Sunday, November 28, 2010

South Korea

working the FA of War of the Worlds v11, photo: Andy McKilliam

I've been here in Busan, South Korea for a little over a week now. It has been a real change from the lifestyle that I'm use to. I've been staying with Brenna in the red light district of this city. I have to say that personally this is the biggest city I've ever seen. Although supposedly it is not really that big with only 3.8 million people. It's been really nice hanging out with Brenna again and meeting all of her friends here. They are really cool people and fun to hang out with. I love seeing new cultures and trying new foods. Here the food is very interesting to say the least. They love their kim chi here. They put it on the table with every meal, they put it on pizza and even burgers. Generally I'd say that I'm enjoying the Korean food.
What's more interesting is the fact that 4 days after I got here this country became on the brink of rekindling a war that never officially ended with its neighbor, North Korea. It feels a bit on edge here now as the shit could hit the fan any moment. I'm not worried yet but I hope I don't start seeing explosions in the near future. Hopefully these two can work it out and keep the peace.
I've spent most of my time here training. There are a lot of indoor gyms around here that are really fun training spots. I've been to a few of the better ones and plan on regularly training indoors as much as I can. The Koreans are strong indoors and it will surely be a challenge for me to try and keep up with them. As for the climbing outdoors I have only been to two areas. The Cable Car area is right in town close to the university. This area is ok but does have a real Busan classic called A Language Older Than Words v5 which is an excellent sloper problem on granite with a ton of friction. This area however pales in comparison to the new hotspot the locals have been kind enough to share with me. Yangsan, about an hours drive away, is a park with many temples with a beautiful setting. The rock has no friction and is almost bullet proof. The bouldering is set in a riverbed with pools of moving water surrounded by awesome stone. It is a new area with a lot of potential. I've repeated some area testpieces such as Solid Snake v4, Starkissed v5, and the One Legged Frog v9. This weekend I was lucky to get the first ascent of what might be Busan's hardest line to date. I did a roof link up that climbs a v9, does two hard transition moves, and finishes on a fuckerish v8 with a really sharp crimp at the end. In honor of the turmoil in the country I named the new line War of the Worlds and think it's about v11. The line took me three days to do and I had to dig really deep for the send. There are many more lines that can go in this area, all with excellent quality rock. I am very thankful to the locals for showing me around. Next they are taking me to Nabi Bawi to see Busan's most famous undone line dubbed The Kim Lee Project. This line is supposedly a serverly overhanging compression problem with a tough top out. I can't wait to check it out and see how it goes. Until then I intend to keep training as hard as I can in preparation for a possible winter road trip that will start in Bishop. I have been taking video of Yangsan but need more footage before I have a full movie post. Here are some pictures for a visual.
Hadan Area, city of Busan

The "Amazing Burger" at Breeze Burns
Local powerhouse Christoph on the Spider Project, Yangsan

No comments:

Post a Comment