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Hee Yong Park

One of the leaders of the Ice Climbing World Cup, Hee Yong personifies the current generation of young ultra-talented South Korean climbers. Although he grew up in the competition era, his favorite place to play is in the high mountains. From free climbing big walls to expeditions in faraway lands, by way of establishing new mixed routes, Hee Yong is a well-rounded climber. He is truly fascinated by the mind’s ability to enhance strength, skill, and overall performance. He combines the joy of climbing with a strict training regimen, and an ability to meticulously prepare his gear, worthy of a Hwarang warrior, the Korean equivalent to the samurai.

Hee Yong Park

Profile of Hee Yong

  • Date of birth : July 27 1987
  • Current status : climber, physical education teacher
  • Hometown : South Korean
  • Activities : Mountaineering
  • Training : Physical Education degree from Soongsil University
  • Joined the Petzl Team : January 1 2014

Presentation

Success requires extremely hard work, and my dreams will never die

I like climbing on rock and natural ice. I am inspired by stunning, extremely difficult routes in the mountains. To truly appreciate what perfect movement means in climbing, I prepare and train as much as possible. My short stature is a disadvantage, but I make up for it with a strong mental game. You need to battle and be constantly thinking in order to later appreciate what you have accomplished.

Background

Hee Yong is a physical education teacher. He started his climbing career by competing in national-level competitions in South Korea. After traveling to the Alps, then on expeditions to Trango’s Nameless Tower in Pakistan, to the Howser Towers in Western Canada, and to Mount Hunter in Alaska, he committed full-time to the ice climbing competition circuit. He won the Ice Climbing World Cup in 2011 and 2013, and finished second in 2015.
My goal is to become the most versatile climber possible, to climb at a high level in every discipline, while making sure that I continue to enjoy every single one of my adventures.

A story about Hee Yong by Sam Beaugey

I met Hee Yong for the first time in Champagny-en-Vanoise in 2015, during the French stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup. On that particular day, he won through sheer determination, climbing quicker and more efficiently than everyone else. However, what I remember most is when I picked up his ice axes and ice climbing boots. I have never touched ice tools so precisely and meticulously sharpened. They were so sharp that he could have almost climbed the dry tooling section without any grips. It reminded me of ancient warriors who, before heading off to battle, spent days sharpening their swords.

Noteworthy accomplishments

Competitions

  • First place in World Ice Climbing Cup, 2011, 2013
  • Ironman (M14) in Switzerland, 2014

Expeditions 

  • Adil Peak (Pakistan) 6200 m (first ascension), 2008
  • Trango Tower (Pakistan), 2009
  • Mount Hunter, The North Buttress (Yosemite, California, USA), 2011

Video