Back To Top
Sports

Will ice climbing competition be held this year?

The annual ice climbing contest of Yeongdong County, North Chungcheong Province, has been called off for four consecutive years, and the prospect of this year’s event taking place remains murky.

Although the early cold snap has quickened the freezing of ice, the confirmed outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu in the nearby regions is casting doubt over the outdoor contest slated for Jan. 20 and 21 at a wall beside the Chogangcheon River in Yulri, Yongsan-myeon.

The Yeongdong County officials said Wednesday they are currently thickening the ice on the wall. If held, the event will be the eighth such contest.

100-meter-tall artificial ice wall at Pandae-ri in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Yonhap)
100-meter-tall artificial ice wall at Pandae-ri in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Yonhap)


With the height of 40 to 100 meters and width of some 200 meters, the wall is the biggest artificially created ice wall in the entire world, according to the Yeongdong County authorities. The global competition has invited more than 300 participants per year.

The contest was held for four years until 2014, when the event was called off due to the hosting North Chungcheong Alpine Federation’s subsidy embezzlement scandal. The subsequent competitions were canceled due to the unfortunate outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, warm weather that melted ice and bird flu.

When the competition failed to go ahead, the budget to maintain the ice wall was drained.

100-meter-tall artificial ice wall at Pandae-ri in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Yonhap)
100-meter-tall artificial ice wall at Pandae-ri in Wonju, Gangwon Province (Yonhap)


In order to create a wall of ice, 14 sprinklers installed on the outdoor precipice have to be operated for over a month. Extra costs of some 10 million won go in to trimming out the risk factors, such as rocks and trees.

Yeongdong County has reportedly wasted at least 100 million won in the past four years.

This year’s ice climbing competition is estimated to require some 250 million won for operation. The North Chungcheong provincial government is said to support the competition with 10 million won ($9,200).

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR