Tuesday, August 28, 2012

[Tour/Press Article] Sport Climbing in Daegu

Sport Climbing in Daegu

 Indoor Climbing 

Moving to a new place can be daunting, but once you find a community, it is easy. One of the most welcoming, honest, and friendly communities I have met in Korea is made up of rock climbers. Daegu is a great city for rock climbers, and it has locations for indoor and outdoor walls.

Indoor climbing is done on an artificial wall, which can be relatively short or several stories tall. One popular location in Daegu is Power Climbing. This is a bouldering gym, so the walls are about one story tall, from floor to ceiling. For 8,000 won, you can rent shoes and try out climbing there. They have different walls, some are straight up and down for beginners, while others have severe overhang and are inclined to make it more challenging. 

If it is your first time, start at the wall to the left of the entrance. You can pick a color tape and follow the numbers. Your feet should start at 1 and 2 - you can move your hands as you please (at least on the beginning routes). If you go with a friend, you will have someone to use a long stick and point you to the next hold. I strongly suggest taking a friend, so you can have someone to laugh with if you fall the first few times, like I did! Lucky for me, the Korean customers have always been very helpful and willing to teach through the language barrier. Oftentimes they will notice a beginner stuck on a move and can demonstrate how to move forward. Of course, it may be helpful to spend some time watching videos with the basic moves before you try it out.

To get to Power Climbing, take the subway to Daegu Bank Station on the green line. Get out at exit four, and walk straight. Walk to Suseong Intersection (the next big one with a traffic light). You will need to cross the street and turn right, it is the first building down the first side street. 

 Outdoor Climbing 

Outdoor climbing can be done on an artificial wall that is outside or on actual rock surfaces. Daegu’s residents are especially lucky to have an outdoor rock wall that is lit up at night, so you can climb after work or in the evenings when it cools down! This is fantastic in the hot summer months. 

This crag is called Yeoung Yeoung, and it is on Palgong Mountain. It is sport climbing, so there are bolts and anchors in the wall, but you will need gear (climbing shoes, a harness, a rope, and quick draws are necessary!). The routes here range from 5.8 to 5.12, with enough variety that a beginner or advanced climber would find a challenging route. 

To get to Yeoung Yeoung, take the Bukgu 2 bus to Daewonsa. Get off and cross a small bridge, the crag will be easy to find since the lights are tall and visible! If you need help finding where to get on the bus, check out this website for bus info in Daegu (http://businfo.daegu.go.kr/ba/index/index.do?locale=en). 

Buying gear in Korea can be tricky at first, but there are some great resources. Near Power Climbing there is a store called Treksta that has pretty good deals. From Daegu Bank Station, leave out of exit three. Walk straight, cross the first major intersection, and look to the right. Treksta is a little set back compared to the other buildings. Alternatively, you can look on Gmarket online, (http://english.gmarket.co.kr/) . Or use Craigslist or any of the climbing community pages below to buy used gear. 

As a safety note, do not attempt outdoor climbing unless you know what you’re doing, or have an expert with you. The gear can be dangerous if used improperly. There are guides and schools for climbing available in Korea, check out these sites for more information: (http://iguidekorea.com/)  and (http://sanirang.net/programs/rock-climbing-school/) . 
When climbing, rocks can fall off of the wall and injure climbers or belayers, wearing a helmet can minimize risk of injury

There are tons of other places to climb in Daegu, though! 
Check out this page for information about other gyms, artificial outdoor walls, and outdoor rock to climb on : (http://www.koreaontherocks.com/climbing/areas.php?area_keyword=&area_type=&area_province=&area_city=13&area_park=&area_userid=&sort=name)

 Additional resources 

* Korea on the rocks: 
  - This is a resource on indoor and outdoor climbing, with crags and gyms searchable by area and city. 
    A forum with gear for sale and climbing partners. http://koreaontherocks.com/ 

* Daegu Climbers facebook community: 

* Korea Climbing Calendar, a country wide facebook community: 

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