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  • Andrew 2:56 pm on May 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Belaying, , outdoors, , rock climbing   

    Throwing Light On (Rock Climbing) 

    An alarm clock set to 5am is like a door out into the arctic tundra: annoying, bitter, and cold. But then again, setting out to see the world is always worth it for me. And if what I’m seeing is just a cliff, then so be it. Delightful either way.

    I found myself climbing up a rock face two hours later. Little did I know how awesome it would be. It’s terribly fun and tiring to reach the top of a climb. You’re sweating (probably), panting, struggling to get up, but when you slap your hand down at the end of the rig, it’s a euphoric sense of pride.

    Of course, I’m not as great as a bunch of others I know, but seeing the view from the tip of a cliff can really get your mind going. I did that. Sometimes I get stuck, it happens. But if I do make it up one more step, that’s progress.

    That’s what rock climbing is all about: taking steps up to the reach the top. At every crack, you have to think to yourself, “is this a good foothold? What about this tiny little bulge right here?” More after the break.

    (More …)

  • Andrew 12:00 pm on May 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bouldering, Climb, Climbing wall, jukjeon, Jukjeon Station, , rock climbing, , wall climbing   

    Bouldering at Jukjeon 

    Next to Jukjeon Station in Bundang-gu, South Korea, there’s a medium sized wall climbing structure. It looks like a blocky dog with a bunch of jagged rocks sticking out of it.

    Last Sunday, I made my way on the subway to the wall with a couple of friends, and spent the next three hours attempting to climb up the slanted wall-face. Which is incredibly difficult; most of the time was spent hanging there trying to get my breath back.

    I actually went to another climbing wall on the 14th: the Seongnam Art Wall. This one was about 16 meters tall, which was twice as high as the previous one. Gigantic!

    Seongnam Art Wall: This is 16 meters tall!

    There’s a specific method to climb up these fake rock walls that I’ve been taught. It’s a twisting motion where you have to alternate each leg  while pushing yourself up. I never got it. “I try, I try, but it hurts so bad right there, JD!” So what I attempted was a brute-force method where I literally pull myself up, which is also incredibly tiring. Like back-breaking tiring where your arms become noodles. My first climb was up the left side of the structure. (look at the picture) There’s a bunch of bumps along the way up that extend outward, so you’re forced to climb over those. Hard, but terribly fun.

    If you look at the wall about 10 meters up in the middle, there’s an area where you’re able to climb upside-down. Not that I was able to, but I recall an older man climbing this wall like a beast. My mind can’t comprehend how much physical strength is required to do this.

    I wish I could’ve gotten a few pictures, but I was in a hurry and forgot to bring my camera along. Oh well, I’ll snap a few on the 28th when we head out to a real mountainside!

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