What: Ansimsan Mountain (안 심 산)
Where: Last night Elicia and I hopped in our car promptly after work at 5:00pm and drove west, along the coast, through Yeocheon, to Ansimsan Mountain. There are several city buses that can also get here (#88 is the best, but #18, #89 and #27 will also get you close). Here’s a map of the Yeosu-area, and as you can see, we’ve made great progress on the hike-able mountains! We have officially completed all the nearby mountains in Yeosu… don’t worry though, now that we have a car, we’re able to drive just a few minutes out of Yeosu to explore more! (I’ve already eyed up several mountains that are next on the list).
After using the super-helpful Naver Map of Yeosu, I discovered Ansimsan Mountain is actually a series of three mountains, but Ansimsan was the highest and most prominent. The other two were smaller, but I wanted to hike those also. Walking along ridges are always cool. So, I planned a point-to-point hike. I figured leaving our car in the middle would be the best, and we could walk before and after our hike to/from the trail head. Here’s a map of the plan I devised:
Elevation: Ansimsan Peak is 347m. The other two peaks that are connected are smaller and remain nameless. Although it’s not super high, it’s proximity to the sea ensured we’d see some cool views of our home, Yeosu.
Hiking Highlights: Right next to the trail where we started, there was a temple called Sorimsa Temple. The hiking trail began literally right next to the entrance of the temple.
The trail was very similar to other trails in the Yeosu area. A mixture of rocks and steps along the steep incline up. There was good visibility out to the sea, so we saw some cool stuff like this:
The Summit: After the short (but very steep) 0.8 kilometer hike up the mountain, we reached the 347m summit by 6:15pm. Was it a huge endurance test? No, not compared to our summer hike of Hallasan or recent climb of Mt. Kinabalu, but it still brings me great joy to set foot atop a mountain, regardless of size. It’s empowering and provides a good sense of accomplishment. Now that the relentless summer heat and humidity have subsided, we’ve been able to get out and hike a lot more. So perhaps our legs are beginning to adjust to the steep inclines and steep stairs… either way, it’s amazing to get out and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and exercise after a good day of teaching English.
More Hiking Highlights: As previously mentioned, we wanted to hike along the ridge and see the other two smaller mountains. So after a few minutes at the peak, we cruised down and along the ridge. Here we found lots of interesting things including more beautiful trails, plenty of exercise equipment, and many burial mounds/sites. Days are getting shorter, so as the time was approaching 7:00pm the sun had set and lights from the city began illuminating the horizon. It was pretty cool to essentially be on top of the city, looking down, as daytime transitioned into the night. Here’s some pictures of the remainer of our hike:
Final Thoughts: We walked back to our car after descending the trail, and drove home along the coast with our windows down and the music on. Oh, how life is good to us here in Korea! Here’s a picture (taken last Sunday) from one of our favorite places to hang out, Ungcheon Beach. This beach is just a few minutes from our apartment, and while laying on the beach, you can see Ansimsan Mountain below a beautiful sunset: