Missing Gear in Gyeongnam
I managed to lose an entire bag of gear last Thursday night while riding my motorcycle from Jinju to Samcheonpo. Long story short, it was strapped down behind me and I didn't notice it fall off when the straps snapped.
The bag was a red 55L Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) "Cragalot" bag containing the following:
- 1 16 MP Sony Cyber-shot digital camera
- 1 Mammut Mirage harness
- 1 Mammut Vader belay device and locking carabiner
- 1 pair 5.10 Coyote climbing shoes
- 6 (or 7?) quickdraws
- 1 daisy chain and locking carabiner
- 1 chalk bag
- 1 Leatherman Juice multi-tool
- 1 Princeton Tech Aurora headlamp
- 1 3/4 length Thermarest mattress
- 1 Bodum brand coffee press
- 1 camping stove and fuel canister
- 1 beach towel
- 1 first aid kit
- 1 beach mat
A Korean friend is convinced he saw it lying at the side of the road on Highway 3 by the Sacheon Air Force Base that same night...but that information failed to lead to its recovery.
If you happen to hear of a random bag of climbing gear having been found in Gyeongnam, please call me (Nick) at 010-8490-0999.
p.s. If you happen to live in Gyeongnam and wouldn't mind posting a flyer at your local gym/wall, you can find one here.
It found its way home!
Because most people can appreciate random acts of kindness performed by strangers...The night I lost my gear, it was recovered by a Korean man living in Sacheon. He then spent THREE WHOLE WEEKS trying to track me down. After connecting with the staff at a local Nepa store a few nights ago (where I'd left one of a hundred flyers), he finally managed to bridge the gap and get through to a Korean friend of mine.
I made the trip out to Sacheon late Monday night and there it was: A little beat up and smelling of coffee grounds, but otherwise intact.
I'd thought it was gone for good, so I'm both incredibly happy to have it back and humbled by Jeong Hyeonhwa's honesty and kindness. Yet another reminder of just how incredibly honest and kind many Korean people can be.
That is an incredible story, it really warms the heart that this guy went so far to try to find the bag's rightful owner. You should take him climbing as a thank-you or something :)
Brilliant, Nick. Glad you got it back.
When I first came to Korea, I left a North Face jacket at Anyang Stadium wall. I'd figured that was that (as it is in most countries) but sure enough, the folks that found it knew it was "that foreign woman's". For the next few weeks, I'd run into climbers who'd tell me-- "Oh. . . so-and-so has you jacket" until it was returned.
But an anonymous bag and the effort to get it to you is commendable. I hope you got him the finest soju gift-set E-Mart has to offer!
And I think I'd like a coffee scented backpack!
Taking him for a climb would be pretty fitting, Dave, but I think I'll settle for sending him a bottle of Andong's finest. If I understood my Korean friends correctly, he isn't all that interested in climbing.
And Sonya: Remind me the next time I head home to Canada that it's not OK to leave your wallet, phone and extra gear lying on the ground at the base of a crag (in the open) while climbing multi-pitches in the sunshine. Korea has a way of making you forget what usually happens to personal belongings if and when they're left unattended in public spaces.
Yeah-- don't leave your cell phone in your pack at the base of a climb in Vietnam either. . . actually, hold on to everything anywhere (or chain it down) in Vietnam.
That said, I've also had a camera returned in Korea and have heard of/seen several wallet incidences. . . with all cash intact.
I've had/seen thefts, but in cases of losses, people here don't seem as opportunist.
정현화 of Sacheon seems like the kinda guy who will experience good things! sending peace and love his way! He's in for good karma!
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