Namhansanseong Rock Climbing – Mr. Lee

Namhansanseong

Sara and I went rock climbing on the weekend like we usually do, with Mr. Lee and Lian (whom I have mentioned before. This crag small but really good. It has a wide range of routes from 5.8 to overhanging 5.12+. My day of climbing was pretty awesome and Sara got some good lead climbs in while I worked on this crimpy 5.11c after onsighting a 5.11a.

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The Korean climbing atmosphere is great and generally more friendly than some of the experiences I have had back home in Ontario. Climbing in Southern Ontario is kind of a joke with the “secret crags” and banned climbing areas which are still accessed by people. This is something I do not miss at all. The climbing community is quite social here in Korea. I guess this follows along with the amount of sharing that goes on here.

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The grading of any route is subjective, but I have found that the grades here have been much lower in comparison to the difficulty of the route, sometimes a full grade higher. This poses an interesting problem when you think you are warming up on a 5.10b and it is a high 5.11+. There is that and also how difficult slab climbing is here, which I experienced during my multi-pitch adventure at Insubong (coming in the next blog post).

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One of my highlights of being in Korea so far has been the climbing, and the people I have met during my outings. Meeting Mr. Lee was a highlight and surely a person I, and no one who meets him will forget. He is in his late sixties and climbs 5.12+. He started climbing in his fifties and absolutely kills it. He is coming back from a broken hand and while everyone is resting, he is doing pull-ups on small crimps (holding onto nothing).

He climbed up, then down climbed an 11c.

He climbed up, then down climbed an 11c.

Mr. Lee pushed me to get on this 5.11c that he said is good but will be quite hard for me because I am not very tall. “You have a good ape index” he said. Mr. Lee is a great addition to the climbing community. Not only is he incredibly motivating to watch, he shows everyone around him huge amounts of respect. I hope I can climb again with him soon.

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Mr.Lee, Sara, and I

Mr.Lee, Sara, and I

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