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Touch the sky at Cheonmasan! ⛅⛰️

Written by : The Korea Wanderers

Last week Saturday, the Korea Wanderers teamed up with NGL Forum to hike the mighty Cheonmasan (천마산) which is 812m in elevation! I am proud to report that we conquered the mountain successfully but it was not without its challenges. First off, coming from Seoul, I accidentally took a wrong subway line and ended up starting the hike later than expected but still managed to get an early start to avoid some crowding at the peak

We were challenged to finish this hike in 2 hours and I recklessly accepted the challenge. Having climbed the likes of Seoraksan before, I was pleasantly surprised that this mountain challenged me so much. However, just 20 minutes into this hike and I was already panting but I would like to put the disclaimer out there that I am not very fit at the moment so do not let this deter you from climbing this beautiful mountain. As I woke up very early and travelled almost 2 hours to see this mountain, I decided that I had to reach the top one way or another. So said, so done!

Despite the frequent stops along the way, it was still a very enjoyable hike and surprisingly, we made it to the top in just under 1 hr 30mins. I was also kindly assisted by our mentor along the trail as he carried my bag to lessen my burden on the way up. When we got to the first look out point, it was not very clear but we could still see the mountain ridges in the distance where I happily took a rest.

We then forged forward toward the main peak but was already too late as this peak was very narrow and already packed with the religious hikers. However, we still got some nice pictures and was able to breathe in the fresh air before starting back down.

Although, we followed the same way back down, it felt much different. For one, gravity was assisting me and I happily skipped down the hill. At the very end, we did take a slightly different route which offered us a more scenic view and a less steep trail which our knees later thanked us for.

Tip: Always take the more scenic view!

At the beginning of this trail, I had spotted a beautiful area where all the yellow leaves had fallen off the Ginko trees (은행나무) and children were playing with the leaves merrily. On our way back down, it was less crowded and although, exhausted, I couldn't help my playful side from bursting out of me and I rushed to play with the leaves like a little child who has never seen autumn before.

We finished this hike and headed in a bee line to the ddakgalbi (딱갈비) restaurant from the suggestion by one of our team mates. There, we had a very late lunch but amply made up for that skipped meal by eating a quantity almost equal to two lunches. After eating, to our heart's content, we then browsed the nearby garden at the footpath of Cheonmasan's (천마산) entrance before calling it a day.

The beautiful fall colors merged with the temple and its sculptures created a nice peaceful ambience to end the day on a good note. The pictures below were taken by Jyoti Mahadeo of the Korean Wanderers.

On behalf of the Korea Wanderers, it was very nice meeting everyone from the NGL team and we look forward to more collaborations like these in the future!

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