and a great method to preserve nature as it is.
Going down a mountain is not easy especially in winter season. Going down is much slippery than climb up. Thus, snow spikes and trekking poles(alpenstock) are required for winter backpacking and climbing. Actually, we did not bring any of it, so broke a branch on the ground and made an ultimate cane to prevent slipping. With great experience in a very cold weather, We round off backpacking in Korea at Eunbongsan Mountain.