The following updates have been provided by the Korean Alpine Federation (KAF), courtesy of UIAA Management Committee member and Continental Representative for Asia, Christine Pae.

Dr Injung Lee, former President of KAF, and UIAA honorary member has also written a personal message.

A Personal Message from UIAA Honorary Member, Dr Injung Lee

Greetings from Korea.

Covid-19, which emerged from China at the end of 2019 has now become one of the strongest causes of human loss worldwide including in Asian countries. With the aim to control the loss of human life from this disease, all the affected countries imposed the state of lockdown and it is still on. We, Korea, were affected very much at the beginning of pandemic situation due to our geographical proximity to China and organisation of large scale religious assemblies.

It has taken about three months to reach a level of no new infections. Korea has registered a total 10,774 infected and 248 dead from to the pandemic. Koreans have been used to wearing masks every spring due to the spread of yellow-coloured dust from deserts in China a couple of years ago. This mask culture allowed Koreans to recover quickly from Covid-19 without the need for a strict lockdown.

The government’s rapid response and non-face-to-face drive through tests were excellent in virus testing, use of mobile applications for the positive infected person’s movements, code of conduct for viruses, and care service for quarantines.

All of us are experiencing difficulties that we have never experienced before. I think it is not easy to go back to our normal life again. When I think about those days, I feel the time is so precious. I hope to overcome these difficult times well and meet friends again on a mountain, a symbol of freedom and challenge.

Thank you and with best regards,

All the best,
Injung Lee
President of UAAA (Union of Asian Alpine Associations)
Former President of KAF


Impact on Korea Alpine Federation

– Almost all of events scheduled in the first half of the year postponed to the second half of the year according to the guidelines of the government.
– The IFSC Sports Climbing World Cup scheduled originally for 9-10 May has been switched to 11-13 September.
– Working home from 3-13 March (Office staff).
– Shortened working hours from 10:00 to 17:00 since 16 March .
– Newly hired employees of KAF climbed the Bukhansan mountain, in the northern periphery of Seoul, with their greatest wish to get over Covid-19.

Impact on Korea National Team Athletes

– Sports Climbing Competition to select National Team Athletes on 15-16 February without spectators. At the entrance, body temperature & face masks check-up and hand sanitiser provided.
– All national athletes training camp stopped since 27 March as decided by Korea Sports & Olympic Committee.
– Training will resume in stages from 11 May.
– Climbing gyms have been advised to close the doors but will be able to open shortly.

KAF’s response respected the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea

Guidance and cooperation, such as promoting social distance in response to Corona 19, and partially revising the prevention guidelines for indoor sports facilities. In accordance with the strengthened social distance, the Central Disaster Safety Response Headquarters is promoting social distancing as follows:

  • Public/restart of operation of outdoor facilities with low risk of Covid-19, such as national parks, natural recreation forests and natural rock climbing, on the condition of meeting quarantine regulations
  • However, if it is possible to achieve dispersion conditions such as ‘no-spectator professional baseball matches’, limited operation is permitted on the condition of respecting quarantine rules even in outdoor or mass areas
  • Private/ unnecessary meetings, outings and events, competition are to be avoided as much as possible, but restrictively allowed within the limits of the possibility keeping quarantine guidelines if necessary
  • Indoor sports facilities, climbing gyms have a high risk of infection, and so need to follow administrative orders, but there will be a change from suspension recommendations to operating control recommendations
  • Regional club or federation flexibly applies administrative guidance, assembly bans, and punishments, taking into account regional quarantine situations and the risk of spreading infection
  • Essential test / comply with the quarantine rules according to needs such as recruitment and qualification tests