While Nic and I are still in the planning phases of our post-Korea excursion, we have officially begun our training for trekking in Nepal. Summer is in full swing and it seems the monsoon spun itself out in the rainy spring. But it’s so much hotter than last summer; we try to balance healthy drinking habits and frequent beach days with our training. We also try to balance the hiking with commonsense training: stairs down near the Millak fishing docks, interval training (1 minute walk, 1 minute run, rinse and repeat for 20 or 40 minutes) on flat land, and our continued moderate weight training a few times a week. In a month or so, we’ll start packing a little weight, increasing these increments until the end of January. Come the beginning of January, we’ll shift our training to SE Asian jungles and mountains (Northern Thailand, for example). We currently project mid to late March 2011 to start the culmination of this training: 16-day Everest Base Camp (5340m) and the 3-week Annapurna Circuit, either in its entirety or portions in the national reserve.
Weekly, I hope to update our progress. I promise not to deluge your inbox with notifications, but please check back regularly to see how it’s going. Updates will be short and sweet. This entry will serve as an introduction to the main four training routes we’ll use that are short scooter rides away in most cases.
June 19. Eomgwangsan (504m). Hiking has been a favorite passtime in our time together, so why not start where it all began? One of our first dates back in January 2009 is my favorite in Busan because it’s sparsely populated; also you can see so much of the city, including most of the main port, Gwanganli Bridge and much of my old neighborhood. Everybody who’s anybody has gone on this hike with me, including Nic’s sister Amber. Eomgwangsan hike starts in Dong-A University and ends on the other side of the ridge in Dong-eui University. For training purposes, we may start at lower elevations, but most of the time we start at the back of said universites after a short cab or bus ride. When last we did this hike, I proposed to Nicole after hiking through the clouds to a partially cloudy summit.
July 23. Hwangyeongsan (~400m). This is a sure bet for interval training after we get back to baseline shape (the rainy and busy Spring semester ground our hiking habit and fitness to dust); there are peaks along the main trail that we can hike up and down for a little jolt to the heart rate. We usually go to the basketball courts in the back of Kyungsung University campus (~150m) and start there. It is a good hike that takes a touch more than 2 hours up and down.
July 29. Jangsan (634m). This is the big daddy around these parts. Though it is not the highest (Geomjeongsan is 801m and will be featured later this month), it is certainly the most famous. We went the day following a rain storm; this was ill-advised. Not only were the views obscured by the clouds at the summit, the way down was so slippery and had such poor visibility that we had to go slow and even got lost twice on this fairly familiar route. It is near our apartment, so the 3-plus hours to go up and back is not preceded or followed by a long journey on the subway. This route also has options for interval training if you leave from where we did: Dongbeak subway station.
August 3. Beaksan (~200m). This is a good one hour hike that starts just across the street from our apartment. The first hill is near Millak’s Me World and I don’t know the name; it’s about 10 minutes to the top. Then we go down to a road that takes us through a schoolyard, up to and through a Buddhist monastery and past hillside badminton courts. This will be perfect for workweek morning hikes.
Okay. That’s it for now.