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Unread 04-28-2010, 11:25 PM
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Maisan Opera House Closed Starting May 1st

Hello All,

As of May 1st, the Opera House at Maisan will be closed indefinitely because of climbers not keeping the land clean. The monks that own that land, the park ranger, and the owner of the tomb that's right in front of the Opera House have been frustrated by the actions of the climbers in that area. They feel that the local climbers there have been destroying nature. Here's a link. It's in Korean and you'll have to have a login and password, but it explains the situation in full detail. http://cafe.daum.net/seonwoonsan/I2uL/115

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Unread 04-29-2010, 12:20 AM
martyn_l martyn_l is offline
Jiri Jammer
Join Date: May 2009
Location: seongnam
Posts: 69
man that sucks i've spent quite a few weekends at opera house in the past 2 months and I love that place!!!!. Everyone is really good at taking away their trash in my eyes and i've yet to see any trash that has not to be taken away at the end of the days climbing. Is there anyone that's willing to translate the article i'd love to know what it says (i'll also buy your a beverage of your choice). I'd just like to know how it says that climbers are destroying nature there?. Is this a trash issue? or destroying the trails, going to the toilet? Maisan is a beautiful place and I'd sure as hell hate to see it being destroyed by climbers actions, it would be a shame to lose this place as its so rad!
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Unread 04-29-2010, 12:33 AM
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Apparently the issue is all the things that are left up there like tents, gear for bolting, etc. These are things that local climbers were doing and have been doing even though they were asked not to.
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Unread 04-29-2010, 12:39 AM
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shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
Thanks for the heads-up on this Erik, but man....what a bummer. A really great crag now closed...this nearly happened a year or so back as well. Maybe tehre will be a petition to have the decision re-thought....but yeah, until then it's farewell Opera House.
BTW the Korean article linked says, climbers should remove any personal/ club gear asap. If anyone is caught climbing after May 1st, they'll be liable to prosecution (I think that's the gist), trespass and so on (the land is all actually gazetted as Temple land, on loan as a Provincial Park (this is true of many "National" and "Provincial" Parks in Korea.
I am assuming the ban will also include Al-bawi?
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
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Unread 04-29-2010, 09:56 AM
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hnikbloom hnikbloom is offline
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Maybe we could organize a clean-up there. Show our respect and possibly they will reconsider.
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Unread 04-29-2010, 11:04 AM
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yandy yandy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chuncheon
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A bit off tangent, but I'm just curious to know, how and why the Buddhists come to own the land these temples are on. Does the government bequeath it to them, or did they just squat there a long time ago and nobody has ever asked any questions? I'm not criticising them, I'd love to lie on the floor, in a brightly coloured house, in my pyjamas, burning incense and growing my own "plants." Just wondered how they came to get the access rights.

Martyn, it's "rubbish" not "trash."
Do you need my assistance?
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Unread 04-29-2010, 11:44 AM
martyn_l martyn_l is offline
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I know it's rubbish, you know it's rubbish but when your writing to a 90% american readership you have to speak they're language
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Unread 04-29-2010, 12:09 PM
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shanja shanja is offline
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For Andrew:
The temple grounds were originally bequeathed by Kings etc who until the Joeson Dynasty were also (usually) the Buddha incarnate of "Korea". Sometimes the temple grounds were given in return for services to the state and other times they weere set up to bring prosperity etc to the people/ state etc. Buddhism was the official state religion until about 1800 and is still the largest religion in Korea. They still enjoy the lands given in perpetuity...even though the Koryeo and Joeson Dynasties did abolish about 80% of all temples in Korea, they left these few...and recently a few more have sprung up again. Unlike in the west though, Temples do pay taxes in Korea I believe...in the west religious groups are largely tax-free havens. Disgraceful!

For all:
Sorry to have to say this, but I have just been contacted directly by some of the Korean clubs involved in Opera House/ Maisan with more details. I will quote from the clubs e-mail below (I had to edit a bit to amke it better English...but the meaning is still unchanged I promise):

"마이산 was closed (tempoarily then re-opened) twice last year. The people in the Park Office are keen to find any excuse to close it again, After the second closure last year, Korean climbing clubs had an agreement that we were not going to camp there, at the crag or at the bottom, but I heard lots of foreigners camped and the guy in the office saw them last weekend.
And the decendents of the graveyard in front of the Opera House are still trying to sue (someone??? who?? I'm not sure) for the mis-use of the crag, so no Korean climbers walk through the graveyard and even closed it off with ropes. Korean climbers know to always go around to the right side at the bottom. (not use the tomb ground as camping, nor access via the rock face below it)
This information comes from someone who went there on Sat and Sun, and he could tell Koreans not to do these things, but he couldn't tell it to foreigners, because he cannot speak English well.
So we do not blame foreigners who were there past couple of weeks, but we want them to know what happened, and tell them not to camp or access the gravesite area, just like all Korean climbers (should not).
If anyone climbs there from May 1st onwards, he/she will have to pay a fine.

Jake, can you post this on KOTR, so we can help to repair the relationship with the government officers and monks at Maisan in order to try and open it soon?"
It seems the final straw was that "foreigner's camping and walking through the graveyard."

So there we have it. The Korean clubs may not blame us, and I dare say it is NOT entirely our fault either. Like they said, they have been looking for a reason to close it....BUT, I posted only a month or so ago that camping at Maisan was totally not on. I said further that it had nearly been closed before and so we needed to tread carefully there, and not disregard the camping ban just because "some Korean's do it"....it may be unfair, but we are a more visible target sometimes and right or wrong, we've been singled out. I can only hope the foreigners camping there did so totally unawares of how 'illegal' it was (and that they hadn't seen the post I made about this). It's a tragedy to lose Maisan, but a good example of how important respecting the local (not just Korean) sensibilities can be, even when we don't agree with them/ are not fully aware of them. Not trying to blame anyone, not at all...I think it was really nice and generous that they said they don't blame "us". Still, I feel we are now doublely obliged to try and repair this damage. It's up to us to take positive action to apologize (for any unintentional offence - like camping etc), and to create a good image of ourselves in the communities mind.
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
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Unread 04-29-2010, 01:35 PM
martyn_l martyn_l is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
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That's a serious shame that it appears to be us foreigners that attributed to it's closure, and nice of the other climbers not to blame it upon us. Your totally right that it is up to us appologize for our groups actions. Jake do you have any contact info or a representative we can contact at Maisan.
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Unread 04-29-2010, 02:19 PM
sunnyshim sunnyshim is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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oh, I know so many people love Maisan. it's so sad to hear that place will be closed. I guess this is not just about how people used that place, but also about respect of monks and graveyard owner. they might get upset when their advise kept falling on stony ground. graveyard and religious area are obviously significant places. they would've felt that they should protect those area and keep peace. I don't think only foreigners got involved in this issue. as Jake said, foreigners are more visible to be a target. so, they brought "foreigners" in front. now this issue arose as a big matter, then this will be a good chance to get things clearer and better. hopefully I can see people climbing and enjoying beautiful area again, soon.
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