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Climbing in Korea

The Rock Climbing Film Festival

People come to Korea for any number of reasons, be it teaching, travelling, settling in for the long haul or just passing through. In a country that’s 70% mountains, people are starting to come here for rock climbing, too.

According to Byran Hylenski, the founder of the Korea On The Rocks initiatives (KOTRi), Korea is full of great places to climb, with several in Busan and many more nearby.

“There are over 250 places to climb in Korea.” said Hylenski. “Some of the best within an hour or two of Busan are Yongseo Pokpo, near Jinju, Munsusan Mountain in Ulsan, not too mention Geumjeong mountain in downtown Busan which boasts four or five classic rocks and some of the best bouldering in Korea.”

Hylenski founded KOTRi in in 2010 wiith the aim of developing , maintaining and improving Korea’s climbing environment, a group called the) has pioneered a range of projects around Korea to ensure that the country’s ample rock climbing spots are safe and well-equipped for climbers looking to get their rocks off on the rocks in Korea.

KOTRi has conducted several successful initiatives such as “Replace a Route” or “Adopt a Crag” where people can help maintain an outcropping for a year. Tending to the securing and replacement of steel fittings, cleaning up around the site and essentially keeping the place up to par with needed safety requirements for the potentially dangerous sport.

In an ongoing effort to raise sufficient funds to keep these projects in motion, KOTRi is hosting its major annual fundraiser, the 2011 Reel Rock Film Tour, in Seoul later this year. KOTRi raised 4 million won at the 2010 Reel Rock Film Tour Fundraiser, 98% of which went towards the purchase and installation of climbing hardware and equipment for the South Korean climbing areas.

The highly acclaimed international film tour at Seoul’s SETEC International Auditorium on December 10th. The only South Korean screening thereof, the event promises six breathtaking films, auctions, raffles, prizes as well as the much-anticipated premier of new event partner Adidas’ film, Antarctica. All proceeds will go towards climbing sustainability projects around Korea. This year, the event is entirely bilingual and all films have Korean subtitles.

The Reel Rock Film Tour is KOTRi’s second annual fundraiser and, with an anticipated audience this year of between 300 and 500 of Korea’s most avid outdoor and climbing enthusiasts, fundraising expectations are high. Proceeds will go towards initiatives such as the Munsusan Mountain Project. Started in May this year, the Munsusan project is a two year effort to remove the current hardware, install new hardware and maintain the belay areas – keeping the climbing environment safe for rock climbers.

For those who cannot make the event but would like to contribute to KOTRi’s ongoing sustainability projects around Korea, get involved in the newly launched “Replace a Route” program. Allowing climbers to select a specific route and donate towards its refurbishment, the program is perfect for both group and individual donations, with 100% of all donations going to the direct replacement of climbing hardware on the climbing routes that you select. See the KOTRi website for more information on how to get involved.

The event is partnered with Adidas and being sponsored by Evolv, Arc’teryx,, Tasty Chalk, Beastmaker, Coca-Cola, Kolon Sport, Mad Rock and Didimodol.

Tickets for the Reel Rock Film Tour are available in advance for 10,000 won or 15,000 at the door. A 20% discount will be arranged for Korean gym owners who book for groups of 5 or more. Contact Shim Seon Hwa at 010 2773 7947 for more information. For other queries or further details, visit their site here.

Print, photographic and video advertising is available in various capacities for the Reel Rock Film Tour. Please contact Bryan Hylenski at 010 9799 6511 or email for enquiries and orders.




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