선운산 가이드북. Seonunsan guide book.
The climbing community being the meagre size that it is often means that guidebooks are heard long before they're seen. Authors have to face months off climbing in a desperate flurry of collating photos proofreading and of course relentless stress inducing publishing deadlines. So of course in this heady process of caffeine fuelled haze a few books get been punted out long before they're ready, (need we mention the much Hampi or Colorado bouldering guidebook debacles).
So in turn it's nice to see that the Seonunsan guide book has got it right. Very right. First and foremost its purely in Korean with a rather at times confusing romanization of route names. However this pails into insignificance with the overall ease of use and quality of its production.
The book has been published by Korean outdoor distributors 'Nelson sports' and in turn authored by a team headed up by 이윤재 and supported by 한상훈 이두영, 손상원, 정장희, 진선교, 정현진 and 이진아.
Photos have been taken especially for the book, the photography isn't credited but whoever was responsible knew how to wield a camera and a jumar. Beautiful photos of hard climbers pulling through cruxes adorn nearly every page finished on satin paper. Inspiring? Definitely. I definitely don't like when books aren't printed on what seems like recycled bathroom paper, so in turn this little number should stand up to the odd stray drop of stray espresso with aplomb.*
The main areas of Soksal bawi, Tugu bawi, Moon Bawi, and Halmibawi are included. Each section includes a topo of he whole area. I often find that at a long crag it's really easy to mistake the route your on. This book gets around the age old problem by limiting three neighbouring routes to a double page spread and including an additional topo. Beta is limited to the essential (and let's be honest with the Internet do we really need beta anyway?) The essential info is very clear so you know how many draws or meters of cord you're going to need to get you to the chains. *
What's the princely sum for this book, well for 10,000 of your won it's yours. If you see one buy one. Hell, in fact buy two and send one to a friend. If this book is anything like the old two part edition of the Korea guide which slipped out of circulation it's going to be in demand for a while to come.*
My verdict. Buy it. Done.*