Korea World Cup 2013

My travelling partner Nathan Kutcher takes a bit of ice to his lip on our first day of climbing in South Korea just north of Seoul

just a flesh wound

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Garebi quarry

So far this is an amazing trip. We have met the friendliest people in South Korea and had some great adventures. A highlight was traveling to the East Sea to Sokcho and then heading up into Seoraksan National Park to climb a route called Towangsong Falls

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Very cool Position

Unfortuately, we got a late start (because we had to ‘register’ our climb) and didn’t realize there were SEVEN people above us. Luckily, we managed to summit without getting hurt too badly by falling ice. Although, Nate took a chunk to his knee.

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Nathan on the first pitch before we realized the magnitude of parties above

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top 100m of climbing — where the gong show begins…

We also managed to be the first team on top, and get down just at dark…

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yay! summit

We could see the East Sea from the climb….

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Beautiful Scenery. Surprisingly cold on this route… humid climate in the shade — very brittle ice

Sorry, no time for editting and long story telling… on the road! here are a few shots from our travels:

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love the temples

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Amazing trees and granite summits

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hilarious safety posters

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stunning granite sculptures

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colorful temples with music emanating from them in the wilderness

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Temple balcony

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happy jetlagged tourist

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Sokcho by the East Sea

and now onto world cup…..

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a super cool venue with artificial ice behind the world cup structure

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my tools with gold and pink representing excellence and the feminine ; )

Well there is a lot to tell about my past 24 hours. The quick update is that I placed 13th in the Qualification round and 20th (last) in Semi-finals. I had to wait in isolation for 6 hours before I competed in the qualifier! in that time I managed to burn a lot of energy anticipating the route despite my best efforts to relax.

I did spend a fair bit of time distracting myself sharpening my tools and visiting with other athletes from Italy and Mongolia. I did meditate and breathe and do lot good self-talk, but none the less… I felt very nervous on the route. I was lucky not to ‘pop’ off sooner in both semi-finals and qualifiers. I chalk my anxiety up to lack of experience. No matter what I tell myself– this is a new experience for me. I don’t have much mileage on plywood/plastic and competition climbing.

I am psyched I got to climb twice in Korea. Its an honor to climb on these walls. Its really challenging that we only get to climb for maximum 6-8 minutes in the whole time we come to these competitions. The ratio looks like this:  3 weeks of international travel costing thousands of dollars :  only 30 minutes of climbing!!!

There is no opportunity to train, practice or play on these competition structures for us North Americans without living in Russia or Italy, etc. Would be great to live and play in these other countries with their climbing athletes.

Many other countries athletes train full time on these structures. I am so inspired watching and meeting all the other athletes. Its exciting to see talented climbers and learn from them– I love the learning!

I am out of time for today. Later tonight we take a five hour bus ride to Seoul and then, hopefully, pulling an all-nighter to combat some jetlag on our way to Switzerland…

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