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Ice climbing in Corea

By Jaekon Lee

There is no glacier in Korea, so ice climbing is done at the iced water fall during winter season. The most representative and attractive ice water fall in Korea is 'Towangsung' which means Saturn. It is in Mt. Sorak National Park and takes about one and half hour by walk from parking lot to the base of the water fall.

Towangsung is has three sections. Lower section is a vertical and partly overhanging ice wall of about 120m high, middle section is a 50 degree slope of 60m long and upper section is vertical and partly overhanging of about 140m high. The width is about 20-30m and ice condition varies depending on climate. Normaly, Towangsung freezes as mushroom shaped big icicles and water crawls on it. Strong wind and falling ice make it difficult. This season, due to the lack of rain and low temperature, the width is small but it is well frozen as hard bule ice.

Towangsung was first ascended by Y.B Park and B. M. Song through 12 days of climbing in Jan. 1977. Recently, it takes about 2-5 hour by 2 man party and was soloed within one hour without belaying. Today, many climbers are eager to climb Towangsung although 40 persons have been killed or injured on it since 1977.

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