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Apr 12, 2023

Korean rock and ice climber Young Hoon Oh is a student of the mountains and the culture borne from them. While pursuing a PhD in anthropology, he spent two years living among Sherpa communities in Nepal and studying the outsized impact Sherpas have on Himalayan mountaineering. 

Today, Young Hoon represents Korea as a member of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), and is a lecturer in anthropology at Seoul National University. A father of two young children, he doesn’t get to climb rock and ice as often as he used to, but he’s found new ways to explore and experience South Korea’s wild places with them in tow. Young Hoon also served as the editor of Alpinist Korea, before returning to his love of research, teaching and climbing advocacy.

Young Hoon urges his fellow climbers to explore the unknown and pursue adventure, and to look past stories of western heroes, first ascents and summits conquered. He looks beyond the physical and mental wellness aspects of climbing, and reflects on what we can learn from facing danger and even confronting the possibility of death in the mountains. 

This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment

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Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: Young Hoon Oh

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn