‘Wow this is Halla Mt''s real face’
It was the moment that I thought like that.
There were many mountaineers gathering even though it was early morning! Some came individual, or others came with travel agencies or Aplin clubs. They all were busy in preparing for trekking.
First I looked around, and I could not believe what I saw was the real Jeju''s view because of so much snow!
I paid Halla Mt. National Park Office for parking fee, and I combinded skies and snowshoes to my backpack.
It was the moment that I stepped my first step forward to ''Baekdu to Halla" project!
A trekking course of Sungpanak was covered with powder snow as much as it''s hard to call it a trekking course, and we just followed other people''s foot print who went up in front of us. Therefore the trekking course had space that only one or two people could pass through.
As following the trekking course, suddenly I got curious about how is the stock of snow around the trekking course. So I took my ski pole to next of snow, and the height of snow was more than 1 m since my pole was 110 cm.
Wow, I got impressed, and this time I was trying to listen to sound I was making when I walked, and snow crunched underfoot.
''Really? it is strange!!''
I grabbed snow, and brew it, then side of snowball was being brew away.
It was close to dry powder which is the best condition of snow for powder skiing. In fact, before I came here, I thought it would be wet powder snow as Jeju is an island, but snow of Halla Mt. laughed at my stupid guess with crisp sound.
1. So much snow that could cover a pole enough
2. Mountaineers who stopped by spectacular views
3. Halla''s winter view like we were looking at Europe''s view
While I was walking up hard, mountaineers stopped in front! For cooling down sweats, eating snacks, and taking rest all people started stopping at everywhere but where they were stopping at was picturesque.
Heavy and big snow balancing on big leaves or branches looked dangerous, but those trees were hanging up that weight for that one of pictures.
People were taking pictures of that picturesque views under that dangerous branches.
I was busy for pressing my camera''s button. I asked passing people for my pictures.
It was about 3 hours after walking up and taking rest, I could see one big peak standing tall in front of me.
Since it got clear 1 hour ago, Halla Mt. was greeting mountaineers in harmony of blue sky and white snow.
Baekrokdam standing tall right under the blue sky. From here it is a little bit more than 2 km to Baekrokdam.
*Baekrokdam is a creator on top of Halla Mt. and it has a beautiful blue pond!
I looked around where I arrived, and it was Jindalebat Shelter.
I peeked it, and I saw half of it buried by snow.
I ate up my last snack, and hurried myself to walk up again to Baekrokdam, the top of Halla Mt. It was quite steep compared to the previous course I passed, and it was totally covered with powder snow so I slipped a lot.
As a long walk up, I saw 3 or 5 peopl of groups looking back and being impressed. So I happened to look back in my reflex, and got the view of white clouds hanging around Halla Mt. making me feel that the whole world was under my feet!
I walked up hard again, wooden stairs appeared, it seemed I almost got the top.
Mountaineers who already had watched Baekrokdam from other courses were walking down to my course, and they were making exclamation of surprise and asking me.
'' Wow you are amazing. You came up here carrying skies?
Are you gonna ski down from here?''
I had already heard these kinds of questions and their exclamation a couple of times from the beginning of Sungpanak course, it was interesting that every questioners had same pattern of questions and intonation. So I was giving them exactly same answer.
‘Yeh It''s fun, you should try this’
When I stepped up on the last wooden stair, strong wind greeted me first.
Winds as strong as I couldn''t stand up straint made me put on my arctic clothes in really short time. Then I could sightsee Baerokdam and whole Jeju Island view from it.
''Wow this is the top of Korea''
One part of Baerokdam attracted my eyes. I watched a video of powder skiing on Chile''s volcanic mountain one day. Beautiful powder covering that part of Baekrokdam where matched 100 % with Chil''e volcanic mountain that I saw in the video inspired me to have new challenge spirit.
Someday I will do powder skiing on that crater of Halla Mt.
1.Full view of Halla Mt.''s Baerokdam
2.Powder snow on Baekrokdam which reminds me of Chille''s volcanic mountain skiing
3.Max at Baerokdam
I came back hurriedly to Jindalebat Shelter. I finished high-calory energy bar and chocolate for lunch, and checked backcountry powder skiing gear. I put boots on, and clicked helmet-cam on the mount of my helmet.
I put other trekking shoes and crampons into my backpack, and double-checked the route and started skiing to Sungpanak parking lot.
I felt I was flying at first when my skies went into Halla Mt.''s powder snow. A little bit wet powder but it was light enough to make turns.
I was getting confident for powder skiing and started tree-run.
That''s why I climbed up so hard Halla Mt. for this best feeling.
Sky got clear perfectly, so finally blue sky and white snow ful-filled my eyes. Moreover I wearing a red ski jacket was in harmony with them. The beauty of backcountry powder skiing is like taking a walk in winter mountains.
It''s a feeling like you get into deep forest of mountains and take a walk facing the whole of mountains, and it''s totally different from facing half of the mountains just looking from trekking courses. It''s complex fun that you can not define it with singular idea like fun of skiing, trekking, and taking a walk.
It''s the fun which only people who are doing this can know, and you can not know from book or talk.