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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]
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Unread 11-19-2008, 08:28 PM
CharlesCullen23's Avatar
CharlesCullen23 CharlesCullen23 is offline
Halla Hanger
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Posts: 111
Which Jacket?

So its cold now, and I am in need of a good jacket. Having lived in Texas the last few years, I'm not really up on the technology or what I should be looking for. I will be trekking the entire ridge route of Jirisan in December and want a jacket that will be warm, not too heavy, and protective against the elements. Any suggestions as to type, brand, etc?? Thanks
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Unread 11-19-2008, 09:38 PM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552
Layer. . . get a Gortex or similar breathable waterproof shell and use it over a wool or fleece and preferably, a synthetic or silk base layer that wicks moisture. The key: thin base layer. . . insulating middle layer (the main warmth) . . . then a waterproof, breathable outer layer. . .

If you're ice-climbing, skiing, even hiking, this provides the versatility (you can shed layers) you'll really crave.

Personally, I don't like anoraks-- I like zip front jackets with lots of pockets and pit-zips! Pit zips are key!! Also, zippers that you can unzip with gloves are nice!! (Personally, I like fleece gloves with gor-tex liners!!). . .

Arteryx are good if they pay you that much. . . I've also been happy with North Face. . . but shop around and see what you like. . . then inspect the stitching. . . Korea makes a lot of decent shells, fleece. . . as well as some not-as-good. . . China more of the latter. . . you DON'T want cotton-- cotton kills! Wool is a great natural fiber that is warm even when wet; Patagonia recycles plastics for some of their fleece; silk makes a great base layer that holds odors less than polypro-- but that (and it's newer synthetic incarnates. . . "cool-max" stuff) work!
"If you can't do something well, you might as well learn to enjoy doing it poorly." -- from a de-motivational poster, but I find it oddly liberating!
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Unread 11-20-2008, 10:00 AM
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shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
Hey Charles, like Sonia said layers are good. A simple set of thermals under and a 200 weight fleece or soft-shell is good. Actually I'd opt for a soft-shell for what you are doing rather than a fleece and a gortex. Fleece isn't wind-proof (except for windstopper fleece) and a goretex type jacket is only really needed when things are really wet - think rain or wet ice climbs. Jirisan in winter can be mega cold - because that ridge takes the winds full force. I recorded a temp of -20C there on the verandah of a mountain shelter shed (and that's out of the wind). Soft-shells are wind proof, water resistant (it won't be raining so resistant is plenty) and available in jacket styles with pockets and pit zips. Personally I like the Korean Ecoroba soft-shells, though Mountain Hardwear, North Face, K2, Black Yak and so on are all quite good. Find the one that fits and you can afford. When you are hiking, you'll soon be warm enough on your body and legs, but beware your freezing hands and neck (a buff or light scarf is great here). Light fleece gloves when hiking are fine, but you might want heavy ski-gloves for when you rest/ at camp. And you might also think about having a down jacket for camp/rest too. As soon as you stop your body will stop making heat and that fleece or soft-shell will be inadequate. A decent down jacket from Black-Yak, Marmot, North Face etc will be about 200,000won + the 150,000won for the softshell but they last a lifetime and are worth it. If that is beyond your budget, then get the down jacket (look out for sales!) and just use a regular wool jumper and thermals when you hike...the wool will be water resistant enough and breathes OK. Short gaiters over your hiking shoes (about 20,000won) are great for keeping the feet warmer and drier too.
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Unread 11-20-2008, 10:06 AM
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Chickenlegs Chickenlegs is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wonju
Posts: 165
I now swear by wool base layers. Kris and I got some when home last (mine is Smartwool, his Patagonia). They are MUCH better than synthetics for base layers. They breathe well and don't stink. After one day hiking in capilene or something else synthetic, you don't want to put it on again. But wool, you just have to hang from your tent pole and the next day it's not stinky! Plus, natural is always better.

Like others have said, layering is the way to go. I usually have a wool base layer, fleece and Marmot precip (lightweight rain jacket) for wind/rain. Then a down jacket for rest periods and night time... plus it makes a great pillow.
"The best climber in the world is the one who is having the most fun" - Alex Lowe
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Unread 11-20-2008, 12:03 PM
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jsp1001 jsp1001 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 170
long synth underwear, fleece type shirt, marmot shell was good nuff for me @ Jirisan last Jan. Amazing how body heat builds up from exercise. Pulled out my basic rei down (70 bucks) only at extended stops. The shelters were better heated than my apt! dont forget wool sox, gloves & ear bands, plus the big sabretooth crampons, 'eisens' in Korea.
Joe Park
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Unread 11-20-2008, 12:30 PM
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choss monkey choss monkey is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Seoul
Posts: 330
or you can just wrap yourself in bubble wrap. windproof, waterproof, and lots of air pockets to help keep you warm.

oh yeah and just so you know, the north face sucks. they are owned by vanity fair. only corporate whores wear that shite. but my bias and skewed political views aside... i've actually been surprised with some of the nice korean jackets, although they cost a lot they aren't quite much as arcteryx, mountain hardwear, lowe, ect when you get them on sale, and they are almost always on sale.

i'm also a huge fan of bamboo or wool base layers. the bamboo ones are hard to come by here but they rule.

Last edited by choss monkey : 11-20-2008 at 12:53 PM.
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Unread 11-20-2008, 01:15 PM
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Goulash Goulash is offline
Ground hugger
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yeosu Jeollanamdo
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by choss monkey

i'm also a huge fan of bamboo or wool base layers. the bamboo ones are hard to come by here but they rule.

Bamboo? They make clothing out of bamboo?

English Teacher, Photographer & Aussie gone walkabout.
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Unread 11-20-2008, 01:58 PM
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CharlesCullen23 CharlesCullen23 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Posts: 111
Thanks all- really appreciate the cold weather tips. Looks like I'll be purchasing a goretex jacket shell, some wool base layers, and a nice down jacket for the trip. Hopefully Ill still have some money left from my paycheck to buy food for December. Unfortunately, I havent found down jackets for under 250,000, I will be traveling to Seoul this weekend from Gwangju- does anyone know a place offering good deals on down jackets around there?
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Unread 11-20-2008, 03:36 PM
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shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
No worries Charles. If you are up in Seoul lots of the shops around Jong-ro 5 ka have some great sales on. There are many stores there so pop into a bunch of them and see who has the best deal. I know Black Yak in Daejeon are telling me (on the sly) that soon they will be clearing last years models of down jackets at about 50% off...I guess this is a nationwide thing too. Other cheap places to try are the thousand gear stores around the base of Bukhansan National Park in north Seoul. Go to Suyu station on the light blue line and get a bus to Ui dong (look under Insubong or O2 for directions). Some sweet bagains to be had up there too - if you hunt about.
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
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Unread 11-21-2008, 03:04 PM
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lkiehn lkiehn is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jeonju, the coolest city ever
Posts: 188
yeah I have a bamboo shirt!
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