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KOTR is looking for a new owner. Are you a developer, a climber and have plans to stay in Korea for a while? If so, email me at [email protected]
Insu Bong Submitted on May 16th, 2004 by CHOI BAWI Print
Type: Rock Climbs Province: Gyeonggi-Do City: Seoul
Park: Bukhansan Park Rating: 5.7 - 5.12 Style: Traditional
Views: 25420 Photos: 14 Photo(s) - Add Photos Maps: 2 Image(s) - Add Images

Insubong is a magnificent granite peak that rests in the heart of Seoul. It boasts fifty- eight routes up to date. Routes are primarily slab and cracks with a few face and chimney climbs in between. Climbs range from one to eight pitches. The highest graded route is My Way(5.12b).

Take the sky-blue line(#4) to Suyu Station. Come out of Exit #3 go directly to the island in the middle of the main road, take buses #130, 170 or 109 toward Ui-dong will take you to the end of the bus line, the base of Insubong. The road leads straight up to the trailhead for Insubong. The hike from the trailhead is about half an hour to an obvious ranger station. From the ranger station, hike through the campground in the obvious direction of Insubong's base. DO NOT STAY ON THE MAIN TRAIL UP TO BAEKEUNDAE FROM THE RANGER STATION!!! The hike up from the ranger station to the base of Insubong is rougly twenty minutes.

Safety Concerns
Anchors at Insubong are a regular concern. Although the bolts of the belay anchors are typically very solid, the Korean habit of slinging them with American triangles is prevalent.
Insubong is probably the longest climbed peak in all of Korea; hence, their are still routes that still have the out-dated and typically corroded ring-bolts.
Insubong is primarily slab. Koreans love to run it out. SO KEEP THIS IN MIND!!!
If you do not like jockeying for your route, waiting in line behind several other parties, sharing belay anchors, and having people precariously running every which way around you--DON'T CLIMB ON SUNDAYS!!! Saturdays and weekdays are generally fine.

Gear to Bring
Insubong has several bolted routes, but it would be extremely foolish not to bring the minimum of at least a complete rack of cams, five double slings, five single slings, at least ten quick-draws, and the like. Doubling up on the four midrange cams is generally a good idea. One 50M rope will suffice, however 60M rope would be the best bet. Passive gear would be a bonus; however, placements for them are very limited. Although not neccessary, a small off-set friend rack is handy on some of the flaring cracks routes. DEFINITELY BRING AT LEAST A FEW DISPOSABLE SLINGS FOR THOSE LESS THAN OPPORTUNE RAPS!

Additional Comments
ABSEILING: From the top of Insubong, the rappel stations will be on the SW face directly facing the neighboring peak Baekeundae. If you have only one fifty meter rope, facing Baekeundae, rappel from the farthest left abseil stations. If you rappel from the stations at the right, you are in for a dramatic overhang--SO BEWARE!

CAMPING: The camping fee is only 4,000WON; however, you must have a special permission(heorakseo) form from any Korean climbing club in order to camp legally. This campground and all of Bukhan National Park prohibits any camping to the general public in order to prevent excess damage to the natural setting.

Yes, it is possible to camp there unnoticed, but if you are caught, the penalty is 500,000WON!!! And if you are caught, you could probably get away by playing the "idiot foreigner". But, please remember, you are in Korea, so try to respect their system and way of doing things. Also, remember that special exceptions are almost never made for foreigners when they violate a law back home. So let's try to be above the "idiot foreigner" mentality because you have read this and now you know.

WATER: Don't bother packing water in because there is a natural spring about twenty five meters behing the ranger station.

FOOD: Kimbap and foods can be either purchased down by the all the shops or just in front of the trailhead.

ROUTE BETA: Purchase the May 2004 issue of the Korean magazine MOUNTAIN. Route maps sponsored by MOUNTAIN, FIVE TEN, MAD ROCK, AND ARCTERYX can be sought free at most of the tiny rock shops just below Insubong.

Comment added by antepater on June 21st, 2004
This place is awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It reminds me of a smaller version of Tahquitz, CA. If you enjoy trad and crack climbing this place offers a lot of variety with face climbing mixed in. Bawijaengi covers all the details and this place is extremely easy to get to. We went on a wednesday and the crowds were very low and managable.

Comment added by climbholio on May 31st, 2005
I thought this place was great also. The climbs were smoother and more runout than I expected though. Also, there are many well stocked climbing gear shops in the Deungsan Jangbe shopping area near the Dodaemun subway stop. The shops there carried all US and European name brands in climbing hardware, rock shoes and clothing.

Comment added by robb on June 20th, 2005
Bawijaengi, you are right, and thanks for putting the post about not playing the "idiot foreigner" card. Any idea how to get in touch with the clubs to get the permission? Thanks

Comment added by skinsk on November 4th, 2008
This is probably the best online route guide. It's in Korean, but pretty easy to follow. . . 크랙=crack, 슬랩=slab, 페이스=face, 위주=chimney, 오버행=overhang, 인공등=aid, 볼트길=bolt ladder, 퀵드로= quickdraw (usually folowed by the #) 프렌드= friends (camalots will work ). You can click on individual routes for more specifics. Print out the route(s) you want and go!

Comment added by em4400 on July 6th, 2009
you can also take buses 120 and 109.
theres a free bus up to the temple at the start of the trailhead.
In addition the guys at the ranger station are really nice and in my case actually took us up to the mountain and climbed with us

Comment added by em4400 on July 11th, 2009
Temple bus is not free, it cost 500 won or whatever you want to 'donate'

Comment added by dusty on July 26th, 2009
if you catch the 153 bus at the center median in front of the Lotteria, it will take you directly to Ui-dong neighborhood. you get off immediately after the roundabout. secondly, if you walk up the road that heads uphill, right across from the bus station, taxis will charge you 1000 won ($1, give or take a little) to take you half way up. the only thing is you usually have to wait for them to get a full car, but that doesn't usually take more than 5-10 minutes.

or if you meet your climbing team at suyu station, you can catch a taxi directly to ui-dong and then ask the driver to take you all the way up. this usually doesn't end up costing more than 7000. so split between a few people, it's likely cheaper and definitely faster than the busses.

Comment added by mosahlah on April 27th, 2010
There's no potable water at the Ranger station. Bring a filter or pack in bottles.

Comment added by jkoffroader323 on July 29th, 2013
Please, stop by the ranger station at the base of the mountain if you are not 100% sure of the name of the route you are going to climb. My friend broke his leg on a route that Koreans told me was pronounced "Go-Deok-Gil" but the Park Rangers knew it only as "Go-Dok-Gil"...so it took almost 3 hours to get to us. If you haven't been before stop there first, they will walk you to the route and tell you the name.

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