Hiking at Songnisan 속리산

So my left ankle has been feeling much better but I never made it into the gym. I’ve been exercising three times a week at home: doing various ab work-outs, exercises with hand weights, and push-ups. It’s been going pretty well, but I’m still looking forward to getting back into the gym.

Last weekend, on Saturday, I picked a mountain (range) I wanted to climb: Songnisan (속리산) which is a National Park with multiple mountain trails to take. I chose one that supposedly had a great view of some rivers and would take about 5 hours. To get to the peak   (Cheonwangbong 청완봉) at 1,083m (3,553 ft) up, we had to walk 5.6 km (3.5 miles).

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The top was absolutely stunning, but pretty cold (there was still snow on the way to the top of the mountain).

view from a cliff along the way up

On the way down, I was becoming increasingly appalled by the amount of garbage along the path. (Quite a few Koreans tend to behave like the world is their trash can. I was tempted to pick up trash along the way, but I needed my hands free for the slippery trail.) Anyway, I got a bit miffed and stopped picking my steps as carefully as I had been before. I took a step down from a good size drop (maybe about the length of my shin) and felt a pop in my right ankle.

The pain was pretty brutal, but I didn’t want to be ‘rescued.’ We still had a good 4km to go (at least 2 miles), but I decided I wanted to just deal with the pain and just leave. So, I did it. I had to pause a few times and breathe through some pain but I made it.  I even stopped to see one of the Buddhist temples at the bottom of the mountain.

the Golden Maitreya Statue of National Unification

I tried to stay off of it Sunday and then I taught on it Monday (it hurt but it was bearable).

Saturday night

I went to the doctor after school, who took some X-Rays and confirmed that there is no break; it’s just a strained ligament. The ligament is the one that goes across the top of my ankle (horizontal). I got a soft cast and a lot of pills for pain, inflammation, and a muscle relaxer. If it hurts after 9 days I have to go back to the hospital but it should heal in about 2 weeks…I hope.

Despite the injury, I would not take the day back. I loved being there.  (I uploaded some pics onto flickr. ^^)    You can read an update here  (spoiler alert, I wasn’t healed in 2 weeks).

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2 comments

  1. jossiejk · · Reply

    It looks like a great trek! Good for you for standing up against littering! Sorry to hear about your ankle, hope it heals up quickly and you can avoid a trip to the hospital.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I really don’t want to go back next week…but this injury looks like it’s going to take a long time to heal. (dang it). It’s already Thursday and part of my ankle is still tender to the touch.

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