HITTING THE SLOPES IN KOREA: A GUIDE TO HIGH 1 SKI RESORT PART 2 Accommodation, Food & Safety
Where stayed at Jeongseon Mayhills the rates were super cheap because it was midseason and midweek we were paying 60,000 won per night for a double room. I think rates are about 200-300,000 won per night in peak season and the hotel rooms are warm, spacious, clean and have onsite cooking facilities, some rooms allow multiple occupants with floor mattresses in the closets. We made a last minute reservation with Booking.com and pretty much had the hotel to ourself with a high floor and room upgrade included.
The resort has a GS25 convenience store in the basement and a pool hall, a few restaurants, ski rental (apparently affordable rates), a Sauna (costs extra), free gym, ski lockers, and a Norebang which is open when the hotel is busy. The hotel is 15-20minutes walk from the ski lifts, and a 5 minute ride on the free shuttle bus from the hotel. For more information on the resort I’ve written a review on tripadvisor.
Another way around this is to travel light and stay overnight in the Jimjilbang (sauna) at Mayhills resort which costs approximately 10,000 won per night, or for alternative accommodation stay in the nearby town of Sabuk which is just one stop before Gohan station. For a two day ski reduced accommodation you can take the morning train and a taxi straight to the resort, ski during the day and night then stay in the nearby sauna (which is 15 minutes walk away), then ski the morning and take a train back to Seoul at night. If you pack light this is an excellent option as you can travel there literally with the clothes off your back and rent all your gear onsite.
High 1 has a lot of choices for food, there is a revolving restaurant at the top of the mountain, cafe’s midway up the mountain, a KFC and Korean restaurant at the base, and the various restaurants in the hotels themselves. Snack stands at the base of the mountain sell coffee, dumplings, noodles and Ttockbukki if you get hungry but can’t be bothered cleaning off your gear and heading inside the main food area.
Restaurants in Sabuk and Gohan are also close by, and if you stay in a hotel with a kitchenette like the one we stayed at you can buy food at the local supermarket which was surprisingly cheap to shop at!
This was one of the other reasons we chose to stay at High 1 as reviews of resorts near Yongpyong suggest dining options are limited and have inflated prices.
For our part we meant to go to one of the three restaurants in the hotel but we ended up just getting supplies from the local supermarket and cooking at home, we did get takeaway chicken one night from a restaurant not far away but I had some sort of allergic reaction to it as I am allergic to almost everything. The place is one of the major chimaek chains in Korea and it was pretty tasty until I thought I was having a heart attack and had to taste it again.
One of the passengers I shared a lift with happened to be an instructor, after a little banter he told me there was one major important consideration when skiing, I asked him what it was, assuming it was snow or good weather, nope SAFETY.
Apparently a few years back he was travelling down one of the slopes at High 1 and broke his humerus, apparently the bone ended up protruding out of the skin or something gross, so from then on he wore padding on his elbows, knees, shoulders and wore a helmet.
I should probably have taken note of this as a few weeks later skiing in China I had a heavy fall on my shoulder and now I have a long period of rest and recuperation ahead of me.
So if you do hit the slopes I would recommend when you are shopping for your gear get a helmet (especially important for snowboarders who slam the back of their head all the time), and look into buying some armour if you are doing more serious skiing, it could save you a long term injury, and nobody ever see’s them coming.
For beginners make sure your bindings are adjusted to the lowest level possible so if/when you do fall over your ankles are protected as the skis will come free, there is a small window on the front of your skis which shows the level they are adjusted for, a screw driver increases (for advanced) or decrease (for beginners) the rigidity of the bindings when you fall so check this out when you are getting your skis fitted.
The last tip I’d give is to learn how to stop properly, on my first slope in Niseko I almost soiled myself at the incline of the first slope, but luckily another skier who happened to also be an instructor stopped by and coached me through the safest and most efficient way to slow down. It may take you some time to learn this but your enjoyment and safety will increase exponentially when you stop doing Pizza shape and French fries style skiing down a slope.
If you don’t have a skilled friend, get an instructor, watch some videos and learn how to ski properly. Using the edge of your ski’s to slow down and control your direction and transitioning smoothly during turns allows you to direct your ski’s away from other skiers and obstacles, and allows you to tackle steeper slopes because you can slow down easily and effectively.
High 1 has a great choice of slopes, food, accommodation and reasonable rental prices and access is a breeze for people who don’t like busses or can’t communicate in Korean. If you do travel in a group with Korean friends you may be able to save even more with reduced price rentals and lift tickets (via credit card discounts), travelling in a large group can help you save on accommodation and give you some off slope entertainment as well as Koreans know how to party!