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Looking to hit the slopes this winter? Here's where to go

A skier is seen on a slope at Muju Deogyusan Resort, Muju-gun, North Jeolla Province. (Muju Deogyusan Resort)
A skier is seen on a slope at Muju Deogyusan Resort, Muju-gun, North Jeolla Province. (Muju Deogyusan Resort)

While the country hunkers down waiting for the deep freeze to pass, winter sports fans are welcoming the steep drop in temperature -- it is prime time for skiing and snowboarding.

Some adrenaline addicts have already taken out their snowboards, skiing gear and have headed to ski resorts around the country.

Following are some of the country’s popular ski resorts if you’re looking to take a late night ride or a weekend trip in the mountains.

Vivaldi Park Resort (Vivaldi Park Resort)
Vivaldi Park Resort (Vivaldi Park Resort)

Vivaldi Park Resort

Some 60 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, the highland county of Hongcheon welcomes ski and snowboard enthusiasts with fully opened slopes.

Hongcheon’s Vivaldi Park, one of the most visited ski resorts in Korea, started last year’s season with only three of its 12 slopes open due to the relatively warm weather. This is not likely a problem it'll face this year.

Visitors can head up the slopes on gondola and ski lifts and moving walkways, and choose courses according to their skill level.

For those with young children, winter can be enjoyed without skiing or snowboarding.

At the winter-themed park Snowlyland, families can enjoy sledding and other activities like ice hockey and curling.

Visitors enjoy snow rafting. (Vivaldi Park Resort)
Visitors enjoy snow rafting. (Vivaldi Park Resort)

Snow rafting, the most popular activity in the park, allows a maximum of eight people to ride a rafting boat down the slopes.

Two special events are scheduled at the resort on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 2023, as well.

Celebrate the year-end with spectacular fireworks and catch the first sunrise of 2023 from the slopes. From 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Jan. 1, free gondola rides will be offered to the top of the slopes.

More information about tickets and rental fees can be found at www.sonohotelsresorts.com/vp.

Monapark Yongpyong Resort (Monapark Yongpyong Resort)
Monapark Yongpyong Resort (Monapark Yongpyong Resort)

Monapark Yongpyong Resort

The biggest ski resort in Korea with 28 slopes and 14 cable lifts, Monapark Yongpyong Resort, located in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, is a must-go place for skiers.

The 5.6-kilometer-long Rainbow Paradise is the most popular slope for its narrow, winding course that allows skiers -- more so than the snowboarders -- to enjoy the slope to the fullest.

Proving its title as the longest slope in Gangwon Province, some people jokingly say that they spent more than an hour coming down.

Many ski enthusiasts call the slope a true “paradise,” including the 20- to 30-minute lift ride to the peak.

Though one intermediate and two advanced slopes will not be available this season, the remaining 25 slopes are more than enough for thrill seekers to get their fill.

Detailed information is available at www.yongpyong.co.kr.

Phoenix Pyeongchang's Montblanc (Pheonix Pyeongchang)
Phoenix Pyeongchang's Montblanc (Pheonix Pyeongchang)

Phoenix Pyeongchang

The Phoenix Pyeongchang, another popular ski resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, is known to provide the best snow conditions for skiing.

Six of its slopes were used for freestyle skiing and snowboarding in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and regular snowboarders would appreciate the Olympic-standard half-pipe table top, round quarter and rails.

The resort is famous for the Montblanc cafe at the slope’s peak where patrons can put aside their skis and snowboards for a breather.

Phoenix Pyeongchang introduced a QR code entry system this year, allowing visitors to use the slopes and cable cars freely after the first scan at the entrance gate.

When you get tired of the outdoors, head inside to the water park Blue Canyon. Get some rest and relaxation at the well-known spa facility while enjoying the splendid mountain view.

More information can be found at www.phoenixhnr.co.kr/pyeongchang/index

Snowboarders prepare to ride the slopes at Jisan Forest Resort in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Jisan Forest Resort)
Snowboarders prepare to ride the slopes at Jisan Forest Resort in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Jisan Forest Resort)

Jisan Forest Resort

Located at Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, the Jisan Forest Resort may not be your top choice -- it does not offer a wide range of slopes, special events or attractions.

Just a 50- to 60-minute drive from Seoul, it is one of the two ski resorts nearest to the capital, along with Konjiam Resort in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province.

The resort opened a new slope for intermediate-level riders this year, a welcome challenge for the more experienced since most of their other courses are relatively straight and easy.

If you want to enjoy a calm, quiet ride without waiting in line for the lifts and packed crowds, visit the resort at night. Unlike other ski resorts that close the slopes at 10 p.m., the Jisan Forest Resort slopes are open until 2 a.m.

Detailed information is available in English at the resort’s official website, www.jisanresort.co.kr/index.asp.

Gondolas at High1 Resort (High1 Resort)
Gondolas at High1 Resort (High1 Resort)

High1 Resort

High1 Resort, located at Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon Province, is a three-hour ride east of Seoul and one of the highly sought-after places for passionate skiers and snowboarders.

A total of three cable lifts that carry a maximum of eight people significantly reduces the wait time compared to other resorts.

While many ski resorts usually separate patrons according to their athletic ability, High1 Resort allows visitors to take either the cable lift or gondola together to the top and go down the slope of their choosing.

On Dec. 23, the resort opened its popular winter attraction, Snow World, complete with an ice slide, mini snow theme park, snow maze, tube sled and more.

Skiers and snowboarders wait to take the lift at Muju Deogyusan Resort in Muju-gun, North Jeolla Province. (Muju Deogyusan Resort)
Skiers and snowboarders wait to take the lift at Muju Deogyusan Resort in Muju-gun, North Jeolla Province. (Muju Deogyusan Resort)

Muju Deogyusan Resort

Some 200 kilometers south of Seoul in Muju-gun, North Jeolla Province, Muju Deogyusan Resort awes visitors with a spectacular snowscape of Deogyusan, a top winter destination.

Starting Dec. 24, the resort began operating the “Dawn Ski” program, allowing early birds to enjoy the slopes starting at 7 a.m.

The majority of the slopes in Korea open at 9 a.m.

Two advanced slopes, Turbo and Raiders, give advanced skiers more options.

Silk Road, the longest slope in South Korea at 6.1 kilometers, is still the top choice for many wanting to explore the beautiful Deogyusan mountain.



By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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