Hike Community going into 2.0

Ever since I’ve started this community page, it was not easy getting content and people to contribute and thus far, I’ve hiked 3 times and got 1 contribution only.

During my trip to Seoul and climbing Baegundae Peak, i was thinking through and thought of how to upgrade the site to become better for everyone and have some ideas but first off, i need to upgrade this site to be more user friendly for content uploading.

Was looking at vBulletin Community before. If you have other sites/platforms to recommend, please drop me a comment below.

Cheers!

Korea’s Bukhansan (Baegundae Peak)

Start Point: Bukhansanseong Information Center
End Point: Baegundae Information Center
Distance: Approximately 7.5 Kilometers
Elevation: 836.5 metres
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (Steep, Rocky, Slippery after rain, Unpaved, Steel Ropes)
Duration: 5.5 hours

Bukhansan National Park covers a wide area and if you look at the subway map, this route actually spans across 15 stations. Getting to the start point and leaving at the end point is relatively easy but the climb itself may not be too easy for some.

To get to the start point, hop onto the expansive subway system and onto Line3 to get to Gupabal Station. At the station, take Exit1 and walk to the nearest bus stop. Hop onto Bus704 and alight at Bukhansanseong Fortress. The bus has recorded announcements to tell you so. A short walk (with many hiking brands stores along the way) and you should reach the information center.

The route up is rocky until you reach the fortress wall. Once you reach this checkpoint, you can decide to continue to hike up to Baegundae peak or decent to the other side or even go back down where you started (not recommended).

The 300 meters up from here is quite difficult for beginners as it requires a lot of strength and determination (mind and body) to get to the peak. It is laid out with huge boulders, steel ropes, a flight of steps, huge boulders, steel ropes and even more steel ropes. This part of the hike requires you to use your hands as well and at some point, a slip may even cost you your life.

Once you are at the peak, you got to do your thing of taking photos and quickly decent as the peak is quite narrow and cannot accommodate a lot of people. If you have a long queue of people waiting in line, you had better move along. Decent back to the fortress wall and head on down.

You will reach ‘White Cloud Cottage’ where you can have a cuppa and continue forth towards Bagundae Information Center. This cottage and some parts of the route appeared in the Korean film ‘The Himalayas’. There is nothing much on the way down this route. You can stop for another rest/drink at the cafe at the Bagundae Information Center before walking all the way down towards the main town.

At the town, you can take Bus120 which will bring you to Suyu Station where you can continue on back to where you came from or other places preferred.

Photos to be updated shortly.

Music for that Summit – M83 – Outro

M83 just released their latest album “Junk” and is touring the world including Asia. If you are around the region, do check them out.

Here is one for that summit!

Indonesia’s Mount Sibayak (Roundabout route)

Start Point: Mid point of Mt Sibayak
End Point: Mid point of Mt Sibayak
Distance:
Elevation: 2,212 metres
Difficulty: Easy (Steep, Rocky, Slippery after rain, unpaved, uneven/broken steps)
Duration: 3 hours

Mt. Sibayak is located in the northern parts of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is advisable to engage a driver with transport to take you to there as it is about 3hours drive from Medan Airport.

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Upon arriving in Berastagi town, you might also want to consider engaging a guide (unless you have pre-arrangements with one) since this route has only one sign but can be done without one. If you are going to do the full route, a guide would be necessary (especially for first timers) since it is a total of about 5 to 6 hours and through forestation.

Since we got a driver and transport, he took us all the way up to mid way where the actual track starts. From the base up to this point, its just a steep winding road.

IMG_20160324_110023The route starts out with paved steps that are not well maintained. It was rubble and rocky and there are few parts where you would be required to use your hands to hull yourself up. Once out of the forestation, it is fairly easy navigating through the rocky rubbles.

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You would be out in the open at the foot of the crater with geothermal activity in the distance spewing steam. The rocks around this area are affected by the sulfur content and are tinted yellow (sulfur). Going further up will take you to a point overlooking the crater where you can continue down and check it out. Many visitors take the opportunity to write in the shallow crater and then hike up to take a photo.

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From the crater, it would be just another 10mins climb to reach the peak of Mt. Sibayak where if not cloudy, you would be able to see Mt. Sinabung which is an active volcano.

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We will backtrack this same route, going back to the start point but there is the full route which will be an additional 4 to 5 hours which will lead you to a hot spring.

Hikers who usually come to Berastagi would usually make a trip to Sipisopiso (Indonesia’s tallest waterfall towering at 120metres) and Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake. If time permits, take a boat to Samosir island in the middle of Lake Toba and enjoy the calmness of it.

Music for that Summit – Radical Face – Welcome Home

As much as I love nature, I love music, which has played an integral  part of my life since i was a little kid growing up to what I am now.

Caught this on the radio one day and thought it would be an awesome song for that summit you just conquered.

Morr Music is one of my favorite music labels which also houses some of my favorite artists Mum, Lali Puna and Ms John Soda.

New Zealand’s Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Start Point: Mangatepopo Valley
Route: Mangatepopo Hut – Mangatepopo Track (Whakapapa Village) – Soda Springs Track – Tongariro Summit Track (Mt Tongariro Summit) – Tongariro National Circuit (Oturere Hut) – Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Ketetahi Roadend)
End Point: Ketatahi Road
Distance: Approximately 19.4 Kilometres
Elevation: 1,978 metres
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (Steep, Rocky, Slippery)
Duration: 7 hours

One of my favourite hikes ever is New Zealand’s Tongariro Alpine Crossing. I love hiking in the cold so my friend and I chose to visit New Zealand just before winter in April. It turned out to be a fantastic decision as we were able to see snow. This hike will take you through active volcanoes and crater lakes. And if you like Lord of the Rings, you definitely want to come here as parts of Tongariro National Park were featured in the film (e.g. Mount Ngauruhoe appeared as Mount Doom).

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You need to arrange for transport to drop you at the beginning of the track and pick you up at the end. For this reason, we stayed at Adventure Lodge and Motel for one night as it is one of the closest lodges to the track and provides van transport to and fro.
Note: The amount of climbing required is minimized if you start from Mangatepopo Valley.

Our transport dropped us off at Mangatepopo carpark. You will then begin a short trek towards Mangatepopo Hut. You will see some portaloos on the right which will be a good idea to use. No toilet facilities until Soda Springs and Ketetahi Hut.

It’s a steep climb up to the South Crater between Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. You will then reach Red Crater.

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Beyond Red Crater, you will reach the beautiful Emerald Lake and then the Blue Lake.

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From here the route descends to Ketetahi Hut where you will pass by springs and vast forest to the car park. Be prepared for what seems like a never ending route which took us around 1.5 to 2 hours.

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This hike entry was contributed by @jeanow

We are on Facebook

The Hike Community Facebook page has been setup so we have better sharing tools among the community. It is easily accessible via the right side of our page.

Do get your like minded friends to join us.

Hong Kong Trail Section 8: Dragon’s Back

Start Point: To Tei Wan
End Point: Big Wave Bay
Distance: Approximately 8 Kilometres
Elevation: 284 metres (Shek O Peak)
Difficulty: Easy (Rocky, Steep slopes/steps)
Duration: 2 hours

How to get there?
There are more than 1 route to get to Dragon’s Back and this post is based on the route from To Tei Wan.
And the main reason to take this route is simply because your end point will be more rewarding with either Big Wave Bay or Shek O Beach.
If you trail from Big Wave Bay or Shek O Beach and take Dragon’s Back, you will end up at To Tei Wan bus stop which is in the middle of the mountain with only 1 scenery and road.

To get to To Tei Wan, take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan MTR Station (Blue line ending at Chai Wan) and take Exit A3 to get to the Bus Terminus.
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Take Bus #9 from the bus terminus right beside the MTR Station. Its about 11 bus stops away and the bus will announce via pre-recorded announcements on the next stop via the in-bus speakers and via the LED display in the bus.
Bus #9

Dragon’s Back itself can be done in less than an hour. If you start from To Tei Wan, you will finish Dragon’s Back and have the option to trek to Big Wave Bay or Shek O Beach (There is no public transport to take you anywhere else and you MUST take either trails). The recommended route is to go to Big Wave Bay. You will be trekking Hong Kong Forest Track-Mount Collinson Section before you hit Big Wave Bay. There are no refreshment stations for this route until you reach the end point and you should not get lost as there are signs littered along the way plus Hong Kong Trial has a distance post at every 500metres interval.

Section 8 Map

View from Dragon's Back

From Big Wave Bay, you can take the mini-bus to Shek O Beach and from there, you can either take the mini-bus or Bus #9 back to Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminal.
Big Wave Bay

Fun Facts
Dragon’s Back most likely got its name due to the rocky terrain along the trail which would look like the scales on the back of a Dragon.
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Hong Kong’s Dragon’s Back

There, I now have bragging rights to claim that I crossed the Dragon’s Back. Woots!! Sounds a lot better than conquering some trails. Will be putting up more info on this hike when I get back home. It was fun and rewarding.

On route to Hong Kong

I’ve setup and used WordPress a few times but this is my first time using the app for mobile. Thank goodness for Blackberry being able to leverage on Android apps now else it’s as good as a non-Smartphone.

Here I am in Changi Airport trying out the app and looking forward to Hong Kong. One of my favourite cities and am thrilled that I will be doing my first hike overseas (out of military).

With the sole purpose of providing useful hiking info, I will take on “Dragon’s Back” and hopefully another.

Already thinking of how this site should expand but will leave it for another time when it actually does expand.

One Step At A Time