When I lived in Seoul, there were many small climbing gyms around the city, as well as a few outdoor walls when I left. One of the easiest for me to describe from memory was just outside of Seoul, at Anyang Stadium. That is where I met a few climbers, and suddenly the whole scene opened (no foreigners, though). There are many excellent Korean women climbing, and the Koreans are very welcoming of visitors. Most of the outdoor walls are free, and the gyms cost about W35,000 a month or W5-10,000 for a visit. I've found both all over the country, but this was after getting more connected.
My gym was in Yongdu-dong, though I often went to one in N. Seoul on the blue line or Hexa Wall (off hand I can't give directions!). . .Man and Mountain Mag puts out a gym guide (or did) annually, so thumbing through some old issues might be handy (helps if you can read Korean. . .someone in Seoul can help if you can't).
Finally, find the climbing shops at Tongdaemun and Namdaemun Markets and ask! If you can get the train from Chongnyangi to Kan-hyon (near Wonju), the place will be flooded on weekends and you can hook up there (there is a bus from Wonju Station-- again, I'd have to find old notes to consult, but I believe Kan-Hyon is on the list of busses near the stop outside the train station-- in Korean!). Once you're in, you're in and your # of climbing friends will grow exponentially. Also, gyms generally go somewhere every weekend. . .Sununsan and Kan-hyon were the usual places, and then you can get a ride. Typically each person pays W5-15,000 for the whole weekend, it is pooled together and covers meals, a min-bak if necessary, etc.
When you talk to Koreans, be sure to differentiate between technical climbing (am-byok tah-gi) and mountain climbing. Pointing to gear at a local shop should clarify this, or find a picture in one of the climbing mags. If you can attend a competition (there are many), it's another good way to meet people.
I'll be in Korea (but not Seoul) by the end of Feb, so feel free to contact me and I'll try to find out better gym info!
Last edited by skinsk : 05-23-2006 at 12:21 AM.