Camping and Climbing in Wonju

I love rock climbing.  It’s probably my favorite outdoor thing we do, maybe short of simply camping but they usually go together.  This weekend we FINALLY got to go climbing again.  Do you know when we went last?  The last time we lived in KOREA.  No really, it was three years ago when we
were stationed here prior to heading to flat, unbelievably flat and wet, south Georgia.  I’m so glad we are back here!!!

The kids both love it too I might add.  Zoe did quite a few climbs and got quite good at it.  She even likes to use the quick draws to clip in and out of the bolts as she passes.  Oh, and, she cleaned up a climb after Bryan led!!  That means she unhooked the quickdraws from the bolt and rope and clipped them on herself as she climbing up.  It is too cool watching her love this!  Our friend Jim came along, and he was such fun to have with us.  You know how kids will listen to adults that are NOT their parents, well Zoe quite enjoyed having Jim belay her up and tell her where to go.  He is good and sneaky at it, too. As in, “well, I know you want to come down, but how about just grabbing that last quickdraw for me”… that is another 7 feet up.  And Zoe just goes for it.  She was gettting nervous about the coming down part – this does take some trust and acclimating – and Jim talked her through it like a piece of cake.  For one climb, Bryan stayed up and came down with her because it was alot farther up, but from then on she was on her own!

Avi, got his hands up on the rock for the first time, too.  Our kiddo harness, in fact, was still sized for Zoe from our LAST TIME climbing 3 YEARS ago.  It fit him perfectly, which was oddly sad in a way.  He barely waited for us to get a harness on, and kept trying to climb without it.  He’d get up about 5 feet, though, and freak out.  With the harness he was incredible.  What a cool little climber.  Bryan belayed and Jim just free climbed up beside him and helped him out showing him where to grab and what to look for.  Avi got a little nervous halfway up, but Jim was sneaky with his, “hey, lets look at that hole” 3 feet up and Avi just climbed right too it to see what was inside.  Amazing.  Coming down was tricky for Avi; he can’t quite grasp the concept of walking down while your bum swings out in the air.  So, Jim clipped into his setup and came down with him.

All of us grownups got in a couple climbs, too. Bryan led up a few to setup toprope for the kids. Jim didn’t really have great shoes, but borrowed Bryan’s and rigged them up onto his feet with ties around the ankle.  Both he and Bryan tried to get up the second pitch of our first climb with no luck.  When it was my turn I thought I’d just come down, too, but it all came back as I scrambled up that thing.  Turns out it was a 5.10b – not bad for a first time back after a few years.

Camping was also great.  We camped here prior and there was a train that came by frequently.  Well, it’s been rerouted and the place is wonderfully peaceful.  There were lots of Korean campers crammed together near the climbing cliff.  We walked across the river to the walk-in area and found a great spot near the water.  The kids played in the water with the other little Korean kiddo’s alot – found a bunch of tiny fish and a frog.  Zoe waded and built a big sand castle.  Avi mostly jumped right in to swim in his clothes and tossed rocks.

In the evening we had dinner.  I made noodles and a baggy of Thrive freeze dried stuff, which turned out pretty tasty.  The mosquito’s then made their presence know so we all popped into the big tent for a round of Farkle.  At this point, Avi was being a little looney.  He didn’t nap at all and had been so active!!  He was just falling all over the tent, doing his sticker book, then getting emotional.  He and Zoe both fell asleep fast!

Sunday morning was amazing, too.  There was none of that typical mist or fog.  It was instead a beautiful sunny bright blue sky morning.  Avi ran out of the tent toward the hiking trail in the park.  He then just started up the trail.  As always it’s a steep rocky pig of a trail, but he scrambled up with only a few pick ups from me.  We got up to a bench and could see into the next valley over.  Low and behold, it’s the new train line!!  He was so excited to watch the trains go by, so we sat for a long time to watch.  Now that I know for sure the old line is abandonded it would be fun to explore, too, because there are 2 tunnels and bridges right there in the camp ground.  We went back down to camp to find everyone else awake.  Bryan had made some oatmeal.  The morning was relaxing.  We played in the water, swung in the hammock, and did put up one more easy climb for Zoe to practice.


Zoe in the water

our campsite by the old railroad track bridge

Time to mess around in the sand
Crossing the footbridge to the climbing wall

Avi harnessed up and ready for some rock
climb on, little buddy
Jim giving some guidance

Avi topping out

checking in out that interesting hole.

Zoe clipping in her quickdraw


Working her way up

Zoe climbing alongside the Korean climbers

bouncy bouncy bouncy down

Avi attempting to belay Zoe
practicing her downs

The guys figuring out our next move … it was a crowded day at the rock

Jim’s turn up… note his modded up footwear

readying for the second pitch

Jim climbing with some not-working-out-shoes
Bryan giving the second pitch a go

trying the left side… yeah he swung a bit on that one

Kat’s turn… up high

Going back up to clean it.

Avi scrambling around

Mmmmmm… dinner

our two tents.  What a great spot.

morning hike with Avi  – up that ‘trail’

happy boy watching the trains from up high


Zoe and another little boy caught this frog

kids playing in the water


another climb before we go

cleaning up after Bryan led!

Jim belaying and keeping doggy safe

Bryan filmed Zoe’s climb from up high

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