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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Climbing > Trip Reports

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 04-20-2010, 10:12 AM
MisterP's Avatar
MisterP MisterP is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Geoje
Posts: 61
Well put Bryan. Thanks for the suggested positive alternative. Much appreciated.
Unread 04-20-2010, 11:47 AM
dangerflower's Avatar
dangerflower dangerflower is offline
velocity girl
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: korea
Posts: 105
sonia, i missed seeing you too...^^ and you're right, mngs ARE amazing meetings for the kotr community. (as i said before, i wasn't there, so i don't know the whole situation last weekend. perhaps i reacted too strongly in my post, in which case, i'm sorry...T.T) and koreans are usually very understanding about that too, i think... although numerous korean climbing friends have understood our need and want to meet together, and supported that, they were also often glad to know about the meet and greet so that they could climb elsewhere that weekend...^^ i have felt the same way, and i don't want to stop the meet and greet at all, but to ensure that it remains a positive thing for everyone...

however, as bryan brought up and tim seconded, the idea of a meet and greet with a purpose such as the one described in the initiatives thread sounds incredibly appealing. although not a crowd person, i would LOVE to go to an initiative like that, and try to give something back to the korean community that has been so giving to us...and we could do SO much with that many people, whether working on an organized task or project, or holding a fundraiser for a specific purpose. it would be a valuable addition to a really great tradition.
'i became insane with long horrible intervals of sanity.' (edgar allen poe)

'it doesn't have to be fun to be fun'. (alpinist heading up 'the south african' route in patagonia)
Unread 04-20-2010, 02:46 PM
Canadian Grizzly's Avatar
Canadian Grizzly Canadian Grizzly is offline
aka, The Griz or just Jake
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hwamyeong-dong, Busan
Posts: 86
Food for thought

An absolutely perfect world or community as such is a fantasy. It's something to strive for, but don't expect to attain it. All we can hope for is to do the best we can and enjoy the brief moments when they exists. Although there was an incident last weekend, it's best to focus on the positives which greatly out numbered the one negative. I'm not here to try and let those who acted in less than a gracious manner off the hook (I was there and saw the whole thing and was one of the few who apoligized to the man for the actions of those who we are associated with), but I agree that those slights of character can be redeemed by other, more positive actions. The clean up that took place and the initiatives that are being planned are a great example of that. The idea of letting our climbing gyms known when and where we are going to have a big gathering is another great idea. Keep trying to better the environment that we are in, both physically and socially and our reputation should continue to be a positive one, especially if we live up to the standards that we expect others to have, even if they don't.

Just my two cents, hope I didn't come off as too preachy!
I like big jugs!
Unread 04-20-2010, 09:10 PM
bhylenski bhylenski is offline
Currently a "Gyeongsonian"
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Gyeongsan (Daegu)
Posts: 150
Well said Griz!
Unread 04-20-2010, 11:46 PM
dusty dusty is offline
Climb Higher
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Posts: 35
Be careful when you say "never" or "always".

I think Bryan's initiatives are a great start in the right direction. If we are giving something back, no one can refute that. We cannot be misunderstood. I still like the idea of doing two MNG's and always will (Sonia I already know your opinion) because of the more personal nature. Grizzly Jake, thanks for letting us know that you were at least one voice that apologized. I also agree that we should make a point in the Fall, especially if the MNG is at one location, to tell our gym owners where we are headed.
I also have one more thought to throw into the fire. Because the climbing community is getting larger, it might be cool to have more trade specific MNG's, such as one single pitch sport focused crag and one trad or multi-pitch or bouldering focused crag. We have plenty of time to discuss, so please don't jump at this idea as a chance to rip me a new one. Thanks to everyone for their input. Hopefully we can remember these past events and ideas when it comes to planning the trip for the Fall.
Unread 04-21-2010, 01:09 PM
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shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
Bryan, Tim, Namesake (Jake) et. al....
Better to be a tad preachy here amongst ourselves than to hold one's tongue for fear of being misunderstood or upsetting someone. We all know it's not easy to articulate exactly what we mean in a few words...so we do all give each other a certain lee-way in interpretations (I think). Also, of course it is better to focus on the positives than remain stuck on the (far fewer) negatives. Again I'd like to repeat, we were complimented on our clean-up and enthusiasm for climbing and being social. That is a good thing, and so was the way people helped out each other and all the newbies, with gear, safety checks and encouragement etc. Overall everyone was awesome and it WAS a great weekend.
The initiatives are agreat bridge builder and will make us better ambassadors, ipso facto. They might also help excuse our rare excesses somewhat (and these are kind of unavoidable at times...no-one is perefect, and never all the time!). Even if we all just learned a few simple Korean greetings, apologies and congratulatory sentences, I think we could make big strides in inter-cultural relations. This forum shouldn't be seen as jusst a criticism, but a way of seeing what more we can do, and what good we have done too! Thanks everybody.
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
Unread 04-22-2010, 09:38 AM
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Lostontherocks Lostontherocks is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kunsan, Korea
Posts: 28
I think we are always harder on ourselves than we need to be, or never truly understand the nature of the beast or where we are. While, of course, offending those in our host country is something none of us want to do, it is going to happen, not because there are 70 people, or because some were drinking alcohol, but because of "where" we are, and the nature that still exists in some koreans.

Examine this, I was in the hotel saturday night, and there was a korean bonfire across the street from the KOTR's and a very large group of koreans partying up at the hostel in and outside, I had a perfectly clear group of all three from the 5th floor and out of all three the ONLY groups I could hear were the koreans, KOTR sounded silent against their thralls. Did those koreans that asked us to be quiet also go ask them? Probably not. And this is the issue we will never avoid.

There is a group of koreans, older ones, ones from the country that don't see foreigners as much....I would say it's probably less than 1 out of 20, that don't like foreigners, call is racism, or whatever, but they don't want to hear us, see us in their spots... anyone that has been here a while should have noticed this.

You see it when there are 40 koreans in a restuarant being loud and rowdy and a group of 4 foreigners gets asked by one korean man to be quiet when we could barely here ourselves talking above them. Or the nasty look and point of the finger from a korean woman on a bus because we are talking and not just sleeping or staring at our cell phones or quietly doing our hair like the other koreans.

To some koreans, we are by definition, against who they are as a people. As a korean friend of mine in pusan told me. Individuality is bad to korean people, you must conform, foreigners individuality is what makes some koreans dislike us.

I've had loud drunk koreans keep me up, often, I've had a drunk korea piss on the side of my tent, fall into my tent, drop food onto my tent. I've had cab drivers refuse to give rides...etc.....

My point in all of this is, is that 95% of koreans...love us, they don't mind if we are loud, they don't mind if we are having a good time, and usually they actually join in (didn't anyone notice that their were about a dozen koreans drinking and being loud with us saturday night, or were you all to drunk?...lol)
that small percentage of koreans coming to complain, will ALWAYS be there.

Understand in no way am I saying that we should be rude, I'm just stating that the M&G, 70 people, drinking...etc...has nothing to do with the occasional korean protest...had we been korean. Everything would have been fine.

Loved the weekend, can't wait to come stay with you Tim in geoje this summer, and maybe get you into kiteboarding. But be forwarned, the korean kiteboarders get VERY loud and rowdy....
Unread 04-22-2010, 05:38 PM
Brad's Avatar
Brad Brad is offline
Jiri Jammer
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Changwon
Posts: 57
Everyone is dropping their two cents so might as well drop'er down as well.

Epic weekend, huge fan. Nothing like big ol'climb and saucefest gonger to ring in a new season. I am bummed that there was a slight altercation, that's a real shitty deal and I also not thrilled that our actions may have tarnished the reputation of KOTR's of the days of yore. Still, when you put that number of people together with so many 60's of fine whiskey, ta-kill-ya and brewski, things will get rowdy. I know I contributed to the off key singing and guit playing which is a tragedy deserving apology in itself. Still, I think to condemn such a fun event that gets so many people together would be squanderous. People drink, and many, no matter what their race get rowdy. Many Koreans do it, and many of us with less control over ourselves once the firewater get pouring are also loud, obnoxious and at times, assholes.

Thus lies the problem, I loved the party aspect, great times at the crag and despite a large number I thought, for the most part the group was pretty well behaved. I liked the number of folks attending and thought it was rad. Still, there were many who had problems with the group and its noise levels. What about moving the bonfire to a different location? Had we been partying a little farther away from the sleeping folk the noise level would have been allowed to run rampant. I know with the camps that I have worked in, we have always had the few that man the fire noisily until sunrise but because the fire is away from those who prefer to rest it is legit. If we find a place to party away from the sleeping folk I see no foul being committed.
Unread 04-22-2010, 05:59 PM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552
Brad, yet another good suggestion for next time (at Kanhyon we have camped at the furthest camp ground, which works well. . . might look into reserving if possible). I'm glad people are coming up with good ways to prevent problems, rather than just scrap the whole idea of a M&G. BTW, awesome to finally meet you Sean, and Brad. . . great that you made it so far!!

Sean, I might add that we can learn from Koreans who do tend to look after their drunks . . . but, yes, this is a culture where drinking is often (but this is becoming less and less) seen as a critical part of bonding.

If I've learned one thing in Korea, it's bring earplugs. . . everywhere and several pairs. Maybe we could buy bulk and hand them out! Putting them in the vending machine at the Hostel would probably be a good idea!
"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!
Unread 04-22-2010, 11:59 PM
willpower willpower is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sokcho
Posts: 121
Sorry for being short. I've just fallen off my shetland pony and there's a faint whiff of Ddong in the air...

...F**k, you guys are far too nice with your language.

Sean, I'm trying to see things from your point of view but I can't seem to get my head up your a** too. If your want to make a point, don't mince your words.

Sorry if I failed to understand, but are you fighting to defend the sterling reputation that Jake, Dong-Il, Heidi, Chris, Jessie, Alec, Kim-Lee and Unio have earned the foreign community over the last five years, or are you more interested in preserving your right to party?

"I've had a drunk korea piss on the side of my tent, fall into my tent, drop food onto my tent....." How come you failed to take their hint the first time? I've been kept awake by you more than once.

We've been preaching the mantra of smaller gatherings for a long time now. Too many people in one space and things like this are an eventuality. (Think of the Rolling Stones in Altamont). Its time to nut up, make like Mr Hylenski and effect some positive action.

We've already proved with a little imagination we can have an event that's as fun as a traditional meet and greet with zero risk of collateral damage. Think; Pretzl frock. We climbed hard and partied harder - away from the crag. Keep things city-centric, climb hard and eat well, great success. My only wee regret being failing to get the Korean climbing community onboard (...next time), nonetheless it was still a beautiful thing. Other worthy mentions go to Stu's 'King of the Mountain' which was equally as epic.

Get behind the initiatives, meanwhile, erm;

"...I would say it's probably less than 1 out of 20, that don't like foreigners, call is racism, or whatever, but they don't want to hear us, see us in their spots..."

Erm, substitute 'foreigners' for 'a**holes', and you'll be getting getting closer.

Korean climbers are the kindest and most generous strata of korean society you'll meet. Whilst I'm not fussed if you upset the odd Ajuma in emart, I'm more concerned that your behavior at the crag is going to piss-off one of our many climbing friends. Sang-In, Son-Kap, Dong-Il, Sung-Bin, Su-Yeong, Jin-Taek, Ki-Hun, Han-Su, Don-Gi, Mr Kwan, Iee-Jung-Ok and Won-Il have given all of us so much collectively through routes, friendship and encouragement.

"Foreigners individuality is what makes some koreans dislike us" urk, did you write the script to Rocky IV?

Re-written properly; "corporate identity and collective togetherness is what makes korean culture unique". You are your club, fact.

Basics; learn some korean, open your mind, treat korean crags with respect and finally engage a little with the culture.

And last off all; don't sh*t on the bonfire, it makes it stink for everyone,

Jah bless,

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