The End of another Wet Season
The trees have turned and the water temperatures have dropped.
It may be the best time of the year for hiking, but we've decided to close our wet canyoning tours. We ran through to November, last year, but things feel noticeably cooler this October.
But it has been a good year.
We'll touch on some of the things that have happened so far this year, but this may be a bit of a scatterbrained blogpost.
In May, we debuted our Sokcho tour, which may become our flagship activity as we move into 2023. Taking current traffic conditions into consideration, and trying to guess how things will pan out next year, we think anyone joining us from Seoul is probably better off making the trip a little further east. It may be a longer journey as the crow flies, but it'll likely save you time sat in the car.
There are arguably better activities around Sokcho, compared to Gapyeong, making it a superior choice of base if you are planning a whole weekend away.
As we think about reshuffling our tour roster, this may mean a web redesign is on the way.
Reviewing the season, we are happy to report that we have seen no adverse effects on our venues from our descents. This is something we take very seriously - and it is the reason we limit tour size and frequency.
Clamp downs on wild camping have also seen an elimination of trash found in our valleys (last year was the first year we found garbage in our Gapyeong venue).
We think some of the larger outdoor brands have some answering to do with regard to the increase in camping trash, but we'll save that for a potential future blog post.
We are still keeping things small, and have no desire to push things much harder in the immediate future. We're already incredibly busy and only see negative consequences for our environments if we aim for rapid growth.
Work, this year, brought us into contact with a few rafting companies (which we shan't name) that are fairly archetypal of the worst aspects of copycat culture here. They were certainly operating below standards that we could endorse, and we felt guides and management were so lacking in humility and skill that they weren't even close to knowing what they didn't know. But we'll leave that there, aside from mentioning that we don't really want to incentivise the ill-prepared from getting in our act just yet.
Our recreational canyoning group has been very active. We've ticked off a few big canyoning descents, but scheduling and weather kept us away from projects we have lined up on the south of the peninsula.
The biggest day out, this year, saw 5 of us in the canyon at once, which is the best we've had so far. It marks a significant amount of progress since we first started trying to help people connect and explore Korea's canyons.
With Adventure Korea and Gangnam Canoe Club, we were involved in quite a few international school mixed activity expeditions over the summer.
And our work with Matari Forest School has continued to keep us very busy and very satisfied. We have successfully added a few more activities to the menu we offer children there; this year seeing our first Shower Climbing and Night Canyoning sessions.
This winter, we hope to expand our roster of Dry Canyons, and we're also hoping to find time to recce a few more ridge climbs.
But we're struggling to find the time with all the sessions we already have penciled (and penned) into the calendar.