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Unread 05-23-2010, 10:11 PM
Cali4nia's Avatar
Cali4nia Cali4nia is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Gunpo, South Korea
Posts: 62
Yongseo Pokpo Rebolting

Members of KOTR linked up with members of Akdong climbing club to give Yongseo Pokpo the lovin' it deserves. We replaced many bolts and anchor chains. We also upgraded the trail to the upper tier, and replaced the fixed rope. Special thanks goes out to Jo Han-ik (조한익) of Akdong for his equipment, his expertise, and for using his one monthly climbing day to teach this newby how to place strong bolts.

First, the technical details:

We constructed all anchors with two stainless steel bolts, equalized with 1 meter of chains, and two steel carabiners. Everything is stainless steel. The bolts are Simpson wedge-it 3/8" x 2-1/2" wedge bolts. The hangers are Mad Rock and Trango. The chains are 8mm. If anything fails on the anchor you have a backup.

We replaced the anchor on Puppy (강아지, 5.8). The old anchor was a cable around a tree that looked alive. On closer inspection, there are two trees, one living, but the one holding the cable is dead. The new anchor eliminates two moves, so people might be angry. However, it reduces rope drag considerably.

We replaced the anchor on Akdong pitch 1 (악동하, 5.10c). The cable was coming unwound, and the bolts were in a block that sounded hollow. We placed the anchor 50 cm higher in great rock above the overhang.

Some people might complain because the anchor is higher and harder to clip. We left one of the old anchor bolts so you can clip it. I have another meter of chain which I will add if enough people complain. Let me know.

We also replaced a bad bolt.

We put a hook on an existing cable at the top of RockLove (바위사랑, 5.11a). Most people use the anchor on Black Pig (멧돼지, 5.10c) to lower, but that route is very popular. If you climb higher you'll see the cable anchor.

We replaced the anchors on Owl p1 (올빼미 하, 5.10b) and fairy (선녀, 5.10b). Owl's anchor was in a water streak, so we moved it to drier and more solid block. Fairy's anchor was severely rusted and the block sounded hollow.

Akdong club hears lots of complaints about the cable anchors because they only use one clamp. In fact, they're not just clamps: the cable is unwound and woven back into itself. That's what they do on cranes and other industrial applications~~here and in America. Jo Han-ik (who helped me) is a steel engineer, and he's pull-tested these anchors. He asked me to set the record straight.

The anchors are death triangles. Akdong knows this, and we used chains this time. I'm not sure what they will use next time, but our best bet is: if we pay the money, they will use it! In the meantime, if a cable has no rust (and most don't), it's probably safe.

All of the bolts we took apart were rusted on the outside. However, once we unscrewed them we found it was only surface rust. No guarantees~~climbing is still dangerous, but Yongseo bolts are probably better than they look. One bolt on akdong broke when Han-ik hammered on it (he replaced it). That bolt was not completely sunk into the rock. If a bolt is not sunk completely it is suspect.

We forged a great relationship with Akdong club this trip. They have tons of experience, dedication, and energy. They want us to keep in touch and take care of Yongseo Pokpo. Pack out your trash--duh. They weren't happy that someone sawed down a living tree last year. That site was used for shamanistic rituals. Let's keep the area as pristine as possible.

Finally, Akdong welcomes our help replacing old bolts. Han-ik was really excited when I first called him. However, they ask everyone not to put bolts in without contacting them. In fact, if you put bolts in any rock in Korea, find the club that put bolts there first and get in touch.

It was great to reach out and fix a problem so many have complained about. Let's keep upgrading the hardware at Yongseo Pokpo and other crags as well.

Happy sending!
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Unread 05-24-2010, 03:11 AM
bhylenski bhylenski is offline
Currently a "Gyeongsonian"
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Gyeongsan (Daegu)
Posts: 150
Well Done!

What a weekend! The rain did not stop Ackdong or KOTR. It was a great effort from everyone involved.

Thanks again, Alec, for all of your efforts and for working with Ackdong to get this done properly. We all do alot of climbing here in Korea, but very few of us get the opportunity to go up side by side with the creators of these crags and help contribute. Your hard work and and contributions mean alot to all of us here at KOTR. And thanks to Sunny too, who braved the miserable weather on Saturday to help clean-up, contribute, translate and of course donate funds to the entire efforts.

I hope you got a bit of climbing in on Sat. at the gym with Ackdong, you guys definitly deserved it!

Lets catch up about setting up some future weekends to continue with the rebolting. Alec, can you send me a few photos so I can add to the weekend photos. I'll be posting an update of all the work done over the weekend, donations, expenses, etc. in the coming days.

Great work!
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Unread 05-24-2010, 11:13 AM
sunnyshim sunnyshim is offline
Seorak Sender
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
I felt it was absolutely meaningful chance for both, Korean climbing community and foreign climbing community. there might've been some misunderstanding and lack of information between two. from what I know, there's been contact in a personally(mostly) so far, but this time it seemed like we made a bridge between two big communities. maybe it's still in basic step, but I saw very possitive future. Han-ik said, akdong people also deeply appreciate what you guys are doing and feel sorry that they couldn't work together this time. they want to keep working together.

I was so happy to be a part of all thses great projects. what I could do was very limited and small and I appreciate everyone who dedicated their time, money, efforts and warm heart(above all things) to these in many different ways. you guys are all amazing!
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Unread 05-24-2010, 03:14 PM
skinsk's Avatar
skinsk skinsk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552

Good job and good advice in there for all!
"If you can't do something well, you might as well learn to enjoy doing it poorly." -- from a de-motivational poster, but I find it oddly liberating!
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Unread 05-25-2010, 12:22 PM
Brad's Avatar
Brad Brad is offline
Jiri Jammer
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Changwon
Posts: 57
Mega props to the crew out there braving that wet and slimy weather! Wish I could have helped out. Witnessing your efforts toward such a wicked crag was really cool to see. No one was afraid to get wet and muddy even if they had never climbed there before! Super impressed to see Alec and the Akdong dudes, climbing up and rebolting in ultra slippery conditions when I dropped by. Talk about hardcore!
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