Welcome to Hike Korea
Hike Korea is a foreign owned company specializing in cultural research and independent travel promotion through photography and writing. Its core philosophy is to brand Korea's image to the world as a travel destination of unique and intriguing discovery. Hike Korea emphasizes strongly the link Korea has with its ancient mountain culture and uses this as its foundation for its empirical studies. Its long term goal is to one day see most of Korea’s wonderful cultural and historical attractions interconnected by a series of national trails that pass through mountains, rivers, valleys, villages, and cities.
Its short term goal is to develop a series of English books and photographic essays on Korea's unique mountain culture. As Roger Shepherd of Hike Korea is a highly experienced hiker with two expeditions to the Baekdu-daegan, (including some sections in North Korea) six completed through-hikes of Jeong-maek (subsidiary ridges more than 200kms in length), and numerous other long distant walks on other ridges, Hike Korea therefore conducts its cultural research with the expeditionary study of Korea's mountain-scape and unique arterial-like topography.
Some of its trail themes are based on the footprints of some of Korea’s most famous heroes from various stages of its respective Kingdom Period’s. These cultural trails are discovered by using a series of old and new mountain tracks that sends the traveler bounding over mountains, down valleys, through villages, along rivers, and sometimes into cities. Along the way the traveler gets to experience pieces of Korea’s transcendent history of indigenous Folk Customs, Shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity.
Outside its larger cities, South Korea is a fusiformed mixture of all of these traditions co-existing against a backdrop of stunning mountain-scape. This is what Hike Korea does; it sets out to discover Korean identity through Mountain Culture.
See a list of hiking trails at the TRAILS page
NEW 5 DAY RIDGE COURSE: See more at this link.
NATIONAL PARK TRAILS now available
NEW REMOTE ISLAND TRAILS: In 2011 I was commissioned to travel to 30 different remote islands of Korea. I am now offering hiking tours of some of them. They offer the traveler a completely different view to Korea and are a remarkable experience. Visit this page to see the list.
KOREAN BEAUTY: A look at what I try to offer on my travels through good friend, photographer, and time-lapse filmmaker Lee Hyung Kun.
CURRENT AND FUTURE PROJECTS
KOREA'S GREAT RIDGE - a 150 page high quality hand binded photo book on mountains of the Baekdu Daegan from North and South Korea.
Since May 2011, I have made four visits to North Korea totaling about 12 weeks of travel. Over 7000kms of road travel has seen me visit as much as 27 isolated mountains. Images from these journey's will go into a photo-journal book that I will create and self publish featuring mountains and culture of the 1700km Baekdu Daegan ridge of the Korean peninsula from Paektusan mountain to Hallasan mountain. It is expected to be released July 2013. A public edition will be made available to the public through this website and leading bookshops. Private editions can be designed as corporate gifts on demand. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the New Zealand-Korea (DPRK) society, Korea Forest Service, Korea Green Promotion Agency, and Neve Lee of Garmin Korea for their support in this book project.
ONE PEOPLE - ONE NATION - Riding the spine of the Tiger.
In August 2013 six New Zealanders will ride their motorbikes from the Tumen river border in northeast North Korea down the east coast to Kumgangsan, then over to Pyongyang, down to Kaesong and cross the border into South Korea where they will continue their journey over to Japan, as part of a year long expedition from Siberia to New Zealand. The DPRK leg of their massive sojourn is to be called One People Two Countries - riding the spine of the Tiger. Hike Korea will be involved in the development and operation of this expedition and will also be documenting the goodwill of this journey with photography and video as a means of cultivating better mutual understanding between the two Koreas.
2014 FULL LENGTH 1400KM HIKE OF THE BAEKDU DAEGAN KOREA
Starting in June 2014, two New Zealanders walk the length of the Korean peninsula along its mountainous spine known as the Baekdu Daegan. The journey begins at Korea's holiest and highest mountain Paektusan 2750m in North Korea and traverses south, never crossing water all the way to Jirisan mountain in South Korea. However, the expedition intends to keep walking all the way to the South coast and then travel to the peninsulas highest mountain in the South called Hallasan, located on Jeju island. Paektusan and Hallsan are seen respectively as the grandfather and grandmother mountains of the Korean people meaning all the mountains traveresed along the Baekdu Daegan in between these two sacred peaks are members of the genaology of family of mountains of the Korean people. Mountains are part of the identity of the Koraen people. This great trek will emulate the homogenous identity of the Korean people through the Baekdu Daegan. It will cultivate a message of peace and better mutual understanding between the Korean people.
As Hike Korea is highly experienced in the cultural knowledge of Korean Mountain it is also available for guided walks anywhere in Korea. Refer to the Trails page for courses.
Hike Korea is also a published author,writer, and exhibited photographer. These services are also available for assignments throughout Korea. Go to the Photography page for sellable prints.