Province Name: Gangwon-Do City Name: Sokcho Type of Area: Rock Climbs
Another fine granite peak easily accessed from Bisandae Mountain Shelter less than an hour from the main entrance to Seoraksan. This peak, slightly behind and left of the General (Janggunbong) offers multipitch routes of a high quality. Most of the development has been recent, while 1981 saw climbers on the SW face, there was a wave of development in 2004 and 2 new routes in 2006, just right of the ridge on the N face) put in by Kolon Climbing School and well-known climbers, including Go Mi-young. Ireukgongcheon is a 10d 7 pitch, well bolted except for two 5.10 protectable cracks. Yuseon D is 5 pitches to 10c that can link up to the top. The prominent ridge (facing the General) goes at 11 pitches of 5.5-5.8 (albeit some pitches are 10M and can be run together). Harder pitches further around left on the face (opposite the general) go up to 11c. The longest routes are 200 meters.
From the Pisandae Shelter, follow the lefthand trail (strung with lanterns) over the bridge past Janggunbong. . . it's the big peak a few minutes further and on your left. Some route descriptions and topos can be found in the mountian hut. Arrows on the rock assist with routefinding, but slight variations will usually lead to the next belay.
On the newer routes the bolts are new (duh) but you'll need gear to protect the cracks (and the bolts can be a little sporatic!). Other (often 3+) groups may be on the popular routes, so an alpine start is in order. Weather systems move through the mountains; be prepared to bail. Headlamps and raincoats/jackets are a good idea, as is a good supply of water and snacks.
Lose rocks exist all the way up; wear a helmet.
I can't vouch for the gear on the older routes, but on neighboring peaks it is generally solid, if not always pretty to behold. Some of the easier slab pitches can be runout.
Mosquitos in season and sun if you're lucky might require additional preparation!
Gear to Bring
For the latest routes, the first ascentionists reccommend 12 draws, a set of cams and some slings. A set of nuts adds little weight and might be helpful. A helmet and two ropes should do the trick.
Bisandae shelter (W5000; W2000 for a blanket) offers a bunk and restaurants and shops for anything you might require, just 30 minutes from the rock.
The ridge route looks like a great "introduction" to trad climbing in Seorak/Korea, though good judgement and some experience is key.