Gwanaksan Mountain – 1st hiking trip in Seoul

Hey, I’m just back from my very first hike! Attempted the Gwanaksan Mountain because it was the nearest and my friends said that it was easy.

It is easy to go up a mountain but more difficult when coming down the mountain. As I am not very tall, with my short legs, I can’t stretch like the rest and I don’t have proper hiking shoes, but that doesn’t stop me from conquering the summit!

Applause, please. thank you *bows*  😀

I went hiking with Julie, for those who don’t know where the entrance of the mountain is, here are the directions

Directions to Gwanaksan Mountain:

1) come out of the SNU main gate

2)turn left ( you will see some convenience store and stalls selling hiking gears
3) turn left again and you will see 관악산도서관

4) you will see a lot of hikers around there, just follow them  (:

Gwanaksan Mountain Hiking Routes
Gwanaksan Mountain Hiking Routes

The hike up Gwanaksan Mountain

At the entrance, I saw many children with their parents walking down the mountain and I was like, ‘ Damn if kids can hike up the mountain, I must be able to conquer it too. if not, I’ve got to dig a hole for myself to hide’
At the start of the hike, we were just walking on the road. I was telling Julie,’ weird, is it there is a designated trail for us to hike? like are we gonna be hiking all the way on the road?’

During our hike, we saw many hikers having a picnic, enjoying the scenery in the mountain

We hiked about 1/2 hour from 1-1.30pm then we reached the middle road whereby we had to choose the route we wanted to go. This was when I got more than I bargained for. There were 2 routes that we could hike to and we decided to aim for the summit! adventurous eh (;

And we were in for 2hours of hiking up the mountain. Some parts were not very steep as there were steps. Some….there weren’t any steps and I had to use my hands to climb. I’m short la, other hikers just used their equipment. There was an ahjumma who saw me having trouble to climb up, she thrusted her gear to me. I didn’t know what she was saying and I stared blankly at her stick. Then she motioned to me and I just absentmindedly grab the stick and next moment, whoa, she pulled me up the steep slope. Strong ahjumma.

We didn’t know where we were and I kept asking for directions, was quite happy when some understood what I meant. We didn’t do any planning on how to hike up and just followed the hikers.

It was very tiring, my legs were so worn out. I wanted to stop but I was like, damn, I must get to the summit before it gets dark. And eventually, after a long hike, we managed to reach the summit! Woohoo!

Although it was a tiring hike I felt a sense of achievement when I finally reached the summit. Hiking trains your determination to reach the top with the gorgeous view on top as the reward.

 my 3-in-1 photo: 1st photo- gaze at the horizon
  my 3-in-1 photo: 2nd photo- stretch our arms and feel the cool wind
  my 3-in-1 photo: 3rd photo- return to lazy bum pattern and sit down on the summit and smile for the photo ^^v
 Julie with her trademark PEACE sign ^^v
 candid shot. hehehe no one knows what happened behind the scenes
 I was attempting to climb to the rocky part but I gave up halfway. it was too scary. hugging the rocks for my dear life
We spent about 1++hour on the summit without realising it. Time passed so fast when we were on the summit. Time passed freaking slow when we were hiking. I kept reporting the time clocked when we hiked to Julie and she was like, ‘ what?!? we only hiked such a short period of time??? It felt so long!!!’
We left the summit around 4.30pm and gosh, it was much harder to hike down than hike up. When hiking up, i dont feel like im falling off. But when hiking down, i felt like i was gonna fall off the mountain anytime. Super scary. I held on to the railings whenever i spotted any.
 for once, i appreciated the manmade stairs. previously i was still hoping to climb real rocks and not walk on the road, now i just want man-made structures.
Down the summit we go, time to head back!
 climbing down the ‘steps’ was not easy for me as I had to bend all the way down for my feet to reach the rocks!
 Admiring the scenery, the autumn leaves.
 Gosh, I looked so tiny!
And when we hiked down, we lost our way and luckily we saw some hikers and they directed us to the exit. Only when we went in the directions they told us, we realised that we didn’t hike up the mountain from that route! So we took only 30mins + to hike down and we ended up at engineering faculty. That was when we realised that there are shortcuts to the summit! hehe, so next time we can hike at another time in a short period of time.
Gosh, now my legs feel like lead, feel so toned now. So overall, I spent 1-5.30pm on Gwanaksan.

Keen to conquer more summits! Albeit those less steep ones, not keen to hike for many hours though. hehe

The difficulty level of the hike:

Gwanaksan is considered the beginner mountains, so it’s among the easier ones to climb. If you stay nearby, and you wanna hike but don’t have much time, go hike Gwanaksan Mountain! But do wear proper shoes, or at the very least, sports shoes. Don’t follow me and wear sneakers. It is very dangerous! If you lose your footing, you may injure yourself. I have no sports shoes that’s why, and, if you wanna lose weight while you enjoy the scenery, hiking is the cheapest and easiest way! After the hike, my legs felt like lead and I was so tired. The next morning when I woke up, I could feel the ache in my calves, this means that I have stretched my muscles and yes my legs felt much more firm. It felt less flabby. Good workout!

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