Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Muju! Skiing Korea

This past New Years Day (the Gregorian New Years of about a month and a half ago that is, not the Chinese New Year that took place this past weekend), I decided to take advantage of both the snow squall and the day off work to partake in one of my favourite activities, and one which has become somewhat of a New Year's tradition - Skiing!!!

Teaching the beginners at Muju.

Friends of mine had heard of a fairly cheep bus service, lift ticket and rental package (of both winter clothes and skis/boarding gear) all for under 100USD to the nearby resort Muju (무주) on Mt Deogyu (덕유산). Although not a huge mountain (Deogyusan's highest peak is at 1,614m, but the resort does not extend that high up), Muju has 34 runs -  including a few nice long ones down from the resort's highest peak (the longest is 6.1km) - and provides great skiing for those at the beginner and intermediate levels. It's not phenomenal for advanced skiers, but the harder runs (steepest is 60degress) do offer up some fun. It's central location on the peninsula also makes it easily accessible from just about anywhere in Korea.

As we went during a snow storm, we were also blessed with some great snow - which felt a lot more like biting ice in the high winds at the top. Nevertheless, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day on the slopes - made even better by the fact that Muju is open early until late! I have to say, there is definite merit in a ski hill that has its lifts open from 6:30 in the morning until 2am the next. Definitely my kind of hill!

A nicely frosted pagoda up at the top.
Anyone living in Gwangju who is looking to head over to Muju should check out (or have a Korean speaker check out) the packages here. You can also call 010-3648-7761 (Korean only). Muju's website can be found here (English option at top right).  

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