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JAPAN, CHINA,
& KOREA MAP

  Daisetsuzan
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  Asozan
  Baitoushan (Paektusan)
  Hallasan
  Yu Shan (Mt Morrison)





| Aerial view of the caldera and lake of Baitoushan
(photo by Wooil M. Moon)

Baitoushan   (Changbaishan or Paektusan)
    9003 ft (2744 m)     Highest point in Korea .
Location: China / North Korea border
Lat / Long: 42.0° N, 128.1° E
Volcanic Type: Stratovolcano with caldera
Volcanic Status: Dormant, last eruption 1702
First Ascent:
First Ski Descent:
Skiable Vertical: perhaps over 4000 ft (1200 m) on the outer slopes



Baitoushan (the "white headed mountain") is a spectacular lake-filled caldera on the China / North Korea border, bearing a striking resemblance to Oregon's famed Crater Lake despite its near-complete obscurity in the West. Baitoushan was decapitated in a massive eruption around 1000 AD, forming a caldera over 3 miles (5 km) across as the upper cone collapsed into the emptied magma chamber. Although there are many similarities to Crater Lake / Mount Mazama (see the table below), there is a large difference in the caldera diameters, resulting in an even larger difference in the areas and volumes of the lakes filling the two calderas. This also leads to the deduction that the pre-eruption height of Baitoushan was considerably less than the 12000 ft (3700 m) of Mount Mazama, probably around 11000 ft (3400 m) or below. The mountain is known to Koreans as Paektusan or Baikdusan and is revered by many of them as a sacred mountain (in fact ethnic Koreans make up most of the regional population on both sides of the border). The 1260 ft (384 m) deep lake within the caldera is named Tianchi or Chonji in Chinese or Korean, both of which mean "heavenly lake". Given the continuing political situation in North Korea, foreign access is currently only possible from the Chinese side of the border. Substantial winter snows fall on Baitoushan, typically accumulating 60-80 inches (1.5-2 m) deep, but the possibilities for any skiing are unknown.



. Topographic map of Baitoushan (1:500,000 scale)  
from Tactical Pilotage Chart F-9C
<click to enlarge>


Comparison Chart
Baitoushan     Crater Lake    
Location
    China / North Korea     Southern Oregon
Latitude / Longitude 42.0° N, 128.1° E 42.9° N, 122.1° W
Climactic Eruption Date 1000 years ago 7700 years ago
Climactic Eruption Volume 23 miles3 (96 km3) 36 miles3 (150 km3)
Highest Remaining Summit 9003 ft (2744 m) 8926 ft (2721 m)
Maximum Caldera Diameter   3 miles (5 km) 6 miles (10 km)
Lake Surface Area     3.6 miles2 (9.2 km2)     20.4 miles2 (52.9 km2)
Lake Surface Elevation 7405 ft (2257 m) 6173 ft (1881 m)
Maximum Lake Depth 1260 ft (384 m) 1943 ft (592 m)
Lake Volume [T = tera = 1012]   0.52 T gal (1.95 TL) 4.9 T gal (18.5 TL)
Some useful links:  

    Global Volcanism Program: Baitoushan
   

More photos and info about routes, access, etc. may be added in the future ...


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