With both indoor and outdoor rock faces within easy reach, Daegu gives you plenty of chances to work on your climbing skills.
Words by David Wills and shots by Megan Preece
Like much of Korea, Daegu offers a lot of options both for hiking and climbing. Surrounded by mountains, you’re never more than a short bus-ride from soaring peaks, steep trails and rocky outcrops. To the north there’s Palgong Mountain, to the south Ap Mountain, and in between a number of indoor and outdoor climbing facilities.
Daegu Sports Park Climbing Wall
Probably the best known place to climb is the World Cup Stadium, which one can find from almost anywhere in Daegu thanks to the abundance of giant brown tourist signs. Follow the roads back towards the mountains and you’ll find the Daegu Sports Park Rock Climbing Wall.
There aren’t many signs for the wall itself, but if you head towards the drive-in cinema behind the bus parking area, it’s hard to miss. This wall is enclosed, so it’s great for climbing even in the rainy season. It’s also suitable for climbers of all abilities with simple beginner’s trails that build up to a fifteen-meter-high peak with a 155 degree overhang.
The Daegu Sports Park Climbing Wall is open 9 am to 5 pm from December to February, and 9 am to 6 pm throughout the rest of the year. Climbing classes are available for a mere W2,000 won per two-hour session.
Uksoo (욱수) Mountain
Much less well known, but very close to the Daegu Sports Park Climbing Wall, is a small wall on Uksoo (욱수) Mountain. If you head east from the World Cup Stadium to Gyeongsan, there’s a large bowling pin next to a spa called Worldpia. Follow the road for about five minutes and you’ll find the wall on your right hand side. It is an untended crag and thus free to use, with nine routes suitable for intermediate or advanced climbers.
If you’re in the Siji area of Daegu (near the World Cup Stadium) you’ll definitely want to visit Challenger – perhaps the best known indoor climbing facility in the city. It’s run by a very friendly couple, who will help beginners master the basics of climbing.
The gym features some simple exercise equipment, but the main draw is the climbing routes, which are extensive and challenging for such a small place. It costs W5,000 to use the facilities, or W50,000 for a one month pass, and is open from 11 am until midnight.
You’ll find Challenger very near the Sinmae subway stop on the Green Line. Come out of exit 1 and walk past the row of English academies. A small road leads down to the right, and you’ll see a doorway with a yellow sign above it that says “암벽등반 Challenger.” cafe.daum.net./chgcc
On the south side of Beomeo Park (near the Suseong-gu Office subway stop on the green line) there is a small outdoor climbing wall. There isn’t a lot to do here, but it’s extremely peaceful, nestled among the trees and hills. If you’re just learning to climb and don’t want to learn in front of anyone else (except the numerous chipmunks and squirrels that inhabit the area), there is nowhere better.
This is absolutely secluded, and largely unknown to both foreign and Korean climbers. To get there, enter Beomeo Park and head to the southwest corner. It is completely unsigned and difficult to find, but if you can manage it you’ll have your own private wall for as long as you like.
Finding these climbing gems isn’t always easy, but it is certainly rewarding. There is good exercise, great friendships, and sometimes a bit of peace and quiet to be found at Daegu’s indoor and outdoor climbing locations.
Getting To Daegu
Daegu is located two thirds of the way down the KTX line joining Seoul and Busan. As one of Korea’s major metropolises, Daegu is easy to reach from any major train or bus station.