Ski resorts can be found throughout Korea, the host country of PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. For visitors who have never visited a ski resort, this guide to Korea’s ski resorts will provide all the information you need to enjoy the upcoming ski season. After reading our guide, all that’s left is to hit the slopes!
First things first, the basics include ski suits, equipment, and lifts. Ski suits and equipment can be rented from most ski resorts if you don’t have your own. Beginner skiers should select skis with plates the same length or 10 cm shorter than the skier’s height. Ski boots will connect directly with the ski plates and should fit nicely, holding the feet in place without being too tight. Poles can be used to help with balance, as well as release the boots from the ski plates. These should be as high as the skier’s bellybutton. Lift operations are generally divided into morning, afternoon, evening, and midnight runs. Be sure to purchase a lift pass that matches your planned ski time!
Before hitting the slopes, we recommend beginners to take some time in the practice area and familiarize with the basic poses for skiing. When starting out, you should put your skis in a parallel line. Use the poles for balance and step down strongly onto the bindings of the ski plates to lock into the skis. With the skis still in a parallel line, bend your knees and lean forward slightly, being sure to keep your back straight without sticking your rear end out too far.
After becoming comfortable with the first pose, it’s time to learn the A-pose! As the name suggests, in this pose the skier spreads their legs apart with the heels leading to position the plates in the shape of an ‘A’. The A-pose is used to control speed, and a build-up of friction can stop the skier’s motion. One thing to be aware of when making the A-pose is the spacing of the plate tips. The distance should be roughly the size of a fist. If the skis are too far apart, you can lose your balance; too close and you will change directions without decreasing your speed.
The last thing to learn is how to fall safely! As a beginner, falling over is expected, so it’s best to learn the method for minimizing the risks of getting hurt. When one begins to fall, the natural inclination is to put out one’s hands to stop the fall. However, catching your full weight on your wrists is dangerous, so cross your arms over your chest and let your rear end touch the ground first. From the ground, arrange your plates in a parallel line, cutting across rather than down the slope. Scoot as close to the plates as you can, place your hand on the ground and push yourself into a sitting position. From here, hug your knees and pull yourself up in to a standing position.
After learning the basic poses and positions, it’s time to ride the lift to the top of the slope! When it is your turn on the lift, follow the instructions of the staff working for a safe ride. If your equipment is not securely in place on the lift, it can fall off so be careful, especially about any lose clothing and your poles. At the top of the slope, follow the guidance of the staff, lifting the safety bar and quickly clearing the area.
Spending a day on the slopes is sure to work up an appetite! Ski resorts in Korea offer a variety of yummy foods to fill up on. The most popular foods include those with warm broth like eomuk tang (fish cake soup) or ramyeon. If you’re looking for a more filling meal, order chicken and beer, a staple of Korea’s late-night culture! Korea’s sweet yet spicy marinated chicken goes perfect with a cool, refreshing beer.
Some may visit ski resorts just for the day, but many often spend the night in the ski resort accommodations and enjoy more than one day of skiing, as well as check out the local attractions. In addition, if you stay in the ski resort accommodations, you can get a discount on your lift pass. Most resorts offer both hotel-style and condo-style rooms suitable for all types of visitors and groups.
Ski resorts aren’t just for skiing; most resorts have additional facilities to enjoy, such as the sledding hill, water park, or observation deck. The facilities will vary by resort, so we recommend checking what is available at your preferred resort in advance to get the most out of your visit.
* Ski season start and end dates will vary by resort. Please check in advance.
* This column was last updated in November 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.