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Unread 06-06-2007, 06:31 PM
ricardo's Avatar
ricardo ricardo is offline
Aggressive Sheep
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Okinawa
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bouldering seoul june 10

believe it or not, someone besides dave is posting a bouldering thread!!

so, i thought i'd try out this crazy phenomenon called bouldering since i'm coming to seoul this weekend and that's where all the action seems to be.

i think kim lee is in...will anyone else be around to try and convert this ropeless noob on sunday?
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:19 PM
B-Team's Avatar
B-Team B-Team is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: korea
Posts: 132
Cabin fever is starting to set in, so I'm definitely down to go. I was thinking Insubong or that new area that Dave found. The bong is always a good choice because there's a nice selection of problems for all abilities.
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Unread 06-07-2007, 11:42 AM
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Durachok Durachok is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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hey man i'll be climbing at ganhyun on saturday but i'm heading into seoul saturday evening - you gonna be bouldering on sunday too? if so i'd be up for some bouldering.
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Unread 06-07-2007, 12:36 PM
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gogo gogo is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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I might be down for Sunday, depends on what I end up doing Saturday. Where were y'all thinking of going?
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Unread 06-07-2007, 01:34 PM
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fitzelq fitzelq is offline
Mark it eight, dude...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Denver, for now
Posts: 132
i am down, of course, for the 'bong.

the new area, kim lee, is pretty ludicrously scary, and will yield lines only with at least three pads (chances of the dreaded 100 ft fall, but spotters would nip that in the bud). the best slab i've been on in korea is there, and is not risky, but that's about the only problem that goes without the fear... it's a pretty tiny little area, with good lines, but again, really scary stuff on a ridge in western Bukhansan.

what time are ya'll thinking of heading up? and check this out...there was a guy chipping holds there yesterday!!! i didn't know what to do, i confronted him, but i've bouldered with him a couple times (he's one of the three that have done "mad rock," wickedly strong), and he was all jovial and smiles. very, very strange stuff. horrible sound, to be bouldering with the tinny "tonk" of a chisel and hammer going in the background. he's definetly destroying a project there (the one that was recently glued). i didn't know what to say, with my limited korean...felt pretty helpless. but again, this ain't my country, my area or my ethics. nevertheless, that is vaguely sickening that one of the strongest climbers in korea (sponsored, so in a roundabout way, his sponsors are paying for him to destroy problems at the bong) is taking Moraksan ethics to a previously all-natural area...

anyway, pretty wierd stuff. i'll show ya'll the damage on saturday...totally, unbelievably uncool...but i just didn't want to cause a confrontation....

cheers. see ya'll on saturday...
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Unread 06-07-2007, 11:04 PM
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B-Team B-Team is offline
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sunday you mean? the 10th is on sunday.
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:10 AM
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hey guys,

what's up? mind if i join you this w/e? these posts are a little confusing as to whether you guys are going sat or sun, but i'm cool with either day, or both , so just let me know which one you eventually decide on and i'll be there, psyched to climb and pad in tow...


dave, tonight i just ran into the guy whom you saw chipping a boulder on insu a couple days ago. he mentioned the chipping incident to me and asked if i could explain it to you, because he said he'd wanted to, but that his english wasn't good enough.

from what he said, the boulder he was chipping had no natural holds or line and was completely blank, but that someone had epoxied (holds?) on it and that it had been covered with some graffitti, so he (and others?) had decided that it would be okay to make kind of a fun training route or something on. (i don't like the idea of chipping either, but i think i read in some climbing mags that there are also some choss walls back in the states where this has happened - not to say that i'm for or against it, i'm sure those walls are still controversial too.)

he/they are also planning to chip another boulder that some people had been practicing drilling on and had drilled bolt holes all over the face. this man said that he also DOES NOT agree with chipping routes or problems, but that because the aesthetic value of these boulders had already been ruined and because there are/were no lines (at least on the one?), that they were essentially trying to make lemonade out of lemons (my phrasing, not his, i have no idea how to say that in korean! )

personally, i wasn't there, haven't seen this boulder (i don't think so, anyway), and don't feel that i can contribute much in the way of any ethical argument, but the man in question seemed very desirous of having his actions explained, so i hope that this helps shed some light at least. he was very sincere and eager in requesting that i try to explain, so i've tried to do my best...

i'd love to hear more about what you think on the situation though, and i am sure that the person you mentioned would also like to discuss it with you further if given a chance. maybe, hopefully, a dialogue could help bring some more awareness to all of us in the climbing community (korean and foreigner alike )

anyway, cheers for now, hope to see you all this w/e...the forecast is good so far!

high dee
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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:15 AM
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oh yeah, i forgot to ask, have you guys been over to that new-ish bouldering place near taereung? it's called bulamsan (불암산), i think. i heard that it's pretty decent. maybe hyun-pyo knows about it, kim-lee?

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Unread 06-08-2007, 12:38 AM
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fitzelq fitzelq is offline
Mark it eight, dude...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Denver, for now
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Yo Dee, see ya on SUNDAY, i think!

anyway, down to brass tacks. last year i noticed a line at the back of a cave at the 'bong, and thought, with much effort, it may go. it turned out to be pretty substantially over my head, but totally doable in time. with every weekend back to the bong, however, i noticed that more chalk was accumulating on the starting holds, and figured others were working the line as well, which was awesome. i left last year for india with that problem firmly in my mind, hoping that someone would either send it or i'd be back to take care of an old nemesis.

so, i get back this year, and low and behold there's an epoxied hold through the crux and a foothold on the blank face. neither, of course, were needed, except for those too weak to send the route (stating the obvious and barely masking my venom, even though those too weak include myself). my first trip back, as well, i found a hammer laying below the route, and smashed it to smithereens in hopes of detracting any chippers. i couldn't see any evidence of chipping as of yet, and thought the hammer had been used in the epoxy incident.

granted, the route was pretty well crapped with all the epoxy. it was destroyed ashtetically, but it was only a bit of damage, and the epoxy could have been removed to make it natural again. so, needless to say, when we heard the chipping echoing through the valley this weekend the ire was instantly set ablaze. that sound, of metal on rock, is so incredibly foreign and mind-bogglingly awful that we raced right down the hill to confront whomever was plunking the rock.

so, to make a long story a bit shorter, i was surprised to see the guy you had introduced me to, waving and saying, "hello! hello!" Stopped me in my tracks, and i didn't say anything at all negative, but rather mumbled a bit and smiled uncomfortably. i think he definitely, of course, picked up on the vibe, hence your discussion with him.

as far as the chipping/gluing ethic, everyone has their own stance, and soapboxes suck, so i'll close my mouth on the issue unless the KOTR site wants to host such a thread. let it be said though, for a place that was pretty much 100% natural, this will almost certainly usher in a total revamping of any boulder thought "too hard" or "holdless." read here, if a relatively strong climber who owns a chisel can't climb it, it will get chiseled. in my experience, the first chiseled route of an area is NEVER THE LAST (yes, tons of places are chipped in the US, and in my opinion, they all blow for that very reason -- in a place like the US, you have thousands of climbing areas to choose from, so you can steer clear of manufactured gym climbs outside -- here in korea that isn't exactly the case...).

now this is my last year in korea, so i have no real investment in the future of the place (other than current stewardship in my stay here), but i think it would be a real travesty to see korea's bouldering sites ALL opened to manufactured holds and routes. so many places have already been chipped here, and...ugh...i just don't think it's a good idea to keep up the current trend...

anyway, it's nothing personal, and everyone has their own ethics. that guy seems like a stand-up dude, hence the reason i (and james) didn't blow my lid on him. and if korean climbers are basically chill with chipping and gluing (wouldn't be the first place to accept it, or at least turn a shoulder on it), then all the more power. i just think it's a dangerous road to travel down.

I'll see ya on Sunday, and i can spit my venom and vinegar in person!!! i bet you SOOOOO can't wait.

l8tr sk8tr,
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Unread 06-08-2007, 01:54 AM
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....awwwh.......so that steve colbert video is pretty funny huh? right guys?
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