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Gwanmae-do Submitted on June 5th, 2006 by skinsk Print
Type: Rock Climbs Province: Jeollanam-Do City: Mokpo
Park: Dadoehae Haesang Park Rating: 5.8 - 5.12 Style: Traditional
Views: 9559 Photos: 13 Photo(s) - Add Photos Maps: 1 Image(s) - Add Images

Slate?-like sedementary rock of mixed quality (friable to quite decent!) vertical to overhanging corners, roofs. . .with some vertical cracks. 5-15 meters on the beach; 50m for Haneul Dari, one of the 8 sights of Gwanmaedo: a 50 meter rock with a slice through the middle (so two rocks) over the sea. There's a bridge over it! You'd need to take a boat to that side of the island (would be very easy to arrange in the off-season)-- maybe some trails but a hefty hike. The main climbs are on the North end of Gwanmae beach. A few vertical cracks that would take gear-- helmets are a must for belayers! Trees above for anchors (one already has webbing around it). Otherwise there's an access trail up and above (the road behind the campground lead to it). A GPS or someone to shout where to rap-- better yet 2 ropes-- and it would be possible to rap down to set a TR. On the beach you can see an old pin and above them 2 more with newish looking slings. Looks like someone bailed. I am also guessing these are fairly new as the sea and sun would fade them.

Off season 3 ferries daily. One from Mokpo leaves at 8:30 and takes 3:30. Two from Jindo (Paengmok Port) 9:30? and 2:40 take a little over an hour (stopping at Jodo). More ferrries during the summer. Jindo is one hour from Mokpo bus terminal and another hour to the pier.

Check return times before you leave; nothing is posted in Gwanmaedo though everyone seems to know the schedule. Last ferry is 4:00-- no ticket booth, show up walk on and pay on board.

The main sea cliffs/golapbawi are on the N end of the beach and then some. You'll see the fixed gear, then the sling in the tree, then some brittle parts. Hug the rock and keep going over dodgy places, past sketchy rocks until you see what you like. Golap Bawi (by the blue waters) has been TRed.

Head S from the ferry terminal and walk along the base of the cliffs for one good freestanding boulder with potential (a good spotter makes more sense than hauling a crash pad).

People will find you to get a boat to take you to Haneuldari, on the other side of the island. Not sure of climbs or appraoch (info based on magazine articles, internet and maps-- in Korean!) Photos only show toproping in the gash. Anyone up for checking it out?! seemed silly for one person.

Safety Concerns
Very brittle rock in places, though this is generally obvious. It looks like someone bailed on the route off the beach-- but I'm not sure what attracted them to the line. Fixed pins look like most pro on sea cliffs. . . but so oddly placed I can't see anyone trying them. Setting up a TR involves rapping through brush with tree anchors down a steep slope. Two ropes and long pants encouraged. Walking around the cliffs requires some shallow water wades and steep scrambles-- good sport sandals recommended. Haneuldari is high! tie knots in rope. .

Gear to Bring
lots of slings and anchor material, small nuts, rps and aliens would work best in the more solid vertical and slanted cracks. Bring leaverites for the anchors-- retrieving would be expensive. 2 ropes would be ideal for rapping to anchors and exploring the island.

Additional Comments
Gwanmae-do, a 4k(squared) island 85k from Jindo-eup (Jindo being another island connected by bridge to Mokpo, in SW Jeollanam-do), gets a writeup, mostly for the beach and 8 (only?) sights, but has a short summer season. Off season it's deserted and very rural. The population of 440 (almost all study elderly folks who still haul in and dry seaweed obsessively or tend their farms using cattle)seems less, with most of the 15 or so minbak closed for the season (3 were open; locals will bring you to them).

No family marts, gas stations (very little paved roads though the ferries take cars) PC rooms, saunas, KTF stores or norae-bang. No hotels, but a campground behind the beach set up for those canvas tents. A little overgrown and no amenities in the off-season. Minbaks have small restaurants (that make awesome vegetarian spreads!!) and "supers" attached, but the latter were down to bare- bones toothbrushes, soju cups, wooden chopsticks, fuel, ramyon, the various crackers and cookies I avoid, 3 or 4 of the canned drinks that are 70% sugar, mango juice, water. No AA batteries to be had. A health clinic 061)544-8688, a pharmacy, and a church. Minbaks (W20,000 and up) are basic: heat, TV (satellite dishes but no reception to speak of). I was a celebrity upon arrival and everyone I met knew who I was, where I was from, what I did, that I was vegetarian and had a peculiar interest in sea-cliffs. Invited by all encountered to share in their lunches. No English spoken; Korean spoken with such dialect it takes effort.

Quiet and dark at night; some farmer's music and loud engines (tractor-like things used to haul seaweed/local transport) in the village during the day. Waves crashing/birds on the rest of the island. Nice trails above and most of the island can be circumnavigated around the base of the cliffs; some small beaches and 8 sights all around. Wild honeysuckle!

Modest dress in the village; no one will see you on the rocks in low-season-- the place is dead.
Amazing place, with some wild potential. Guaranteed adventure! I would definitely go back!

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