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Ddrabi is the darkhorse of Jeju oreum[Jeju's Trails] Day 48 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
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승인 2011.11.06  13:47:37
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For a complete list of Steve's Hike Jeju articles please click here and as always you can send your feedback to Steve and The Weekly on our Facebook page.

The Journey
These are the top 34 sites in sequential order for Day 48: Venture Maru, The Jeju Weekly office - Mae Oreum, base - Mae Oreum, peak - Mae Oreum, base - Gasye Oreum / Al Oreum, base - Gasye Oreum / Al Oreum, peak 1 - Gasye Oreum / Al Oreum, reference point 1 - Gasye Oreum / Al Oreum, reference point 2 - Gasye Oreum / Al Oreum, base - Dalsanbong, base 1 - Dalsanbong, peak 1 - Dalsanbong, peak 2 - Dalsanbong, reference point 1 - Dalsanbong, reference point 2 - Dalsanbong, base 2 - Dalsanbong, base 1 - Seol Oreum, base - Seol Oreum, peak - Seol Oreum, base - Daeroksan, parking lot - Daeroksan, base - Daeroksan, peak 1 - Daeroksan, observation point - Daeroksan, parking lot - Ddrabi Oreum, parking lot - Ddrabi Oreum, base - Ddrabi Oreum, peak 1 - Ddrabi Oreum, peak 2 - Ddrabi Oreum, peak 3 - Ddrabi Oreum, parking lot - Byeongkot Oreum, base - Byeongkot Oreum, peak - Byeongkot Oreum, base - Venture Maru, The Jeju Weekly office

View The Jeju Weekly's Hike Jeju 2011 in a larger map
GS-25 -- 2,900
mart -- 14,380
gas for scooter -- 5,000
found -- (+50)
gas for scooter -- 6,000
mart -- 2,500
gas for scooter -- 5,000
sauna -- 5,000
hof -- 25,000
hof -- 15,000
hof -- 10,000
PC room -- 10,000
Total -- 100,730 won

a lot of hard tack, a little peanut butter, full pork dinner with Korean sides, ample amounts of soju, beer and snacks, 1.5 liters Pocari Sweat, 1 can Chilsung cider, 1 sandwich, 1 gimbap, 1 small soda, 4 cold coffees, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 48
This day... when the rain started coming, it was too hard to see. Eight oreum, fully soaked clothes, and the lost oreum. Ddrabi is it. I’m all in for 150 oreum, rain or not. Number 100 was taken down early today in the form of Gasye Oreum.

The lost oreum. There’s a lot of lost love between Jeju and me. Every second the lost oreum and I are so far apart, it cuts like a knife. A rejection at Saryeoni and its lesser Al Oreum hurt more than imagination could impart first thing in the morning. So many possibilities, wasted. I started the day, elated and immediately rejected by a forest worker. Saryeoni and its lesser oreum are closed for 45 days, starting in November through mid-December. How could you? And the others, so many chances, all denied. Mulchat, closed until when, forever? All the Hallasan National Park oreum, closed for obvious reasons, gone. I quickly forgot about the closure of Utbam Oreum on the Geomun trail, Yongam-gil, only open for less than two months in the summer. What could have been. Move on. Never look back.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Ddrabi Oreum. I thought it was all hype. A flash in the pan. When I was walking up, I questioned everything about Ddrabi. I immediately thought a Korean celebrity at some point deemed this place to be great after going here during a honeymoon to the island, or a popular Korean television show declared this a must place to go. How else to justify a three-kilometer jaunt off the main road to a groomed parking lot, a bathroom facility and a way up, just to pass nicely smelling Korean men descending, while a fully rogue, dirty-in-appearance author can’t even stand locking eyes with Seoul-ites? It took me 10 minutes to realize what was going on at the summit. Once I did, the rain started, sweetly and consistently, unforgivably washing away any negativity toward my fellow hikers I have ever had. Ddrabi is special. It is the darkhouse frontrunner for a top five spot of the best oreum on Jeju. A bold statement. But Ddrabi, even in a steady rain, served up its competitors on a silver platter. The difference is the circle trail around the crater-esque portion at top dips down to the bottom level. It takes a walker up, down and all around. I felt I was in a different place than Jeju. The trail’s beginning off the intersection of a cutoff road between 1136 and 1112 out of Pyoseon is hard to find. A small, Korean-only sign states to turn at the appropriate place, just east of the Jeongseok Airport, which is mainly used as a Korean Air training center.

Mae I? Mae Oreum was the first one visited this day. It is an urban oreum, with huge towers at the top. Despite this, it is worth a nice view of Pyoseon Beach as well as looking back at Hallasan and vast fields north. There seemed to be a lot of elderly, exercising visitors to this spot. The equipment is about halfway up from the parking lot just off road 1132 west of the aforementioned beach.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Gasye is a hard one to figure out. There were a few natural trails to the top. I found the keeper at the peak in the small plastic watchtower fully asleep. This was the 100th oreum climbed during the duration of Hike Jeju. After a tough parking spot, a person must choose an animal trail up to the top, which is met by many more. I then took the backside route, brushing the lesser oreum, out and around. At first it looks private, but no one I saw had a problem with hikers. There were obvious signs many people use this area. I happened to find an old, worn baseball and a 50 won coin. I kept the coin and threw the baseball in the parking lot for another person to pick up. Just west of these two oreum is Tosan, or Mang Oreum, which is included on the nearby Olle course.

Dalsanbong and Seol oreum. Dalsanbong has two entry points that would be impossible to find. Instead, locate the concrete graveyard steps visible from a great distance off the main road and climb up. A few minutes of going through brush is necessary and at the top are two benches. This trail wraps around for an A and B course, totaling more than two kilometers. Wooden Jeju map posts lead the way to this walking path … For Seol Oreum, nothing special here. I went up to find the watcher gone. Inside his abode, I spotted one empty and one full bottle of makgeolli (Korean rice wine). That a boy! (More on the watchers in a later post.) It only took about 15 minutes to the top and the same to go back down. A bit tricky to find the entrance. I have been noticing almost all oreum have ribbons attached to an entry point, even though the entry point is the only thing that brings that person there and they are left to fend to bushwhack up when no real visible trail is apparent after, say, 10 meters.

Daeroksan’s in the clouds. It started raining in the late afternoon. And at the summit, I was lost in the clouds. The trails at this place, just next to Jeongseok Airport, total more than two kms and peak at 472 meters. It looks like, perhaps, there are other trails that connect to the other oreum in the area. I have not seen any other evidence of this in my research, but there are certainly used farm trails from the peak heading in both directions. Unfortunately, with the fog, I could not tell where they went. There’s a large wind farm at its base, as well.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

A terrible finish. For the eighth oreum, I was fishing. I was turned away at close by Beoneul Oreum, where there was a ribbon and no way to the top of thick brush. I went back to the start after five minutes to see a woman on an adjacent farm getting real excited, animated and vocal. I looked up and saw the watcher looking down at me and the scooter I was using. This happened before ascending Ddrabi. I headed back here the last part of the day. I, instead, found a small Korean sign for Byeongkot Oreum. I took the scooter inside a small area and nudged a bee box with my foot, on the bee farm. Not surprisingly, I got out of that area, real quick. Getting back there on foot for my second entrance, I ascended to the graveyard top and dropped down, missing the original point, not going far enough, landing in a farmer’s field as the rain came down hard. Poking my eye hard with a flying branch inducing a lot of pus, I got out and back on the road, found the scooter, thankfully, just before it got really dark and slowly headed for Jeju City, sopping and soaking wet.

For the record. Drinking always occurs, if it does, after I finish hiking and the scooter is safely and securely placed next to the office building. On this entire venture, I have never taken a bottle or drank solo on the trail.

The fourth 25 oreum. (In sequential order:) Cilg Oreum, Geolseoak (donggeolsye), Geolseoak (seogeolsye), Ansyemi Oreum, Batsyemi Oreum, Yeolanji Oreum, Geochin Oreum, Noru Oreum, Samhyeongjekeun Oreum, Baekyaki Oreum, Abu Oreum, Geomi Oreum, Munseoki Oreum, Gundaeak, Hugukak, Namgeobong, Sosusanbong, Bulneun Oreum, Nasiri Oreum, Moguri Oreum, Moguri Al Oreum, Yeongjusan, Bonji Oreum, Mae Oreum, Gasye Oreum.

Nov. 4, 2011
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Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Photo by Steve Oberhauser
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