Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hallasan, Post Typhoon Bolaven

2012-08-29 Hallasan 11
Tamna Valley

One of the things I've always wanted to do in Jeju was to see the crater lake filled at the top of Hallasan.  What better chance do I have than immediately after a typhoon!?! Typhoon Bolaven came on a late Monday night and passed through early on Tuesday. I just so happened to have the next Wednesday off from work and packed up my bags for an early morning hike up the mountain.  It turned out to be absolutely amazing to pass by the normally dry riverbeds and hear the sound of running water.

2012-08-29 Hallasan 20
I found some amazing lenticular clouds

2012-08-29 Hallasan 38
Utter Destruction at the Summit

Unfortunately, the top was covered in fog!  I couldn't see anything!!!! My 4:45am wake up wasn't seeming so cool anymore. The last few hundred meters of the hike were utter destruction.  Trees were downed everywhere and over the trail.  At the top it was like the mountain got a haircut.  It seemed like every tree that could be seen was shaved down to about 8 feet.  The guard rails, part of the platform trail, and the hut at the top were all destroyed.

On the bright side, I had an incredible solitary hike up the normally crowded mountain where I didn't see a soul the entire way up and only a couple of friendly groups on the way down.  On the way down however, it was just my luck that after about 30 minutes, the skies cleared just enough to see the top. I was way to exhausted to turn around, and it's a good thing I didn't because the clouds came back right away.  Another typhoon, Tembin came the next day, maybe filled the crater even more, but I couldn't make it to the mountain on the weekend.  There's another typhoon coming this weekend though!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Hydrangea

2012-07-04- Saemi Oreum 16

One of the signs of the beginning of summer is when the hydrangeas come in full bloom. It looks like I actually took this picture in July.  You can see them in the gardens and along the roadsides.  I especially like to see them as they line both sides of the hiking trails in deep green, blue and purple.