Backcountry Powder Skiing on Halla Mt. of Jeju Island
It takes 1 hour 30 mins to get the top of Witseoruem approximately.
The reason is that we can approach the entrance of Yungsil course by car and that car parking lot is very close to the top of Witseoruem.
Because of that reason, it was 8 o''clock when I woke up.
Was it because of cool Hot Springs last night?
I felt my body lighter!!
Who even imagined? That conbination of backcountry powder skiing and Hot Springs is possible in the southest of Korea, Jeju Island.
I had dried pollack soup for breakfast, and when I came out of the guest house to upload backcountry powder skiing gear on the car, I got worried face.
Because there were still dark clouds in the sky.
Not only for the best video taping and pitures, but also for a body condition reason that when it''s snowy, your clothes will get wet while trekking, then you can not stay long at the top with low temperature relatively.
Thus it''s not good weather for backcountry powder skiers who have to prepare powder skiing at the top.
But I didn''t want to give up on this gorgeous powder skiing on Halla Mt. I started the engine to conquer west side of the mountain this time after putting gear into the car in hurry.
When I passed Jeju''s circle road and just before I got into 1100 Mt. road crossing west side of Halla Mt., a police stopped my car and asked me to pull over my car to the side.
"You are not allowed to keep going unless you fix a snow chain on tires of your car."
Because of his restriction, I got off the car, fixed a snow chain on tires, and backed to driving.
I couldn''t see any special thing so far.
However I''ve already got used to Halla Mt.''s transform like a chameleon which it changes its view by altitude, but I got impressed again by its change as I was going up.
After a long run, 1100 Mt. road was totally white. So that''s why the police man stopped cars.
It''s often they block 1100 Mr. road or 516 Mt. road which crosses east area of Halla Mt like this morning because of frequent and heavy snow.
I owed snow chain big one. I arrived at Yungsil course parking lot #1. Because of bad weather or suddenly dropped temperature, I didn''t know, but there were very few mountaineers even it was around 10 am.
I combined skies and snowshoes to my backpack and started walking up to get the entrance of Yungsil course.
You can get to the entrance of Yungsil course by a car during summer season, but they block this road because of snow.
From here to the entracne of Yungsil course it takes 30 mins.
I had read an article about this path to Yungsil course few days ago.
Jeju Tourism Organization has a plan to develop this path for mountaineering skiing course. This news couldn''t be happier to me as a mountaineering skier.
In order to build ski resorts, the nature of Jeju National Park is supposed to be damanaged but if we develop mountaineering skiing course, there will be no damage to the nature of Jeju National Park , and we can enjoy Halla Mt. as the way it is, and we can attract domestic and international tourists to Halla Mt. so I believe Jeju Island can be Mecca of mountaineering skiing.
As walking up the entrace road of Yungsil course while thinking a couple of things, it was calm and peaceful. Only one thing that I could hear was my creaky foot walk on powder snow and wind sound.
I arrived at the entrace of Yungsil course.
Doors of buildings around there were already burried half and information office was also having as big as its body on a roof of itself.
1. Snow piled up higher than cars(Yungsil #1 parking lot)
2. Yungsil Information Office surrounded by snow world
3. Buildings blocked more than half by snow
4. Gate building having snow as big as its body
My first impression about Yungsil course was I felt it was wide.
Tall pine trees were growing up straight to the sky, they were apart form each others as like they anticipated their big bodies hundreds years later.
I wanted to stick my pole into snow like yesterday, but I lost my balance and almost fell down because my pole went into the snow too deep. And even I couldn''t see my pole.
Another difference between Yungsil course and Sungpanak course was trekking course''s slope.
While Sungpanak course was slow and flat course, Yungsil course was fast course with steep up and down hills, especailly when I climbed up the trekking course in front of Obaeknahan, I had to put front of my trekking shoes into snow of the course to climb up.
After Obaeknahan trekking course, it extends toward to Witseoruem along a ridge.
I stopped for a minute because of majestic view of Obaeknahan.
‘I wish it was a clear day’