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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 10-22-2005, 10:19 AM
Eric's Avatar
Eric Eric is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Owen Sound, Ontario
Posts: 681
Arrow Your city and its climbing

A lot of people end up at KOTR when they are trying to pick a city to live in that has good climbing. So I want to dedicate the thread to city descriptions and climbing in/around that city. Please only use this thread to tell us 2 things:
  1. Describe Your City (ie. size, province, availability of foreign amenities, size of foreign community, etc...)
  2. What is the climbing scene like in your city? (Are there rock climbs nearby? Ice climbing? Gyms? Ease/difficulty of getting to the nearby areas, etc...)

If you have lived in more than one city, feel free to list them all. If you have more to add to what someone else said, feel free to do so.

Keep discussions about cities in a separate thread. Thanks.

Fall: To retreat in dynamic fashion from a climb.
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Unread 10-22-2005, 10:50 AM
Eric's Avatar
Eric Eric is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Owen Sound, Ontario
Posts: 681
Climbing Scene in Daejeon

Daejeon is about 1.5 million people. It's in Chungcheongnam-do, about 2 hours south of Seoul by bus or regular train. There are always tons of jobs availabe in Daejeon so finding work should not be too hard, though as always, finding good work takes time.

Daejeon is surronded on 3 sides by mountains. One of the sides is Gyeryongsan National Park which can be easily accessed by city bus within 45 minutes or less. It's a beautiful park with plenty of hiking opportunities.

The Foreign Scene: There are plenty of foreigners in Daejeon so if you need that foreign contact, just hop on down to one of the foreign bars.

Daejeon is large enough to have TGIF, Walmart, Outback, Carre-Four, Costco & Starbuck's but small enough to maintain a somewhat small-town feel. I definitely feel like i am in a small town after i return from Seoul.

IMO, Daejeon is a cool and relatively clean place to live. I've been here for 5 years and it's one of the few places I would consider living given what I want out of a city. I like having access to good cheese and tortillas but also like the feeling of it being a small city. There are also 2 micro-breweries.

Climbing Scene in Daejeon
Gyms: Daejeon has one proper gym which i will be listing after the "new site" is up and running. It's a bouldering gym but big enough to not get bored to soon.

Rock climbing: There are quite a few places to climb within 1 hour of Daejeon, not including hike-in time. Most of them are at Gyeryong National Park. I can think of 4 places off the top of my head at Gyeryongsan. Getting out to the park, as i mentioned, is easy and takes less than 45 minutes but the hike-in is usually at least 20 minutes long and sometimes 30-45 minutes long.

Daedunsan has some superb climbing but last i heard, it was closed to climbing.

You can also get up to Cheongju which has a few climbs and a climbing gym in less than an hour if you have a car.

The rock in most/all of Chungcheongnam-do is very brittle. You can get on some nice ganite but it's usually slab. But a lot of the non-slab climbing is on less than bomber rock, though it's not too sketchy. I wouldn't put a lot of trust in placing any gear here, though.

Most of the climbs are sport climbs or a little mixed climbing but I have yet to find a route in/around daejeon that is strictly trad.

IMO, i like sport climbing so if i have the day and transportation is not an issue, I'd rather just drive the extra hour and head down to Jeollabuk-do and climb at Halmae Bawi or Seonunsan. If I don't want to make a full day of it, heading to gyeryongsan will do in a pinch.

Ice Climbing: I have only ice climbed twice and both times have been at a short (10 meter) waterfall at Gyeryongsan. I have heard there is more to do there but I'm not sure the size nor the quality. Most ice climbers in daejeon head out of province to find good ice.

Hope that helps!
Fall: To retreat in dynamic fashion from a climb.
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Unread 10-23-2005, 08:39 PM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552


Jeonju is the capital of Jeollabukdo, an agricultural province in the Central-West coastal area. It's an agricultural province, and Jeonju is known nation-wide for it's food, and it's strong traditional cultural hertitage. It's progressive, though, when it comes to it's annual film-festival, vegetarianism, and politics, which focus on buy local and sustainable growth while preserving quality of life and cultural properties. With abut 700,000 people though, you have most of the essentials. Jeonju Mart and E-mart, as well as the Major Department Stores sell everything from torilla fixings to cheese ro decent red wine to organics. One import store across from E-Mart sells feta cheese. Iksan (1/2 hr away) has a Middle Eastern import store and Seoul is less than 3 hours by bus.

Though 700,000 people live here, it still has a small-town feel (admittedly, I live in the undeveloped outskirts). . . with little traffic congestion, tons of hikes and fitness parks accessible throughout the city, and a generally pleasant, happy population. Views, surrounding mountains, relatively clean. . .There are bike paths (dangerous!) through town and better ones along the rivers and through the valleys just outside of town (on the way to nearby crags, Jungnim Hot Springs or Moaksan, all accessible by bike).

Foreign Scene: There are few Universities, but a number of Hakwons employing foreigners.I am not super involved with the foreign community here, but there is a small and seemingly very nice group here. There's one foreigner bar, the Deep Inn, where you can connect. Some play basketball regularly. There are many festivals and events that draw a lot of locals, and the big festival week (around the film fest) draws many foreigners. There are several Western (mostly fast) food outlets, but not so many as other cities of it's size, and these tend to be clustered in a few areas. A few coffee shops serve a decent latte, and a few climbing shops sell all the necessary gear. Foreign newspapers are harder to find outside the Uni area or bus terminal, and my subscription to the IHT runs a day late.

Climbing Scene in Jeonju
Gyms: Jeonju has one small homey gym that I have posted and will add photos.
Rock climbing: Shilli Am Jang is about 20 minutes from the city by but, less by (infrequent) train. Maisan, Sununsan, Daedunsan, to name a few, are other crags within an hour and a half by public transport. There are quite a few places to climb within 1 hour, more within an hour and a half. There are still some places that have not been posted, but browsing Jeollabuk-do and surrounding provinces will give you an idea. Daejon is just over an hour away. Most of the climbs are sport climbs.
Ice Climbing:A Korean climber in Gwangju told me there was ice about 1/2 hour away (in Jan); I'll try to check it out.

In my opinion: I've lived in Seoul and Incheon, and while there were some advantages in living in Seoul, I place a premium on peace and quiet, stars and views, and Jeonju is a better fit for me now. . .
"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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