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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Community > Site Suggestions & Feedback

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Unread 10-05-2005, 03:49 PM
Eric's Avatar
Eric Eric is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Owen Sound, Ontario
Posts: 681
Well i have been toying with the idea of reworking a lot of stuff on KOTR for a while and i will be getting to it soon (within a few months). But before i get started even thinking about it, i'd like to get some suggestions from everyone here, if you have any.

First & foremost, my plan is to integrate KOTR with a powerful forum that is searchable. i realize this will be the most useful since the forum gets the most use by KOTR members.

I will also be making the climbing areas searchable.

additionally, gyms will be (as i have long promised) searchable by city and, you better sit down for this, editable. :)

also, i will be adding extra types of climbing areas like "Bouldering" and "Outdoor Artificial Walls".

The gallery will also be more searchable and very cool.

So what would you like to see? Did i miss anything?

Also, for bouldering places, what kind of information do you want to see? I have never been in the bouldering scene, having climbed almost entirely in korea, therefore i would really appreciate some feedback here. i can anticipate:
Rating V0 - V?
Number of Routes

im a little lost with the bouldering stuff. boulderer feedback needed!

ok, that's it. im pretty excited to revamp KOTR. it will be quite cool when its finished, just don't know exactly when that will be.

Fall: To retreat in dynamic fashion from a climb.
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Unread 10-06-2005, 02:08 PM
supertopoz supertopoz is offline
Mud? Low in fat high in fat? Mud.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Gyoung Ju
Posts: 97
suggestions for bouldering need to include how to get to the area.

1.Where to search once you get to the mountain.
2.Some things about leaving the area in good condition.
3.When is the best time to boulder.
4.A small topo for each area.
5.The rock condition, and possible landing dangers.
6.Possible public transport options.

Also beach bouldering, road side bouldering, or a long walk in bouldering.

And much more.
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Unread 10-10-2005, 08:19 PM
skinsk's Avatar
skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,551

Can't wait to see what you do to the site! Personally, I especially like separating the artificial walls from real rock, as I have a bit of a let down when I see a new place, then click and it's fake:( I think there is at least one outdoor wall under "gyms" that might be moved (if walls are separate from gyms).

RE: Bouldering. . .not suggestions for the site so much as considerations for adding bouldering areas. As Koreans don't Boulder outside to the extent Westerners do, and when they do it's usually on a trail to or near climbing areas, extra caution should be taken to check out the appropriateness of bouldering to the area. National and Provincial parks often close large areas for environmental reasons, habitats, etc. They may not want visible chalk on a boulder, or egads, there may be a faint carved Buddha where you thought you could smear! Visible people or trails may encourage others to leave the trail, which Koreans often do for little parties, often leaving quite a bit of trash. Are you "creating" a trail? (Are their trails to the area?) Is it private property? How accessible is it in the event of an emergency? Publicizing an area opens it up to additional scrutiny, and the poster assumes certain responsibility. This site is an excellent resourse for sharing information with people who may have difficulty getting accurate and complete information due to the language and cultural difficulties. Korea may feel like climbing in a "destination" locale, but Koreans climb (unlike the people of many "destination" climbing areas in non-Western societies) and follow certain general principles, though some may seem very odd to us! As we've seen with closures, camping, etc, this site is excellent at explaining some of the "ways things work here" to foreigners. If you are unsure of an area, check with your local climbing club; PM me for info. E-mail the park. Check the place out and provide accurate information; if you lack appropriate experience to judge ratings, gear, anchors, etc, bring someone who can! Most Korean gyms will have one person who can speak English, and surely every foreigner in Korea has a co-worker, friend, etc who can make a phone call. Be patient and gracious when trying to make yourself understood/understand. Get it in writing and translated!

Developing news areas. There is protocol in the US, Western countries and even some Asian countries. There is also a tendancy not to treat an area as we might if it were our home crag. Articles and websites are dedicated to the politics of climbing. In destination areas, where tourists and short term visitors most of the climbing, people tend to skimp and be less cautious; the details are forgotten and people feel less accountable. In Korea, it's easy to want to play the foreign card. I think the least one should do is ask several local CLIMBERS about the area, as well as checking with residents if it is near or boarders private property. Respect officials who might interfere with your plans and bouldering. We don't want to spread bad-will towards the foreign climbing community. . . we are guests, but we can contribute in that capacity. How would you behave and how would you want guests to behave in your backyard?

Posters bear some responsibility for assessing the safety of an area and providing complete and accurate information. At home, guidebooks and magazines spend pages on explanations, history, etc, so it's easy to make decisions. Here, your post may be the only source available to the community. The better you make a place seem, the more likely others will pack their gear and head out. Will they find the place? Will their gear be adequate? A few meters off in guessing a route length can be serious. Many people on this site are beginners, and are not even aware what questions they should be asking. Many posters have already left the country (though some of them respond to inquiries!), so it's hard to get additional information. In a year or so after leaving, will you remember the details. . . (I've been jotting down information as I go to scope places, taking a notebook with me and marking maps; I also do internet research beforehand, though that is limited by your Korean and your willingness to put in time translating). If it's your best guess, let us know at least. Better to err on the side of safety and respect. It does take work, but there are more than enough people o this site and in Korea that are willing to help out.

Climbing, even with the safest of partners in the safest of places, carries inherent risks (and responsibilities). Injuries and accidents happen frequently and are compounded when you're in a foreign country. Korean hospitals are not fun, nor are lengthy evacuations. . . even a twisted ankle can become serious if there's no real trail. . . accurate information and careful consideration can prevent accidents. (And should they happen, to inform the climbing community of pertinent details. Koreans can pick up a magazine or go to a website for this info as we can at home.)

OK, this has gone on long enough. Just though I'd put some observations and thoughts out there, with a sprinkling of advise and some sermon thrown in for good measure! I hope this site continues to be such a valuable source of info for the foreign climbing community.
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Unread 10-10-2005, 08:43 PM
Eric's Avatar
Eric Eric is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Owen Sound, Ontario
Posts: 681
Supertopoz & Sonia,

thanks. you have given me some stuff to consider which i had not thought of. good suggestions.

anything else???


Fall: To retreat in dynamic fashion from a climb.
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Unread 10-11-2005, 04:33 AM
supertopoz supertopoz is offline
Mud? Low in fat high in fat? Mud.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Gyoung Ju
Posts: 97
Some of the things mentioned above about bouldering, might apply to other types of climbing.

I had the great place that I went to, when I learnt about aid soloing. I had some top rope solofree climbing there to.

And just me going there a few times a week did little to distrube local wildlife. I even met with a flying squriall. Then a year later, my club was on at me about it.
I took this one korean guy so he could have a look. And all he wanted to do was be the first person up the rock. I explained to him that I had already tried most of the lines there. But that day we went I saw something very special, an eagle owl. That thing was huge. The korean guy didn't give a dam about this most majestic bird.

I went back to the club and they went on at me about bolting this new place. And I went on at them about the fact this eagle owl lived there right on the rock.

After that I keep very quite about new places that I visit. for example the local UNESCO sight where I live has some of the best bouldering in korea. But I don't take anyone there because hopefully it won't be distroyed more than it already is (I don't be the bouldering places).

I go there running, and have the endless task of clearing up other peoples rubbish, spring is the worst. And there a millions of the stupid plastic banners people hang in the trees. This is meant to be a UNESCO sight and no one gives a flying monkeys. So I keep my head down, go bouldering and try to help the mountain recover from sundays.

Take care.
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Unread 10-11-2005, 07:54 PM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,551
Korea is still rising at a rate unbelievable in the past 35 years, and as it caught up with the rest of the world, the pace is dizzying. When I was growing up in the '70s in Louisiana, we thought nothing of throwing our trash out of the car. . . fast food bags and containers, cans. . .education-- in the elementary schools, TV campaigns, and fines! put an end to that. . . the latter two have all but disappeared and it's a big part of the curriculum today at our public schools, from Earth Day celebrations to science lessons, field trips and guest speakers, environmental awareness is up (and yet, still look at what our governments offer, and what goes on at the cliffs!). . . voluntary bans or self policing. I've never seen foreign climbers who don't speak any English--in over a decade of climbing around the states. . . actually, Korean climbers are the only climbers I know who in many cases, don't speak English, though more and more do and offer a belay before I can ask). Anyway, Korea is making incredible strides. . . from a rural, impoverished, war-torn country (the first 20 years were rough, with little progress, and highly corrupt military government). . .the changes in the climbing scene since I first got here have been unbelievable, not just in competitiveness and popularity, but in the power of the climbing community. They have gotten districts to build outdoor walls and hire them to run them! The "well being" craze that's promoting organics and local products helps with this. More mainstream press carries climbing articles (even a Korean soap featured a lead character climbing on an artificial wall!) and advertisements are featuring climbers. Koreans are getting comfortable with their freedom and are getting more adventuresome. . . they're travelling, and they're seeing what we saw all those years ago after the fines and education began: it looks nicer; it adds to the ambiance. . . witness the best (only good?) case of development I've seen in Korea, at Kan-hyon. . . the old bridge and deck were accidents waiting to happen. . . more people kept coming. . .but expanding down river, then leaving some natural and adding more trails, picnic spots across the bridge . . . the climbers played an important role in this. . .now environmental awareness and some sadness over the destruction of so many species during the rapid development of the country, bears have been reintroduced, trails and entire slopes and summits are periodically closed to recover. As are people in every country, some Koreans are faster at picking up on things. With the rise in sport climbing coinciding with this new environmentalism (just look through the magazines. . . and believe me, just 5, 6 years ago the parks were trashed). Koreans are welcoming to foreigners and want you to enjoy their climbing areas. . . they'll probably ask your impression of a route and take criticism personally (even if they are not the routesetter). . . but given their long and recent history of oppression and occupation by foreigners, many don't appreciate foreigners coming in and taking over the local scene. Would you want foreigners who didn't speak the local language, seek the proper permits and consult with any locals (or local bulletin boards or magazines) to come in and develop your rock using their own ethics and standards-- often sub par abroad where they are not held accountable to the community, as the Koreans are here? (Sorry about that sentence.) Anyway, Koreans can be sensitive about weird things, but these concerns, are I think, understandable. If you have the best intentions, do the least anyone would do visiting another state, province, etc. . .in your own country: consult the locals and build concensus . . . it will benefit the country, the foreign climbers here now, and those yet to come. And always set a good example-- the best motivation for change-- bring a bag and clean up everywhere you go-- at least for 15 minutes or so, and carry it out (some Koreans will even pitch in). . . and it's harder to litter in a clean area. Koreans are much more "group" than "individual" oriented-- look at all the climbing clubs and club developed areas-- and may get get their feelings hurt if you go to an area by yourself, rather than inviting them, especially if they've been inviting you. Asking permission and assistance will impress them, and they will be most likely to grant it and assist you. OK, my 50 cents (more).
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Unread 10-12-2005, 04:49 PM
Posts: n/a
This site is great, and just keeps on getting better... I don't really have any ideas beyond what's already been offered for how to improve it, but just wanted to say thanks again for doing so much to connect the foreign climbing community and keeping us informed.

Also, thanks to Sonia and supertopoz for their insights. It's so important that everyone does what they can to keep the environment in good shape and worth visiting, as well as keeping areas open to climbing. This is definitely an issue in every country regardless of nationality, and my friends and I have seen first-hand how trying to be a good example by our actions has done more than our attempts at saying something could do.

Sonia, thanks for the reminder of some of the great things Koreans are doing here. I've also learned a lot from their patient teaching, generosity and thoughtful examples, and am sure that all of the foreign climbers here have in some way benefited from the Korean climbing community too.

Supertopoz, I know it's frustrating to pick up other's garbage, but thanks for doing it all the same! I know that Koreans will/do appreciate your efforts, and many of them also pick up the refuse left by a thoughtess few.

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