Skiing season has returned, a time of stinging winds, bitter cold and the occasional dumps of fresh powder that skiers and snowboarders long for as they hit the slopes around the country that are opening this winter.
Among young people especially, late-night skiing sessions have emerged as a popular trend in recent years as they can be integrated into the working week and the resorts are usually less congested than at weekends.
◆ Jisan Forest Ski Resort in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province.
This is the closest ski resort to Seoul as it lies just a 40-minute drive from the capital, making it a popular option among those who want to take a half- or one-day ski trip. It has a slope exclusively reserved for snowboarders, and has offered free snowboarding lessons in recent years. One of its newest offers is a late-night skiing pass from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. It also operates a free shuttle bus that leaves Gangnam in southern Seoul at 7:30 p.m. and heads back to the city at 4:10 a.m. For further information, refer to the website (http://www.jisanresort.co.kr).
◆ Konjiam Resort in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province
Konjiam Resort launched a special lift pass this season so skiers can enjoy the sport at their convenience. The pass allows skiers to choose what time they want to use the lift on an hourly basis, rather than the morning, afternoon or special event lift passes that the resort typically offers. Group bookings of more than 20 people from the same company can benefit from a shuttle service direct from their workplace. Meanwhile, the resort's Spa la Spa is popular among women for its detoxing spa program. More information can be found at the website (http://www.konjiamresort.co.kr).
◆ Daemyung Vivaldi Park in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province
Although this resort is located in the heart of remote Gangwon Province, the new Jungang subway line and highway connecting Seoul and Chuncheon bring it much closer to home for many city slickers. Enthusiasts can now easily organize an overnight or one-day ski trip to Hongcheon. During the peak season, the park operates a free shuttle service to Seoul. It has also opened a new slope for the exclusive use of its ski school. To arrive here by subway, get off at Obin Station on the Jungang Line, or at Namchuncheon Station on the Gyeongchun Line, and take the shuttle bus. For more details, visit the website (http://www.daemyungresort.com).
◆ Oak Valley Resort in Wonju, Gangwon Province
This is an ideal choice for family skiers who prefer easier slopes with gentler inclines. It has a wide slope for beginners, and offers new ski schools for small children, as well as English-language ski classes by foreign instructors. A new program for children, which combines a ski trip with childcare services, offers to give parents a break and let them enjoy some skiing on their own during their stay. A designated instructor will take responsibility for feeding the children and renting their equipment. This resort also scores points for its spa facility modeled on an outdoor hot spring. More information is available on the website (http://www.oakvalley.co.kr).
◆ Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province
This is always one of the first resorts to open during the ski season. Phoenix Park, which will host six disciplines including freestyle skiing and snowboarding during the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, has added a new course so that visitors can experience the Olympic disciplines for themselves. For more details, refer to the website (http://www.pp.co.kr).
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