- Posted June 23, 2011 by
Seoul, South Korea
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What defines Seoul?
Seoul's Ice Palace: Find The Adventurous Vein of South Korea's Capitol City
I slipped on my climbing boots. Snapped on my crampons. Tightened the buckles on my harness. Clipped my ice tools into my caritools like a gunslinger slipping their guns into holsters. Straightened my helmet. As I walked forward, the sound of clinking metal echoed off the walls, tools swinging at my hips. I reached my hand out and turned the handle on the restaurant grade deep freezer door, then strode into a room filled with ice.
Everywhere I looked there was man-made ice. Pillars of ice, mixed climbing routes constructed from strange ice formations and wood logs, short ice walls and long 60m ice pitches. Welcome to the Seoul Ice Palace.
And with that Seoul stole my heart. The Ice Palace is adventurous, exotic and one of a kind. Just like the vibe of Seoul itself. It's a city that on the surface seems like any big metropolitan capitol. Peel back a few layers, and underneath you'll find a people who live and breath the outdoors with a penchant and almost obsessive dedication to adventure. They aren't adventure hobbyist, occasionally getting out on the weekend, they make it a priority in life. When someone from Seoul chooses a sport they throw themselves in with passion and dedication. Dedication that goes as far as to keep the only indoor ice climbing facility in the world packed with climbers 7 days a week.
If you tell someone from Seoul you love adventure, whether it's ice, mountains, rock , caves or your own unqiue brand of fun, they will flash you a knowing smile and a silent nod. Words unnessary, their face showing the respect and admiration they hold for those who take life by the horns and never let go.
Seoul has adventure for everyone. Whether it's just a vigorous day hike to the moutains overlooking South Korea's capitol, to the plethora of rock climbing walls that liter the city, to swinging tools in a frozen paradise - Seoul thrives on adventure and interweaves it beautifully with this bustling city.