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[TR] Insubong Mt, South Korea - Bow Route(5.11c) 5/11/2013

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Trip: Insubong Mt, South Korea - Bow Route(5.11c)


Date: 5/11/2013


Trip Report:

Unless I'm mistaken, I'm pretty sure that this is the first Korea TR on this site. While not the first place people think of when it comes to climbing, South Korea has some amazing variety of rock and should not be ignored if passing through.


Insubong Mountain is the central of Korean climbing, located next to Seoul, it might be the only multi-pitch trad area in the world you take the subway to.



When I arrived in Korea I had no climbing partners so I decided to head to Insubong, play the stupid foreigner card and hope to join in someone's team. I met one of the climbing rangers, and to my surprise he decided to climb with me. Ever since we climb together regularly. The guy is an absolute monster...pushing 60, carries like 2 cams total on every route, runs everything out, and wears toe socks underneath his climbing shoes.


He's the perfect Zen master rope gun, and constantly pushes me to climb harder.



The hike to Insubong is only 45 mins but is so steep that with a heavy pack its almost the crux of any route. Or I'm just out of shape.




This guy was chilling at the climbers base camp area.




We decided on the Bow Route, which has a little bit of slab, chimneying, an amazing finger crack, and a 5.11c boulder crux at the end.


The first three pitches are slab central, and have like 2 bolts total. Koreans are totally unfazed by this.






At the tope of pitch three is a nice belay spot where you can relax and eat/store gear. Notice the guy in a jacket. It was pushing 90 degrees, and I was the only person wearing short sleeves on the whole mountain. Everyone kept asking me where my jacket was.





I forgot the mention that Insubong is unlike anything I've ever seen in the States in that there are literally hundreds of people crammed onto this mountain on any given weekend. Most climb in massive 5-8 man teams which slows everything down. This is looking up pitches 4-6. A complete zoo....




A nice shot of climbers on a nearby route.




The route has some great exposure!





This is looking up the famous bow shaped 5.10a crack. One of my favorite pitches I've ever done.






Amazing finger crack!




I'd include a photo of the final 5.11c crux pitch, but I may or may not have been shut down and ended up awkwardly hanging off into free space. It's not one of my prouder photos...



If anyone from CC is going through Korea, feel free to hit me up, I'd love climb with someone that speaks english.

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Wow, that place looks cool! Crowded... but cool! Does South Korea have any other major climbing areas?

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were folks chain smoking n' throwing their butts everywhere as well? :)

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What a great TR from a relatively exotic locale. The first climbing shot had me looking at all the dots spread across the face, what a scene! Thanks for posting.

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never would have thought that climbing was so big in s korea. maybe that is why n korea is so cranky. maybe they lack good climbing?

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