Mountain Climbing in Chiaksan

Chiaksan is a grand mountain. Its about 20 Kilometres from Wonju, S.Korea. You can reach it by taking bus 41 or 41A and it will drop you off right at the beginning of the path.

Chiaksan is not just one peak, but rather a whole bunch of summits linked.

It seems like every mountain in Korea has a temple or 2 and Chiak has it's share. I think it's a way of keeping the monks in shape. It's well worth the time to check it out.
Chiaksan There are several buddhist temples and various other historical things to see. This large sculpture is at Kuryongsa Temple.
There is a old Shilla fortification at one end which is quite impressive. There are also cairns on the summit at Pirobong. The story goes that a couple wanted children and could not seem to get any. They built the cairn and got a baby.

sign on ChiakSan The way up is resonably hard without being impossible. It takes about 6 hours to make it to the top and back down. You have to make sure you're on the path early enough, because you don't want to be climbing in the dark. The path is well indicated and there are chains and ropes in the harder bits.
The view from the top of Chiaksan is really great, and you feel on top of the world. There is usually a bunch of people resting at the summit or picknicking. But the feeling is festive rather than crowded.

There was no one in sight this day though. It was really freezing on the mountain in January.


I've been told it gets quite busy in the summer but, so far I've found it really nice. The people you meet will say hello, and often offer you food. Give them some of your goodies in exchange and it becomes a friendly get together.

Chiak San has a reputation of being very clean and a nice place to climb.

Koreans love to eat the little tangerines that are available everywhere and it makes a great trail food.

If you decide to climb in the winter make sure you have climbing irons. They cost about 6000 wons and you can get them easily in any sports shop in Wonju, or at the base of the mountain. These are little spikes you strap on your shoes or boots. With them you can walk on ice and not slide around. They are much safer than just boots.

There is a campground in Chiaksan Park and I think it would be a great place to spend a couple of days. There were even a couple of campers there in January. It must have been pretty cold.

There is also a lodge where you can spend the night. Its heated and you can get some food there too.

Chiaksan is about 1280 Metres high. That's about 4000 feet.

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