A few weekends ago, I went to Hyundai Sungwoo resort with a bunch of friends for some afternoon and night skiing. Sungwoo is described on the website as: “19 slopes for both beginers to the advanced are designed to slide down from one start point. On the world-class superpine and wide D+, snowboard-mania will find pleasure and happiness.” I’m not too sure what the second part means, but here’s what I thought of it.
Sungwoo is about 140km from Suwon. It took us somewhere around two hours by car to get there. If you don’t have a car (or a friend with a car), there are buses leaving from Jamsil and Gangnam (I’m sure they leave from other places, but I know those two for certain). Like with High1 though, you’ll need to book your bus back when you arrive to the resort. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with a seat in a bus going to the wrong place at a bad time.
Once again, there is no hors-piste skiing here. Same as with other resorts, the runs are gated off and you wouldn’t want to go off the course anyway, unless riding on twigs and mud is your thing.
Sungwoo has a nice gondola system connecting bottom to the top. I think it takes something like 5 minutes to get to the top. If you don’t like skiing, but like the view from mountaintops, there is a restaurant on top. I saw a few well dressed Korean go up in gondolas around supper time, and I think it’s fair to assume they weren’t going up to ski. Because there was practically no line at the gondola, we were able to do a complete run (from the bottom to the top to the bottom) in about 20 minutes. This was at a fairly fast pace too. From the top there are steep runs but there is also a really nice snaking run that goes along the side of the mountain. You can do this and grab a chairlift from half-way down to beat the crowds and skip on the packed and gentle runs near the bottom.
The group I went with rented a pension for the night (a house you can rent for the weekend), so after skiing, we went there for supper and some people called it a day. If you go to ski on a weekend with a bunch of people, I highly recommend renting a pension. They’re much more fun than sleeping in hotel rooms, they typically come with fire pits and are reasonably priced. I think ours was 230 000won and we comfortably housed 8 people. Seems like you’d need a Korean to make the arrangements though.
After supper, I went back to the hill with two friends. We had evening tickets that ran from 18:30 to 23, but the lift operators weren’t checking tickets, so we got to rid until midnight. Riding at night is fun; newly groomed runs, less people, good lighting, but they also close down some runs, so unless you really like doing one or two icy runs over and over again, I don’t really recommend taking the late night pass. This might be different during winter though. This place was like the other three places I reviewed before. Most of the snow is artificial and there are many ice patches. I’ve also been renting my skis, so it’s possible the didn’t wax and sharpen them quite as often as they should, especially near the end of the season.
Overall, Hyundai Sungwoo is a fun hill. It’s not as hard or as big as I’d like and there were so many ice patches, but it was a fun time. It’s particularly fun when you combine a day of ski with a night with friends at the pension.