Korea is often referred to as the Land of Morning Calm, which reflects the essential and poetic sentiments of this primarily Buddhist nation. It should also be known as the Land of the Gore-Texed Hiker, as Koreans of all ages are vigorous and nimble mountaineers. This is the parking lot outside the gates of the national park at Bukhansan. It was just a regular Sunday morning, with a few thousand energetic souls regaled in full alpine kit. The North Face must do the lion's share of its business here.