Guest post: rock climbing in Seoul
This guest post comes to you from Peter Jensen-Choi, a adventurous sort of guy who’s really into rock climbing. So what if it’s getting cold outside? Plenty of climbing indoors means you can go no matter what Mother Nature is doing. All photos used with permission from http://sanirang.net/m_photos.html.
Disclaimer: Chris in South Korea does not receive – or offer – any compensation or payment for guest posts.
There are so many places to go and things to do while in Korea, and for the adventurous type, there isn’t a cooler way to check things out and learn about yourself than visiting one of the many indoor and outdoor artificial climbing walls, natural sport climbing crags or getting high off the edge of a several hundred meter granite peak. Korea even boasts the world’s largest and highest indoor ice climbing facility, too.
For complete beginners who want to get into the activity of rock climbing while in South Korea, there are few ways go about things. The easiest route is to go to any one of the local bouldering gyms littered throughout the land of kimchi. Daily first walk-in fees go from free to up to 20,000KRW and monthly memberships usually run from anywhere from 30,000 – 100,000KRW. These gyms will usually have a few grungy pairs of used climbing slippers laying around for you to try things out for the first time; however, keep in mind, you are not only in the land of kimchi, but also in the land of small feet, too.
A secondary option to get into rock climbing would be to enroll in one of the numerous climbing school programs and receive formal instruction by qualified guides and instructors which are listed below; however, the majority of these schools’ instructors may have very limited English. For instruction in English by native English speakers, Sanirang Alpine Networks is the go to company.
Instruction with these climbing schools is not just limited to rock climbing either. All of the schools also teach the discipline of ice climbing, too. Gear is not provided by the climbing schools, however Sanirang Alpine Networks provides and rents gear out to its enrolled participants only at a reasonable price. For more information about these climbing schools, check these links out!
Corean Alpine Club – www.cac.or.kr
Kolon Climbing School – www.mountaineering.co.kr
Bukhansan Climbing School – http://cafe.naver.com/bukhansancs
Seoul Climbing School – www.seoulclimbingschool.co.kr
Kimyongki Climbing School – www.kimcs.com
Jeong, SeungGwan Climbing School – www.climbingschool.co.kr
Sanirang Alpine Networks* – www.sanirang.net
*For instruction with native English speaking instructors and staff, Sanirang Alpine Networks also offers a climbing school program, group outings and climbing courses and much more. For more information on their programs, just follow this link: www.sanirang.net.
For intermediate or experienced climbers who are not looking for instruction, but just want to explore and hit the Korean crags hard with a partner, the best rock and ice climbing resource for expats in South Korea is the webpage forum Korea On The Rocks (www.koreaontherocks.com). KOTR is not only just a great way to hook up with other climbers, but also lists the vast majority of climbing gyms, artificial outdoor walls, natural sport crags and multi-pitch trad climbs, too. KOTR, hands down, is the best resource for discovering Korea’s climbing crags and getting beta on all sorts of other rock climbing related topics.
So get out there and explore the possibilities of your next climbing adventure!
Peter Jensen-Choi is the founder of Sanirang Alpine Networks and is from Portland‚ Oregon‚ USA. He first began climbing in Korea several years ago. He has since returned from numerous Korean expeditions in China and Nepal. He has climbed abroad in Thailand‚ New Zealand‚ and the USA and holds certifications with the American Mountaineering Guides Association. He is also a Corean Alpine Club technical committee member and occasionally translates and edits reports for the American Alpine Journal.
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