A Mountain Hike In Winter

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Cham books

White snow blankets the mountains and streams everywhere.

Hikers who enjoy snow-scapes

Are climbing up a path piled knee-deep in snow.

I cannot see the path, but following their footprints,

I climb higher and higher.

My whole body sweats, and it trickles down my forehead.

After the snowfall a cold wind blows, scattering the fallen snow;

Piled atop the branches it looks like lovely snow flowers.

Bend after bend, we wind up and up,

And after hours of panting and puffing

My whole body is wringing wet with perspiration

And my drenched underwear feels cold.

Near the summit, the tress are no longer tall

But short and scrawny, with snow-blossoms on their branches.

The sight is truly magnificent.


The summit looks close, and I climb towards it

Many are already there calling out, “Hooray!”

Expressing the joy of having reached the top to their heart’s content.

Everyone is happy and relaxed.

Even though it is cold and the temperature is below freezing,

People are gathered in groups here and there,

Basking in the happiness that only those

Who have hiked to the top of this mountain can feel –

No one else can know the feeling of this moment.

It is so cold that some drink a shot of soju;

Some students have already had a shot or two on the way up.

One among them has become so drunk,

His eyes are bleary and his legs have given way.

The other students cannot carry him down

So I, and several others, take turns and carry him on our backs

And climb down the slippery, rugged mountain.

I put him down at a mountain temple

And tell them to give him some sugar water.

As I turn to leave silently, they ask for my address,

But I tell them it is ok, and slip quietly away.


It is a big mountain;

Even after many bends

I am still in the mountain valley.

Only those who have been here

Would know how my whole body feels.

In the gorges and valleys

There are cottages scattered sparsely.

They are old, worn, and look so shabby.

It seems the tenant farmers who cultivate the terraced fields

Have difficulty making ends meet,

For the clothes they wear in the cold weather are worn and tattered;

They look so poor.

The stream flows on under the ice.

After a long walk down, I reach the parking lot.

I drop by the tavern and order a bowl of makgeolli

And some fish-cake soup;

I doubt there is anyone who knows how good they taste!

I do not get drunk, even though I drink more than usual,

I just feel good, perhaps because my body feels good.

Pleasantly tipsy, I head home.


As I gaze upon the falling snow here in New York

And the snow flowering on the branches,

Those days when I freely hiked up and down mountains

Have all turned into longing – I do not know

If I will ever be able to hike here and there as I used to.

With the thought that I may never have those moments again,

Whether it be because of old age or lack of time,

My longing grows.[/box]


Cham books

Cham books publishes books that makes people happy, and books that makes this world beautiful. To make this world a place where everyone Coexist with one mind, we are founded to make books essential to the path of creating such beautiful world. Cham books was established in March 2012 in the United States.