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KOTRi partners with Adidas

A mountain preservation group has announced a new partnership with Adidas Korea.

The company has pledged to help fund Korea On The Rocks Initiative’s work to repair climbing routes on Korean peaks. KOTRi, founded in 2010 by Bryan Hylenski, carries out various projects to maintain and replace old climbing equipment on rock faces across the country to provide a safer climbing environment.

Now, Adidas Korea has agreed to purchase all hardware, supplies and equipment for KOTRi to complete its 2012 projects.
Volunteers help secure climbing routes at Yeongseo Pokpo during a recent KOTRi activity. (KOTRi)
Volunteers help secure climbing routes at Yeongseo Pokpo during a recent KOTRi activity. (KOTRi)

“We are thrilled to have entered this relationship with adidas as we’re now able to expand the scope of the KOTRi projects significantly and pay attention to a larger number of climbing zones in Korea that need restoration and maintenance,” Hylenski said.

The recent signing of Adidas Korea as an official KOTRi partner for the 2012 calendar year means that the organization will be able to carry out more projects, including mountain cleanups and updating climbing gear.

Previously, KOTRi has paid for its work through fund-raising, personal donations and short-term sponsorships.

“The funding that we are getting from Adidas Korea will allow KOTRi to pursue programs and ideas we simply couldn’t have afforded previously,” said Hylenski.

The company is to sponsor KOTRi to the sum of 5 million won in the first instance, for projects it has recently proposed.

A crew of expat and local climbers gathered in June near Gurye in South Jeolla Province to spend the weekend working on an ongoing initiative at Yongseo Pokpo climbing area. The long-term project aims to improve and maintain the area’s spectacular climbing faces and create a more sustainable climbing environment. KOTRi will also be managing trash collection and recycling in the area as well as installing an eco-friendly bathroom.

KOTRi has also been replacing hardware at Munsusan near Ulsan since 2010, with volunteers last meeting there in June to complete restoration of five of its eight climbing walls.

“Our goal is to make sure that Munsusan is a safe climbing zone for future climbing generations,” said Hylenski.

Two new refurbishment initiatives are also set to start later this year at Bueongsae and Pyocheongsa, both in South Gyeongsang Province, near Miryang.

KOTRi’s main fundraising event, the Reel Rock Film Tour, will be held in 3 different cities in South Korea later this year and will showcase the best new mountain adventure films of 2012.

Volunteer work with KOTRi is often limited to expert climbers, but non-climbers can get involved by helping with signposting, trail building and general cleanups.

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By Kirsty Taylor (
Korea Herald Youtube