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Insubong (Campsite Boulders) Submitted on January 29th, 2006 by fitzelq Print
Type: Bouldering Province: Gyeonggi-Do City: Seoul
Park: Bukhansan Park Rating: V0 - V11 Views: 17859
Photos: 85 Photo(s) - Add Photos Maps: 2 Image(s) - Add Images    

The rock here consists of a worn granite, not smoothed by glaciation, but sharp with crystals. Some boulders sport bomber edges, some boulders beg serious cleaning time in order to remove the crumbly dirt and crust encasing some of the holds. But everything you want is here, from overhung roofs, highball scare-fests, dynos, V11 testpieces, excellent slabs, fun and interesting warm-ups and plenty of exploring and adventure -- all placed just beneath Insu Peak, and scattered around a quant Buddhist temple. It can be a bit noisy and you will definetly have a crowd of hikers hooting you onward and upward, but I guess that's part of the unique magic of Insubong.

Getting to Insubong is just a matter of bus and subway hopping (isn't everything in Seoul?). You can catch the 144, 109, 120, etc (I don't know all the buses and where you can catch them, so I won't spend time guessing) and they should take you directly to a market street just below the peak. You can also take the Blue Line to Suyu St. and jump on a 109 or 144 from there.

Next, you can either hike up to the trailhead (a lengthy, steep jaunt on asphalt), nab a taxi, or await the free bus running up and down the mountain all day. You'll wait across the street from the Black Yak in a large parking area. The buses have a cartoonish painting of Buddhist Monks, and yes, they will store your crash pads under the bus for the ride up and down.

After you're at the top, you'll have the opportunity to stock up on some water, kimbop, etc, and then head up the stone steps and begin the 20 minute hike to the boulders. I believe it costs 1400W or something close to that, to get into the park. Follow the trail, which will be utterly congested with hikers, all the way to the campground. Once there, you can scoot below the ranger station (right, down the gulley) to some nice established problems and plenty of unclimbed stones, or you can hang a right towards Insubong. Boulders are scattered to the right of the trail, above and behind the small Temple, and continue all the way up to the launching point of roped climbers up Insu Peak. Explore and have fun!!

Safety Concerns
It behooves you to bring a crash pad, though you can have plenty of fun with just a spotter or two. There are large boulders here, and some (a lot) of the landings are a bit dangerous and talus-ridden.

Also, many of the boulders on the ground are super-smooth, so watch your footing!! You will fall, and it hurts! If there are leaves covering a rock, and it looks white and water-smoothed, use caution. Sounds funny, but me and my partners learned the hard way!

Again, rock quality greatly varies from boulder to boulder. One boulder can feature bomber crimps and bullet-proof footjibs, a boulder 10 feet away can be absolutely rotten. If you're headed to the clouds on a new or old route, make sure to inspect the quality of the rock/holds before launching skyward. Avoiding the 20 foot *** rocket onto a congested mandable of talus is always, always a good thing.

Additional Comments
Water, food, SOJU! is all available just below the trailhead. Also, there are some nice Buddhist wares to purchase, if that's your bag. The Insubong Market, below the peak and trail, is a great place to shop for climbing gear, shoes, and anything outdoor. O2 World is also located in this area, so if you get a hankering for some gym climbing/indoor ice climbing, or if the weather turns on you, you have a great place to spend a day cranking in the comfort of a gym.

Comment added by teegoat on August 30th, 2006
Just a few updates.After getting to Suyu station on Subway line 4,take bus no 120,170(last stop) orr 1119 (although I haven't tried that one) - those will take you to the market street under Insubong - neither 109 nor 144 go from Suyu station.
Entry fee to the park is 1600 won.
Stocking up: I think it's much better to do it in Seoul proper rather than at the market street-all the eateries and shops (maybe except for some outdoor shops) are a bit overpriced.
In the late afternoon (after 6pm) the free bus goes quite irregularly and its hard to figure out whether there will be any bus going down to market st. but the walk down is only about 20min,so that shouldn't cause much trouble,unless you are completely knackered.

Comment added by teegoat on August 31st, 2006
CHEAP INSUBONG TRIP - all u need 2 kno:
when u get 2 incheon airport in seoul catch bus 602-1 from stop 5B (8000won).get off @ anguk st. n leave ur stuff @ Guesthouse Korea (dormitory 15000won/pax/nite) (www.guesthouseinkorea.com).catch bus 109 (900won) from opposite Chungukkung Palace.Get off @ last stop (Insubong market.st) n catch the free bus.
It's a fool-proof recipe,dont even have 2 catch subway.timewise-from guesthouse 2 the car park beneath Insubong shld take no more thn 1h15min.
1 more thin:u either have a big crashpad or there r a few of u,each of u with their own mat.a lot of good probs need spotters n/or a few mats.
oh,some of the rock r sacred,so pls b aware of the fact.smbdy cld get angry'bout ppl jumpin up n down their holy piece of stone-theres a shrine amngst the bldrs,so dont b in other ppls face 2 much.

Comment added by DisplacedRonin on March 5th, 2008
The shuttle bus at the base leaves in thirty minute intervals(on the hour and :30 after the hour).

Comment added by Likendogo on April 30th, 2010
Does anyone have any kind of a better map laid out for these problems? If not, I would love to meet up with someone that knows the area and can show me around, let me know the general ratings and names of some of the boulders and problems so that I could make a decent map.

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