Last Sunday, I went on a day trip to High 1 Ski Resort, one of South Korea’s newest ski areas. Built in 2006, this place boasts 18 slopes, 5 lifts and 2 gondolas. As always, here’s what I thought of it.
I somehow ended up getting a super sweet deal on this trip. Someone on Couchsurfing posted this trip and since I wasn’t doing anything special anyway, I figured it would be fun to get some ski time, meet new people and see a new part of Korea. It only cost me 40 000won for my day pass and transportation (we left at 5:50am from Jamsil and it was 2 hours away) and 10 00owon for rentals. Crazy good deal, I think. Word of advice, if you go there by bus, make your return reservations as soon as you arrive. We got very lucky and found empty seats in a bus going to a convenient area, but we came close to taking a bus to Nowon (2 hours subway ride from where I live). So make your return reservations early!
Because I went on Sunday at the end of the season, my experience probably varies from what you’d experience during the regular ski season. Despite an almost complete lack of snow off the slopes, the snow wasn’t too bad. I suspect it’s all man made though. The sun wasn’t shining too hard from behind the clouds, so it didn’t feel like I was riding in mashed potatoes. With the exception of a few spots on the more advanced slopes, the snow felt good. Like all other resorts in Korea, don’t expect to do some hors-piste while you’re there. The slopes are lined with fences and there’s not enough snow there to make it worth the effort, unless you want to ride on rocks and twigs.
The facilities at High 1 are very clean and modern. For lunch, we went to the ski house and I picked up a pork cutlet (and unlimited side dishes) for 10 000won. There was also kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) and a spicy Chinese noodle soup with seafood for little less than what I paid. Those prices are expensive compared to what you’d pay in a city, but for ski resort food, it was a good deal. I was quite full after my lunch.
As with other Korean ski resorts, High 1 has a terrible English website. I would recommend you ask a Korean to find you deals. I’m sure they exist, you just won’t find them if you’re English. You also can’t find much information regarding prices or the slopes on the English website. Here is the Korean page for the interactive slope map and here’s a link for the PDF slope and resort map, it has English on it, so it’s fairly useful if you want to get a feel for the place.
I have the same complaint with High 1 as with Phoenix Park. The expert slopes aren’t really “expert”, they’re just sorta steep. I’m no expert and I was able to easily handle all High 1 had to offer.
High 1 is only the second ski resort I’ve been to in Korea, so I don’t have much to compare it against, but personally, I enjoyed my day there. I think if you’ve got a nice snowy weekend and you want to get a snow fix in Korea, High 1 is a good choice.