New to Korea and/ or KOTR? This one is for you!
OK so to get you sorted here are a few bits of advice. KOTR has soooooo much info. It can be virtually the only website you ever need in Korea. I kid you not. But with all this info, lots of it gets lost. So learn to use the Search Forums link on the left scroll bar, and the other suggested links. Can save you time, money, frustration and a wasted weekend even!:becky:
So common issues that need addressing:
Where's the crag & How do I get there?
This is asked nearly every month. Fair enough too, but usually the answers can be found, and printed out for pocket carrying convenience without needing to ask again and wait for an answer. The Search Climbs link can hook you up with any crag and it's beta very fast. It lets you search by crag name, by city, by province or by park. The crag enteries all have details on how to get there, what gear needed and so on.
The Korea Travel and Train Schedule links are also very easy and useful. Failing that, just call 1330 from anywhere and you'll be connected to an English speaking travel advisor.
I don't have gear, want to buy/ borrow some.
Again, this one is easy enough. Most beginners lack some gear. Most old hands have excess gear and are happy to lend, borrow or even sell some gear. Ask on the thread if someone can bring an extra harness, shoes, etc and 99% of the time they will. But you will want to buy stuff too. So, look in the Buy and Sell threads, and in the Gear Stores threads. Gear Review thread can be a good source of opinions on makes, models and brands to look at.
Don't speak or read/ write Korea?
No worries our KOTR Korean Tips for the Day thread will help you with everything from gear shopping, to saying gimme a beer to general chat. Look:
Who are you "alpine white knuckles gorilla grip of vertical power fear"?
Sign up and you have a profile page. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fill this sucker in, at least a bit. If not no-one will want to chat with you. You may be mistaken as a spamming spybot, viral phisher thing and deleted:eek8: ! Also when people can see some details of you, they can decide if you'll be an appropriate partner, are likely to need some extra gear, are close by and a potential weekday gym buddy etc. It makes you more accessible to help, so do it. Weird user names and crazy profile/ avatar pics are really welcome.
OK well welcome aboard, climb high, climb often and climb safe. see you asap at a crag, a party or wherever.
Right on! This should be a sticky! I might add that you can also search by clicking the map at the bottom if you're more of a visual kinda person.
Also, check the dates on the thread. . . especially for events. It looks kinda silly if you say "I'll be there!!" for an event from 2005. . . especially if you're the only one in costume at the crag:doh:
As Jake mentioned-- fill in your profile, please. . . you don't have to (but you can) write an autobiography, but where you're living, what kind of climbing you like, gear you have, etc might give someone an opening to strike up a conversation. . .or surf your couch.
Finally, even if you are new, and you discover a place, maybe a wall or gym in your town, POST it (someone else near you may not even know it exists!). Take some photos of the outside, the street leading up (photoshop little arrows if you're good at that). Look for the numbers of busses going past. Get a business card and if it's in Korean, have someone translate it. Jake, myself or someone else can help with this stuff.
I know a great many of us start out in Korea with this moniker (myself included), but it will be shed after only a few sessions. Korea and KOTR is a perfect place to learn and enjoy this sport!
OK so for people wondering what is the minimum amount of gear (or "rack" in climber talk) you need, I put this together, kinda in order of importance.
1-shoes (rock climbing shoes, if new to the sport an all-round style).
2-chalkbag and chalk. Keeps the sweat don't and makes you feel cool.
3-harness. Any (climbing) one will do, but find a good comfy fit if you can.
4-locking carabiner and belay tool. The latter always needs the former.
5-quickdraws. 2 standard carabiners joined by a short webbing sling.
6-helmet. Some don't ever use one, some suffer gruesomely.
7-coffee mug! How can you climb without your caffeine intake?
8-headlamp. Needn't be expensive, 10,000won from the market is fine.
9-rope. Expensive ($150-400 US)! 60m, DRY treated.
10-sleeping bag (go on, get a decent one, gets cold here)
11-foam-mat/ sleeping pad. El cheapo blue foam rolls to thermarests.
12-tent (can be picked up cheap, but lets you do a lot in Korea).
13-Jackets. "goretex" and down filled are both very useful.
14-climbing "pro" like nuts, hexes, cams (friends) etc. Expensive but last.
15-ice climbing crampons (bot the dinky strap on walking type-real ones!)
16-ice-climbing axes (now we are talking big money $400-600US a set)
17-more of all the above, and anything else you can find to buy. Be a gear freak and surrender your whole hhouse and wardrobe to climbing.
OK but as a beginner you'll get by for ages on just having #1-2, then with #3and #4 you are getting some independence and not borrowing all the time. The other stuff (except coffee mug) can be accumulated slowly as you see fit.
For OUTDOOR route climbing:
While I agree with Jake for the most part, I would add first, that a harness and shoes are the first thing you need. You can't expect someone to belay you if you are using their harness... or expect them to have an extra one.
Second, the sooner you get a rope and some draws, the better. Even if you don't have enough experience to completely use them, you will find MANY more happy climbing partners and groups to join. Because, let's face it, nobody likes for people to be constantly top-roping on their rope. And I'll admit, Kris and I almost never post where we are going for the weekend, not b/c we don't like people, but because time on the rope is precious and if 5 people show up without gear, someone doesn't get to climb as much as they want.
So.... if you are thinking 'But I'm not comfortable leading yet, so I don't need a rope', who's rope do you think you are top-roping on? It's belongs to someone. Now, if you bring your own rope and ask someone to put it up on a route for you, they will be totally cool with it. Then you have as much time on the route as you want and you are making new friends without being a total dependent. More experienced climbers will be much more willing to give you advice and a helping hand if you aren't taking up their rope also. :)
I know we all have to start somewhere, but if you decide you really like climbing and realize that this is the fifth, sixth, seventh weekend you have climbed on another person's rope, maybe it's time you invested in one. :)
Haha. I'm reading that and started inserting 'crashpad' for every time it says 'rope'. Makes me feel a little guilty. I promise to get one after plans settle and I know for sure I'll still be able to get out bouldering after the new year. ^_^
OK folks, you know who you are! The new year is in, and climbing is still on! (as if it would ever be otherwise, eh?:crazy: ) Soooooo, it's time to think, or act. Winter gets a bit quiet here on KOTR, but Lord love me I don't know why!:confused: There is so much to do. Skiing and boarding from Kangwon-do to Muju! The regular crew down south (Choss Monkey, Dong-il, Heather, Will, Lindsey et al) have been tearing up the boulders and crags, so-centralists like Karissa, Charles, Kyung Ah and I have been snow hiking the greater hills, and northerners like Heidi, Les, Yoonju, me and others have been sticking the ice like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct when she had that ice spike thing to make a drink, or kill the odd lover dude...c'mon! You cats know what I'm on about.:suspiciou
Anyways:focus: Don't be shy about piping up! It's not too cold to get out and meet other goodly folks especially if you are new to Korea/ KOTR. Sign up and say "I wanna climb!". There's usually a great feast and a few sly drinks apres, plus it sure as hell beats anything else (short of getting overseas to Tonsai, Yangshuo, Halong etc).
That said, it's also time to start thinking...spring is a coming soon. What gear do I need? Hell, you can never have too much so fret not. This year is the year of the cow, and I'm pretty damned sure that means you and me, we all, will be climbing harder and higher than ever before. So, while the gear is on sale pop in and get a deal on a rope (60m dry), a pair of shoes (rock, ice, hiking or ski), a few quickdraws and biners and some slings! If you know you've been bumming gear off others then now is the perfect time to make amends and win friends. Call your parents and tell them they must send you a few dollars to pay for emergency medical costs (you'll need psychiatric care if you miss out on a day's climbing because you lacked the gear!) or something. They love you and all will be fine, trust me:eyebrows:
Also if you are new, fill in some details on the profile page so people will want to meet you (if you are as ugly as me, you might wanna put in someone elses picture, then when you meet them up at the crag it's too late! You've got them trapped!).
OK so post trips, get out there, stay in touch and see you soon.
Oh and if anyone has a Korean friend who is interested in joining up KOTR, give them a hand by walking them through the registration steps...it now requires sending and recieving an e-mail from Eric (founder). This is to thwart spammers. Help them fill in their profile too, because until later in 2009 there is no Korean guidance to help them out, and though KOTR is for and by ex-pat climbers we can all benefit from a bit of friendly networking and inter-action with the locals.
Just trying to keep this page on the radar for our newer members...threads get lost in all the posts we get here. A lot of people are in need of help/ guidance or support from the more experienced or local climbers, so please share with your fellow climbers what info/ beta/ sage words etc you have.
OK folks, so lots of adventure ahead and many new members to get to know. Please if you see a new member posting a question or request for help/ advice, don't be a goose and post some contrived in-joke or superscilliously condescending ego-trip....be honest and lend them the best advice you can, in the simplest way possible. Then, once said newbie is integrated happ'ly into the KOTR family of disfunctional freaks and geeks, haze the hell out of them!:becky: :fish:
As we were all beginners/ uninitiated gumbies/ thrutchers and ignoranmii (?) once upon a time...let's try and be supportive of those looking to join us, the elite, in participating in the greatest activity ever known to anything, ever. (Climbing). Or if they be new to Korea, go on give 'em the benefit of your worldly travel/ ex-pat experience. Show them the ropes - subway, bus, language, cuisine etc
If someone's new to climbing (not just Korea), and you feel OK with it, try and help them with some basics (No do not pretend you are a qualified know it all guide; tell them you are NOT such a person). Keep an eye on them when they are beginning. Double check their safety and understanding as best you can. Suggest books/ guides/ events or courses.
Likewise, if you are a new member, please help the process by:
1-filling in/ out your profile page. Lets us know how best to help you etc. It's really frustrating to click on someone's user name and see a total blank when trying to make plans to climb together. I have no idea what your level is, where you need a ride from, what gear you lack/ have, if you and I will kill each other due to different hygeine/ dietary/ political views etc.
2-search the forums a bit. Many questions have been answered many times over. You might still not be satisfied, but at least you're better informed.
3-Post. it's not very painful and gets people to trust you (well...sometimes).
4-If you are pretty certain you are loving this climbing caper, get some gear. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's soooo expensive! We all live with this dastardly fact, and wish it weren't so. Oh how we wish. But if wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets in the sea...and be boring smelly old fishing types:fish2: Nasty, eh? So, get your pic and basic details up, say hi and start networking (newbs and old cruddies alike). People who constantly need to borrow everything after being involved for awhile get annoying. You don't need much, and at the start nothing even!
Keep a wan eye out too, for that holiest of holies (not not THAT one:eyebrows: ) the upcoming Spring Meet and Greet 2010! Should be happening around April with any luck. Upcoming trips usually has only a fraction of what's really happening. Network with the KOTRers and KOREAN climbers in your local area and get involved. Especially for newbies (to Korea or Climbing) getting to know the Koreans is a great thing to do.
OK Have a great Spring and be cool, safe and see you soon.
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