17 On Belay

Posted on: April 25, 2014

The east aspect of Insubong (ca. 810m), Bukhansan National Park, near Seoul. Today there are more than eighty-eight routes on the mountain. Baegeundae (836m) is hidden behind it, partly visible to the left. The tallest mountain in South Korea, Hallasan, is only 1950 meters above sea level, but the steep walls, ice falls and bitter cold winters of Korea have helped prepare generations of local climbers for winter ascents on much higher peals in the Himalaya. [Photo] Gye-tak Yang

In recent years, a small group of Korean alpinists have been carrying out bold and often underreported minimalist ascents int he Himalaya. Peter Jensen-Choi looks back at some of the origins of modern Korean alpine-style.

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