Tue, May 22, Jeju Island, South Korea

Yesterday I arrived in Jejudo (Jeju island), and determined that this morning I would climb Hallasan (Mt. Halla).

Mt. Halla is at the center of Jejudo, an inactive volcano 1,950m tall. Even though I was warned by my guidebook and others that the route I took (from Eorimok, pronounced "Orimok") would not lead me to the top, I took it anyway because it seemed like the easiest route. Of course, some people always find an easier way.

These people were actually maintaining the trail. This cog monorail probably also serves to supply instant ramen to the little shelter at the end of the line. Other than the smell of the engine, the whole setup seemed very unobjectionable.

At some point above 1400m, the deciduous forest becomes a forest of firs

mixed in with wide open spaces covered in a bamboo-like grass.

One of the attractions of Hallasan in this season are the Azaleas, Rhododendron yedoense and Rhododendron mucronulatum.

This picture shows, growing together, pine, yew, a wild rose, and bamboo grass.

This picture shows the azelia growing in the bamboo-like grass together with a small yew.

Further up I saw buttercups that look different from the buttercups I am used to,

as well as small primroses.

Hallasan is supposed to have quite a bit of wildlife, including roe deer and birds of prey, but the only animals I saw were ravens.

There were a lot of them near the hut that serves instant ramen.

Less than a month ago, there was a small wildfire in this part of Hallasan, perhaps caused by a cigarette. The warning sign was already up.

The main peak of Hallasan is surrounded by many smaller craters such as these two, Chetmang Oreum in front and Red Oreum behind it. Oreum (pronounced about as in "Oh rum") means crater in Korean.

The main peak of Hallasan today was often in the clouds, and is quite steep and rocky.

Going down, I took a different way, which took me to a place called Donnaeko. There were quite a few azaleas blooming here as well.

Also a flower that reminded me of an alpine gentian.

There are several little islands offshore, including Seopseom

and Munseom.

And for anyone who is interested, lots of information about Hallasan.

Since I am on sabbatical, I can appreciate national park areas also going on sabbatical. But 15 years! Wow.