Two weeks of Korean Hollywood was enough for me. I could no longer put up with kissing babies, staring into bright lights, walking on red carpets, and wearing girl stage makeup. Steep rock beckoned. Calluses disappeared. 2 weeks passed without sleeping in a tent. My face was shaven.
…It was a weird time in my life.
With that, I wrapped up my time in Seoul, jumped aboard the KTX bullet train to the Southeastern coast, and arrived to a nice greeting by some climbers I’d met online. Now you may think it’s strange that I’m still making my only friends online (even though we both know that you’re the one with the facebook), given my recent encounter with the world’s sketchiest man. But I see that as one of those “learning experiences.” I know how bad it can get now…so it’s all uphill from here. Right?
Regardless, my new friends, Sonia and Jean, met me at the subway station and after a short drive we were soon standing in front of a series of steep, bolted, beautiful limestone rock climbs that were, unfortunately, glimmering under the barrage of rain that was pelting us. The day’s goal, though, was some trad climbing on the opposite side of the mountain. After a few hours of hiking, some rappelling, and a lot of sweating, I was looking up a steep limestone crack. Considering I hadn’t really climbed in 10 months, the stranger belaying me and the pro-tographer on a fixed line above me was not the ideal way to restart. A big camera lens in my face was nearly as scary as trying to remember how to use those spring-loaded-put-in-the-wallers.
But I climbed. And I had a freaking blast. It was relieving to be on rock again.