so I haven't posted in a bit (probably no one really reading this anyway!) but things were starting to come together-- climbing a bit and getting some work done! From Munsusan in Ulsan, I went to Miryang Saturday to get Ian and Marissa and climb at Bueongsae Bawi. . . can't say the weather was great-- very overcast and quite a wind! but it was good to get on such a beautiful rock, and great to have Ian rope-gunning! Unfortunately, after topping out on one of the climbs, I was lowering and I hit the rock a little hard. Ouch! I think I sprained or bruised my foot. Right under the 2nd to smallest toe-- so not in a terribly bad place.
In any event, I didn't let it stop my climbing. I iced it the next day, but I did walk quite a bit Monday, visiting Uksukol, a new climbing area walking distance (about 20 minutes) from Ian's, then World Cup Stadium climbing wall (another hour or so on foot. . . why am I walking with a "sprained" foot. . . no simple answer? I am stupid? My chronic arthritus from an old compound fracture of the talus makes any new pain still secondary? Anyway, from there I went to the local gym, but more to ask about the local climbs (the folks at Challenger were very very helpful!!) than to climb. My foot was definitely swelling a bit.
Tuesday, Ian and I went out in the morning and did some climbs in Yeongyeong-dong, in NW Daegu. With my shoe on, it didn't really hurt to climb! Wed, I went to Uiseong, camped near the amazing dinosaur/natural history museum and probably hiked toooooo much-- never finding the climbs, but finding a super-cool traditional village to hang out in and look around, photograph! Thursday PM I went to Wonju and visited my old friend Chun Jin-taek's new gym, BoltRock (or BRock)-- bouldering around a bit, but again, the foot wasn't handling shoes too well. I explained the sprain, and told him about the meet and Greet that weekend at Kanhyon (the first place I ever climbed outdoors in Korea, the place where I sent my first 11d, and one of the nicest and easiest to access crags in Korea).
Things were going pretty well. I am starting to get photos, get some stuff done! I was kinda taking time off for the Meet and Greet, which for the first time in a long time boasted great weather and huge crowds! I showed up a bit early and went across from Kanhyon Station where I got wifi. I kept running into this administrative building for water (hot for my coffee, then to fill up water. . . water filters are common in public buildings in Korea!) for the bathrooms. A few folks came outside to see what I was doing and I explained about my book (Wonju tourist info maps and books actually promote Kanhyon as a rock-climbing destination) and this weekend's foreign climbers Meet and Greet. One of the officials came out to present me (in ceremonial style) with ginseng drinks for 20! This is bizarre, and yet somehow typical of Korea! Before heading bcak to the resort, I videotaped some campaigners (it's local election season) in their matching blue (I almost fit in) doing their dance moves to their candidate (#2)'s campaign songs! Pretty crazy, but as good as anything that coes out of the radio here.
Friday there was maybe 20 foreigners? My foot felt OK and I led some climbs, did a multi-pitch, helped set up our camp (on the far end of the resort!) Then something went wrong. Friday I did one easy climb to a bit of pain. I stumbled a bit walking and my foot swelled too much for climbing shoes. Stupid sprain! I really don't like this left foot! With it's lack of mobility it's always getting re-injured in new places! Still I was social, just laid off the climbing. Did a little fire twirling. . .Sunday, the swelling was worse and I was beginning to suspect more than a sprain. Unfortunately out medic never did show up. . . Monday, Jin-taek's wife Su-nam took me to a bone clinic for x-rays and I can't say I was uber-surprised to see I had broken the only middle metatarcel that I didn't break last May! It was pretty clear in the x-ray, even mildly displaced. . . $130 later I had a nice splint, and was told to do nothing for 3 days-- then 4 weeks in the cast. . . forcing some replanning.
The worst thing is, with my ugly avascular ankle, I had to beg the x-ray technicians to x-ray the new fracture. . . they took 2 (of 4) x-rays that didn't even include the break! The doctor even focused more on the old break, pointing out all the degeneration and offering me cortisone shots and the like! I'm sitting there like "Dude-- I am so over that ankle! That was like, 8 years ago. . . see this break. . . that is causing the swelling that prohibits me from putting on my climbing shoes and doing this book. . ."
I found myself negotiating with the doctor. I got him down to 3 days of rest elevation, and 4 weeks in the splint. 1.5 days later I managed to get in some bouldering at a gym (as the Korean friends I am staying with recently opened the gym! and I almost avoided that foot altogether!) This sucks!! it doesn't even really hurt!! Doesn't that count for anything!?!?!
To top it off, my camera (which was working Sat PM. . . was not Sun AM. . . I assumed it was some sand in the lens. . . but whatever, after several of us trying to "fix" it. . . it's going to take $105 and 3 days for it to heal as well!!)