[KS] Korean Mountain Culture

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Wed Feb 1 16:57:44 EST 2012

If folks on the List haven't already read the article by John Eperjesi,
take a look:

The hiking project he describes by the New Zealander Roger Shepherd  
over the full length of the Taegan-- or the spine of the mountains  
from Paektusan to Chirisan-- fits perfectly into the great theme of  
Korean unification. Here's a guy who has already done the ROK part and  
a good part of the Taegan in the DPRK as well, and is planning another  
visit to the DPRK to hike in the Kaema Plateau in the far north (the  
Paektusan area). He and the photographer Andrew Douch were well  
received there for their interest in the Taegan and their cultural  
sensitivity. I had the same reception when I climbed Myohyangsan (only  
an offshoot of the Taegan) in 1988.

Eperjesi's article is full of useful commentary on the cultural and  
religious aspects of the Taegan. He and others might also find my 1994  
"Cartography in Korea" (Univ. Chicago Press: History of Cartography,  
vol 2, book 2, or the Korean translation of it, 한국 지도학의 역사, published  
by 소나무 in June, 2011) on the influence of that culture on the history  
and technique of traditional Korean maps.

Shepherd has established a hiking company called "Hike Korea" and  
hopes to lead hikes there in the future. But this project would need  
some support, not only by hiker-clients but also by those who could  
support the project financially. Perhaps Mr. Eperjesi could post some  
details on how to help on this point. As a hiker for the last 25 years  
and a fan of trails in the Korean mountains, I only wish that my  
nearly 80-year old legs could join Shepherd on one of his trips, but  
it cannot be.

Gari Ledyard

Quoting John Eperjesi <john.eperjesi at gmail.com>:

> Hi Folks, I wrote a piece on Korean mountain culture for the Huffington
> Post:
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-r-eperjesi/korean-mountains_b_1242746.html?ref=arts
> Would appreciate feedback as I hope to develop it...
> Best,
> John

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