Korea On The Rocks Initiatives member Bryan Hylenski ascends a rocky outcrop in the Bueongsae rock climbing area early last month.
/ Photo Claire Keet
By Claire Keet
In a hugely collaborative effort, Korea On The Rocks Initiatives (KOTRi) successfully negotiated the re-opening of the Bueongsae rock climbing area near Miryang, in North Gyeongsang Province in June after nearly five years of it being closed.
Established in 2010 as a non-profit organization, KOTRi's driving objective is to bring together the South Korean local and expat rock climbing communities through the restoration and maintenance of the peninsula's abundant rock climbing hot spots.
The reopening of Bueongsae is a meaningful step forward for Korea's rock climbing community, as sustainable and respectful use of the country's rich natural heritage is further instilled as top priority.
Unimpressed with the mistreatment of the area by a small handful of rock climbers and local visitors, the Bueongsae landowner denied public entrance in 2008. KOTRi founder, Bryan Hylenski, considered this "a significant loss to Korea's rock climbing and outdoor communities". Hylenski had temporarily been granted special permission to climb at Bueongsae and was struck by the area's immense beauty and challenging array of routes. Carrying out KOTRi's vision to create sustainable climbing areas and to bridge the gap between rock climbing and local Korean communities, Hylenski set into motion the year long negotiations that recently saw the landowner agree to open the area once again.
Collaborating with a local climbing crew known as the Busan Climbers, KOTRi set into motion the Bueongsae Initiative. This will be an ongoing project that Hylenski hopes will be completed by next fall. The first stage took place on June 24th and was described by Hylenski as "an extremely successful event with the help and support of more than 60 climbers who attended on a completely voluntary basis". Amongst helpers were KOTRi climbers, local Busan climbers and members of Daegu's Challenger Climbing Gym. Replacement of rock climbing hardware, general ground maintenance and the construction of a new bathroom are all goals on the Bueongsae Initiative "to-do" list. "Climbing Area Rules" that were formulated in conjunction with the Bueongsae landowner have been put up to ensure the ongoing respectful use of the land.
KOTRi's recent partnership agreement with Adidas Korea has been paramount to the success of this initiative. "Our budget was fully extended before Adidas Korea's sponsorship. Without their help we would not have been able to reopen this crag", said Hylenski.
Learn more about the organization and how to get involved at www.kotri.org.
The writer, originally from Cape Town in South Africa, is a keen outdoor sports enthusiast.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
Seoul International Hikers to hold bamboo forest day trip
By John Redmond For those interested in hiking through a scenic bamboo forest, the Seoul International Hikers Club (SHIC) will hold a Damyang and Sunchang day trip in South Jeolla Province on July 14. With participants meeting at 7:40 a.m. in front of exit 1 of the Sports Complex Station, the grou,...More
The first step is to sign up as a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show.