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2020/09/27_Report_Buddha Footprint dual hike

19 or 20 people participated in this hike; it was hard to count because we were never all together. While most of us arrived for the start in Ban Hmong Doi Pui, one unlucky carload carried on up to Ban Khun Chang Khian. It’s members therefore started hiking more than half an hour later than the rest of us. These, by the way, were people who have taken part in literally hundreds of Sunday Chiang Mai Hikes and have been up down the mountain scores of times. It’s worth mentioning because we also enjoyed the company of five people who were joining the Sunday hike for the first time.

Roughly equal numbers of hikers chose the tougher and the easier option. Both groups left the village through the flower park gateway, enjoying the perfect weather conditions and with pristinely clear air.

Cloud strata and either a nearby insect or a distant dragon

The less athletic group headed directly toward the Buddha Footprint, reaching it in about two hours. At this moment, the ridge on which we stood seemed to be valiantly holding back a sea of cloud from the north. We were just in time to catch a good panorama from the viewing platform while we ate our sandwiches.

Immediately on departing for the return walk, the non-athletes encountered the misguided folks who had started late. And not long after that, we came upon some of the quicker hikers of the quicker group.

The quicker group – i.e. those who opted for the longer and more vertically challenging hike – had descended easily down the road from the village towards the Somung Loop road. At the insistence of one of the more veteran CM Hiking members we took an early turn off the road to cut across to the trail. This made the hike somewhat shorter and also reduced the elevation climb from the advertised figures.

As this was a clear trail with no intersections we could go all at our own pace to the junction where we managed to meet up with the shorter hike option participants on their way down from the Footprint. Most of our group continued up to the summit before returning to the village.

 

By now the cloud was spilling over the ridge

On the last leg, the quicker of the quick overtook most of the less-athletic group. But the slower of the quick did not. So we were all pleasantly jumbled on arrival. And we stayed that way because, while some wanted to eat the excellent Kau Soi in the Muslim restaurant, others felt unable to face post-hike existence without a cold beer. A few managed to do both (consecutively). It seems a good time was had by all.

Buddha footprint

For the longer hike: Total distance was just under 14km with 900m elevation.

For the shorter hike:

Total distance was 9.5km and elevation recorded (surprisingly?) as 737m.

Hike leadership and reporting by David and Michael. Photos by Champ, Bussakorn and Michael.

 
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