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Baekunsan Slab Rock Submitted on March 26th, 2006 by skinsk Print
Type: Rock Climbs Province: Gyeongsangnam-Do City: Miryang
Park: n/a Rating: 5.7 - 5.11 Style: Trad/sport
Views: 10625 Photos: 13 Photo(s) - Add Photos Maps: 1 Image(s) - Add Images

Granite reminiscent of Pukhansan, these slabs dominate the valley wall opposite "Ice Valley", Gajisan Provincial Park. Developed in 1972 by Pusan and Taegu climbers, there are six routes on the lower slab (10d/10c/8/7/8/7) and seven on the upper (9/9/10b/10c/9/7/11a). Some are 2 pitches. Additionally, a short crack (1-2") on the left of the lower slab can be led and there's a fun boulder problem just right of that--with a Korean-style crash pad underneath. It looks like an old mattress spring, but it does the trick when you peel off the crimpers.

Some bolts were unnsuprisingly rusty, but looked solid. Some old pitons that seemed solid. Anchors from bolts to decent trees-- some on comfortable (for 1) ledges, others hanging belays. A few bolts have webbing hanging from them, apparently for aiding. This is pure friction slab climbing!

The routes were established when 5.10 was the limit and are solid by today's standard. Routes 17-59 meters-- most are over 30. Two ropes are a good idea!! mark the middle and tie knots and be prepared for creativity (we had two ropes, but needed only one to rap some anchors if we went to the side) You can also traverse to adjcaent anchors-- risking the swing-- to set additional topropes or rap. This might not be possible with large groups occupying adjacent routes.

Runout!! Think along the lines of 6 bolts/pitons for 32 meters. Give or take. Some routes could take a cam or nut, but not necessarily where you want it.

From Miryang, take an inter-city bus to Eoreumgol (얼음골; W3,200) to the end of the line (about 45 minutes). Look up when you get off the bus and you'll see the slabs. We were able to wave down a bus from heading from Cheongdo to Miryang (to get back) just at the base of the cliff. Chalk it up to a great driver.

If you're driving, when Hwy 24 (Miryang to Ulsan) splits to Ice Valley/Gajisan, keep left to Ulsan-- there are pulloffs and a soju tent/restaurant at the base of the slabs. Park in the parking lot and hike up 10-15 minutes to the lower rock, 40-60 mins to the upper one.

It's possible to head straight up from the bus stop area, a steep scramble from the min-baks/san jang (and a bit of a dump near the road), but not so bad (about 20 mins) down.

Safety Concerns
It's a ways up and it can get crowded, especially on a Sunday, so a helmet makes sense. That said, the climbs were very solid and we didn't witness any rockfall.

The main routes are bolted, and while there are a few cracks pockets that take gear, they are few and far between. All of the routes are runout, and even the "easy" routes are very crimpy, dime edge and smearing.

We didn't go to the upper slab, but the climberrs said it was pretty much the same style of climbing.

Gear to Bring
Mostly nuts and small gear, to 2.5 will let you explore most of the cracks in the vicinity. 2 ropes are optimal-- one 60m with knots in the end can work on some routes with some creativity! A daisy chain/ sewn sling is helpful for the anchors.

Additional Comments
The area looks like it's recently developed-- almost everything looked new for this season (2006), much of it still closed. Several minbaks (W30,000+), including the nicer looking San-jang (W40,000+) are down the road from the bus stop/Ice Valley. At the new Hobakso (호박소 055-356-5185 /011-9399-5181, no English), the first place on the right (wooden building), Mrs. Go made us special vegetarian meals and drove us to the crags each day (the turnoff for the bus stop/minbaks was a few k's from Hwy 24, which runs right below the crags). Camping is allowed on the side of the road (by the pullout and soju tent) but it seems noisy.

Ice Valley offers hiking opportunities, a temple and "the freezing place" where ice forms in the valley during the summer.

There are NO ATMS between here and Miryang-- stock up on cash!!!

Comment added by mp31bravo on June 17th, 2006
Riddle and I went there yesterday, June 17th, 2006. It was the first time I ever climbed an almost holdless slab. Thank God the angle wasn't that bad. I even used this venue to introduce my girlfriend to climbing. It was a big confidence builder before I get her started on other routes. We went here because we couldn't find a nearby climb on Chun Tae San which was supposed to be right next to the Nak Dong river. Oh well!

Comment added by yandy on March 4th, 2009
Climbed on the upper slab last Sunday (1st March). Looks like a lot of work has been done by the local climbers. All the bolts and anchors looked new and bombproof. A nice picnic area has been developed, would be ideal for camping and getting on the rocks before the crowds.

Slabs were pretty easy, because of the gradient. The vertical faces about 30m up really stretch the 5.10b/c grades when compared to other climbs of those grades in Korea.

Comment added by bhylenski on August 25th, 2009
Yes, the routes are stout for their grade, but if your solid on slab, they are mild as slab goes. The rock is quite sticky. I enjoy crack climbing and this place has some superb cracks at the upper end of each roof. Their not on any topo, but just look up and bring your own trad gear...very nice routes! I don't grade routes very well, but if you've got large hands like me, you should not have a problem.

But, if your not confident with Trad, no worries, there is one beauty with a line of bolts right next to it. Reminiscient of Seoraksan bolting mentality!

Anyway, great place to climb and a good bit of potential if your willing to bring a trad rack.

Comment added by tombanjo on May 7th, 2010
UPDATE: there is a 24 hour Nong Hyup ATM at the junction of the 1077 and the 24 just a short ways down from the crag. It's next to an elementary school which is on the corner of this intersection.

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