Monday, December 28, 2009

Snowy Skiing at Muju Resort

Two weekends ago we went skiing at Muju resort. Muju Ski Resort os one of the biggest in Korea and is about 2 hours from here by car.

Arranging public transport to get to Muju was a bit of a nightmare - we were going to take a shuttle bus organised by the resort, but then it was cancelled at the last minute as they didn't get enough bookings. So then we were going to have to take two trains, a bus and a very expensive taxi to get to the resort. Our dear friend Seong-suk then came up with the brilliant idea of hiring a van (=mini bus). Her husband arranged a great deal for us and for W200 000 for the weekend it was very much affordable. I was the designated driver - the only one with an international drivers' licence - and fortunately it all went very well. Thanks go to Dan, a UK friend of ours, for taking over the tricky snow-driving!

We had a fabulous time at Muju: the weather was perfectly wintery! It snowed most of the time we were there - this was of course accompanied by very cold temperatures: it was around -7 degrees C most of the time, and at one point my eyelashes even began freezing shut (scary!!) but it was great for skiing. I am still not a very good skiier but I really enjoyed going down the slopes at my own pace, and by now I am relatively comfortable even going down the internediate slopes which is a real personal achievement!

My skills were really put to the test on Sunday afternoon when we decided to all go down the longest slope at Muju together. It is called 'The Silk Route' and starts high up in the mountains. When we got out of the gondola (=small cable car) at the top it was very misty and windy. We had lunch at the restaurant on top and then headed off to the slopes: well, the conditions were rather scary. By now the wind was howling and the mist and snow coming down so think one couldn't see more than about 20m ahead. This all on a relatively steep slope which had turned to ice. The wind had blown all the surface snow off the slope and it was treacherous and very, very slippery. Scary on smooth skis which are made for snow not ice!

Anyway, we took it really slow, and Lina, our 'Ice Angel' helped us avoid the worst of the ice. She is an experienced snow-boarder and it was very comforting having here there with us. The scary conditions lasted for about 2km of the slope, and as we got lower down it cleared a bit but it was certainly a rather nerve-racking experience - bonding for sure!

Our group for the weekend was as follows: Simon, Dan, Melissa, Lina, Julian and Jess. Lina is from the nearby town of Gimcheon and the others are all from Sangju. A combo of 2 Poms, 2 Americans and 2 South Africans. We had a fantastic time together and really look forward to another ski trip in February when we're back from Cambodia. Enjoy the photos!

Beautiful Muju Ski Resort: the resort is designed in a kind of Alpine Style - very well done actually!

An ice-cream in the snow at minus 7, I just had to!

The slopes! This was a beginner slope - one which I spent most of my weekend going down, just getting into it again and not putting too much pressure on myself :)

Who's who??

Go Team! from left to right: Simon, Melissa, Dan, Lina, Julian, Jess.

Cleaning the snow off the car, as more was falling! We really loved being in the snow, it is still such a novelty for us!

1 comment:

j.lau said...

wow...sounds great!!! planning to go there end of this yr....which hotel do you recommend? are there any restaurants near the hotel? had read other blogs that they had a terrible experience but it's a relief reading yours that muju wasn't that bad after all