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Korea 2014-15 random nonsense thread

Discussion in 'Less Travelled' started by ipps, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Hey dudes, just moved to korea (gangneung). I do loves information. Season is just around the corner so carving out a space for all the korean kids to hit the STL gear and nuke this site from orbit!

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 ipps, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  2. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can you get me cheap season tix to that new resort up north? Sounds grouse.
     
  3. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    From what I see all the Korean kids are playing L. O. L.
     
  4. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    horsey dance please
     
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  5. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Astro is outerwear envy at your getup
     
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  6. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Alas, alas, though i popped into the STL shop in my last trip around hak-dong (snowboard street in seoul, fact fans), i didnt have the balls to pick anything up. Its freaking epic though. I suggest a detour (and maybe a welding mask to preserve your eyes) if youre ever in the area.
     
  7. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Yay! Gangneung!

    [​IMG]

    Actually, ive just figured out what my next random project is. Time to consolidate some winter olympics info about the ski resorts in the local vicinity, as well as the venues themselves.

    I reckons ill start on the winter olympics with the occasional updates and trip reports/resort reviews thrown in for good measure.

    Just moved here, and kinda in the suburbs, so sort of out of the main loop and probably will be until things get a bit warmer.

    The area i live in (taekchi - not downtown gangneung) is pretty much all built around seasonal tourism... Mainly for the beach though. And come the summer it's apparently FLOODED by Seoulites looking for a weekend muck about. It looks bloody cold at the minute mind you, and given the hostilities with the Norks above (and gyongpo's lovely sandy beach as a perfect landing spot for an invasion), you might be unsurprised to know that its fairly militarised for the most part, (with barbed wired fencing preventing access to all but a few gates and guarded areas).

    Kinda incongruous for a nice day swimming.

    The beach is called Gyeongpo. Its particularly famous not just for its nice sandy beaches and access from Seoul, but for its apparently (what do i, as yet, know?), beautiful sunrise (particularly the new year sunrise which is a big event - east coast etc). It also has a really cute lake you can pedal around right next to the beach with a lovely cherry blossom festival in the spring.

    [​IMG]
    Like everywhere in Korea though, when the peak season hits, it gets a little...

    [​IMG]

    ...busy. :)

    I took a bike ride there the other day. Looks like your typical tacky beachfront. restaurants, bars, cheap hotels... But its off season, quiet, and the place isnt exactly kicking at the moment. Still, with the lake right behind it feeding into the sea, its quite a beautiful little place. Definitely worth a few spring/autumn bike rides. Might also be fun in the summer if i can figure out where the locals all ninja off to.

    Downtown is your typical little Korean downtown area. Its got loads of little mom and pop stores, a homeplus, and an emart. A big recent event was the opening of a Uniqlo if that gives you a sense of the scale here. Outside that, its your typical little streets of shops, restaurants, bars, karaoke, billiards, etc. If youve been to Korea, you kinda know the drill. Its not particularly modern (or rich by the looks of it) and looks a little run down (which i honestly always like in my cities) and it seems like it could host a really buzzing and intimate fun atmosphere. Obviously closer to the games we'll see some more development, but the place is built with tourism in mind anyway, so i wouldnt expect to see all that much more. Ive tried finding some pics of the place on the net to give you an idea, but for the life of me there are none. Ill see if i can take some next time im down that way.

    Anyways, this is really just an intro to my new digs. Ill get into the meat and potatoes of the rest of it when i have some free time :) I can tell you though, its shtooking cold.

    [​IMG]

    The bus from seoul stopped at the Pyeongchang services for a 15 minute break and it was... noticeably brisk. Gangneung itself gets hit by windchill from the sea meaning youll want to wrap up warm. Im also delighted to tell you that although it doesnt get snow in teh way Japan gets snow. It gets snow. Particularly in the peak. Im hoping it makes it up to the mountains, but the coast definitely gets hit with a meter or two.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  9. ODNT

    ODNT Part of the Furniture

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    last shot looks epic
     
  10. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Let me scale the epic back a little bit.

    Day 1 at a surprisingly busy yongpyong.

    Only the base lifts were open, perhaps reflecting the more Korean (artificial snow) way of doing things. Were we to wait for the snow, i guess we'd be stuck till January. I'm fine with this.

    [​IMG]

    So, artificial snow for the first time in an age. Took a little bit of getting used to. Edges would either dig in or, (more often), the snow would just give way under the edge and youd end up washing. Definitely could do with some compacting.

    First time heading up there, so didnt really know how to do it. I only decided after a facebook dude (who i dont really know), mentioned the bus up to Hoenggye. Woke up at 11am (i work 2-10), figured what the hey! and about an hour later headed to the station. Buses left every half hour or so, and it wasn't long until i was on my way and at the resort. $2.50 (and thirty five minutes later), we arrived.

    [​IMG]

    Grabbed the next bus to the resort (13.35) and five to ten minutes later we arrived. Looked all nice and modern and very typical Korea style with lots of facilities, shops selling solid gears, and proper international chain junk restaurants. On top of this, you have the standard entertainments fare. Its a proper full resort experience. The hill itself is only a part of things here by the looks of it.

    I popped out to buy my ticket and the queues were a bit surprising.

    [​IMG]

    I reminded myself that its the base area. Even if it gets worse (and how can it not? the lifts are slow as shtook and even without the peak, the numbers were pretty decent already), i comfort myself with the knowledge that if Muju is anything to go by, most people lack the confidence or interest to go above the mid point and stray too far from the cafes and restaurants at the base. It should keep the insanity to a hopefully manageable level.

    ...Crap! this ones a trip report, not a review (old habits die hard).

    So paid my $35, got in the ten minute queue, grabbed a seat, then sat twiddling my thumbs on the painfully slow grind to the 'top', took one run down the pink line, decided there was nowt here for me and popped over to the lift for the red lines (where i stayed for the rest of my time - 2 hours fact fans).

    Realistically there were only three runs open. A standard bunny run; a slightly advanced beginner level path/cat-track; and a straight short drop. Each run barely lasted more than a minute or two (so long as you milked it). The bunny slope was as youd expect: featureless, straightforward, and unsurprising. The path was just a series of turns cut in every twenty or so meters, and the drop, fun as it was (and unmoguled as it was), was short and over far too soon. Still, at least it offered something a bit sketch to get some of the adrenaline going. (Admittedly, due more to my mistrust of artificial snow and my lack of wrist guards).

    [​IMG]

    Around 3.30 the queues mysteriously vanished and it became conveyor belt stuff. Around 4.10 I figured it was time to head home. First day for a year and a half. Not exactly filling me with any kind of mad stoke or anything, but at least took the cobwebs off. Two hours were about enough for what was available. I could have stretched a couple more hours with a break for lunch, but not much around to keep you all that excited. Maybe the park rats were alright with a small kicker, a rail and a box to lap. On a quieter day during the week and once i pick up my pass ill head in there and maybe get some laps in.

    Limited expectations definitely helped keep the disappointment in check. Early season, 20% of the resort running. None of the bigger parts, no real snow, temperatures well above freezing... if im honest, it doesnt exactly look all that amazing beyond it either. But thats not the point. It should keep me going for a base though, and honestly, when the free shuttle runs from town getting you there within an hour, you can rip any time, day or night, the season pass is 460,000 ($460) which is around 8 days at regular price, and you dont have to pay a penny in accommodation, its all kinda awesome. If the worst comes to the worst, theres also a few other resorts around to break it up.

    So yongpyong: nothing special (thus far). But since i live in the area and its RIDICULOUSLY accessible (and is arguably one of the top resorts Korea has to offer), its a no brainer. :) Ill be picking up the season ticket as soon as im paid and look to hit it pretty much every day off and every non gym day so long as i can get up before 9am and back in time for work at 2. Failing that, i could always head in there at midnight and pop home at 3am once i get a car :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Metabo Oyaji

    Metabo Oyaji Hard Yards

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    Glad you got something nearby there, Ipps.
    Will be interesting to see what the upper reaches look like later.
     
  12. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    My pants are STL.
     
  13. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    You are a hero to all mankind my friend! i walked around hak-dong looking for fun hoodies, and all i saw were dark greens, dark blues, dark grey, dark brown and...



    It sucked the life out of me :(
     
    #13 ipps, Nov 27, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
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  14. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Finally hit day 2 following two near misses.

    Near miss 1 - Sunday: All dressed, bag packed, ready to go. Hyped up, all good. Gold run finally open offering an almost top to bottom line... hooray! but wait! whats this? Wheres my passport? Ah yes, its at work. Since its my ID for Korea at the moment and since its essential to picking up my season pass... no bueno. Got changed and played warcraft instead :)

    Near miss 2 - Tuesday: had everything ready. This time no mistakes. Arrived at the season ticket office to collect my pass and... hang on... they dont have me on any records. Of course i COULD have just paid full price and went riding no problem. But a colleague at work had arranged a special super secret awesome price (about 390,000won instead of 460,000), i figured id just sit it out and wait for it to be resolved. Two hours later everything was resolved. The resort manager was very apologetic. No worries. Time was up though, so had to go back to Gangneung and head to work.

    Today, no problems. Bus? - check! Season pass? - Check! Good to go? - Check!

    So Day 2:

    The previous day at yongpyong was restricted to the base area. This week the Gold area was open so naturally being the review orientated person i made a bee line that way.

    [​IMG]

    I must try and remind myself this is not a review. Its a trip report, but i should comment on some things now so i dont forget them.

    Getting there was fairly easy. The lift at the far skiers right of the base area hoists you up into the middle of the mountain, then a quick detour on a nice steepish path carries you into the gold zone. And to be honest, its a nice part of the hill.

    The first thing to mention is the terrain itself. Most runs arent pushing over a couple of minutes for length, even the top to bottom run (gold paradise (skiers left of the highlighted run), is barely a 4 or 5 minute ride. For a more cruise orientated person you could probably double the time but realistically there isnt much more in the way of pointing and shooting at the moment. The runs themselves are groomed within a mm of their lives, whilst the side hits are currently non-existent or core shot risking or straight up deathcookies. Everything is fenced off regardless. Stay on the groomers or go home. No matter where it is on the line, the authorities have made sure to have at least a 1.5m high orange fence flanking the official boundaries. Its going to be hard to adjust if im honest. Apparently its a straight pass removal and kicked off the resort for any attempt to jump the ropes (no ducking here - its mesh).

    That all being said, the gold area offers some decent length to play on, the runs are well groomed making them at least consistent and lacking super spill surprised. And above all they have a decent pitch to them. The far right run (gold fantastic), is a nice ridge line style run. It has a few decent drops and for someone serious, will offer a nice charge. It just recently opened so right now its a boneshaker ice cube. I felt every Spill on that at speed and youll be nursing a decent bump for a week or two. The far left line, gold paradise is a more straight up early intermediate style path. Theres enough variation to make it slightly interesting, but the pitch rarely crosses 15-20 degrees and its nice and wide to not have the noobs scoprioning in terror every time someone comes burning past them. Come the snow though, and it should have some fun side hits to play with. Its main draw however is that it is a decent length giving you a consistent fun cruise to butter around on bringing you back down to the base.

    Finally, the middle run, Gold Valley, is arguably one for the skiers to blast down. The wind cuts right the way across it meaning that its rarely going to keep its snow, so between that and the groomers, theres no real risk of moguls. This is a pure charge run. It starts off pretty steep - possible low 40s even - and then shoots you into a nice shaded valley path. its not a long ride, but though i only got to hit it once, its definitely one ill be looking to play on a lot more this season.

    [​IMG]

    Overall certainly got a bit of potential. Its brushing up to be a nice solid intermediate hill. Obviously theres no BC lines and the like, but with only realistically the top of the mountain left to see, its pretty clear that its got a lot of fun lines to play on with enough variation in pitch and length to keep things entertaining for a weekend. From what i hear, its not going to get an awful lot of snow, but it can drop, and if it does, my schedule means i should be able to sneak out there for some early tracks before work in order to take advantage of it. Right now, its a bit of an icewall up the top of the hill, with more snow like conditions (thanks to the blowers) down the bottom. All artificial. But theyve done a decent job getting it prepped. Looking forward to my next ride to be honest on Sunday.
     
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  15. surfarthur

    surfarthur Early Days

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    Nice one Ippy, great that you will be able to ride before work if you want
     
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  16. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Day 3:

    Well, technically still in the midst of day 1 since im hitting this place for about 2 hours each time. As far as im concerned its day 3. That's my story and im sticking with it.

    Started entertainingly enough at the bus stop/ Arrived to a jam packed platform for the bus. I looked my usual clown self in full snowboard getup on a full bus of people. Id never seen the bus so busy. Theres usually about six people. No seats, bus driver looked perplexed (seating only) until checking through the ticket stubs and asking if the idiot going to hoenggye would mind getting on the bus next to us. No prizes for guessing which idiot that was. Lucky for me the bus was packed full or i might have ended up about 300km past my destination in Daegu.

    Arrived at Hoenggye for surprise number 2: [​IMG]

    Wow! snowmachines have been going bananas! Could that be... actual snow? Could there be 'actual' snow on the mountain???

    Things were looking good.

    Hit the resort and was delighted to find it'd been hit. Sure, whilst Nagano is swimming in 2m this is small potatoes. But 10cms of fresh? You bet your ass i was taking it.
    Same runs open as last week, but the mountain definitely looking better. Found my lovely new riding mate up the top of the Gold line and had a fantastic morning lapping the gold area lift with him and another korean dude (called C1 - lovely guy). Had a blast hitting the small side stashes. No real face shots or anything, but plenty of bounce and mischief to make it a cracking early day. Also, discovered that with a bit of fresh on it, the gold fantastic ridge line shares a lot in common with my beloved ushikubi. Definitely going to be a favorite this season; I would love to see it on a proper drop.Last thing to note (shortish and sweet for a change): Shuttle bus is finally up and running, so actually made it back to work on time :)

    Definitely excited to get up there on a real powder day. But early season and korea... im pretty stoked.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Day 4:

    Conditions were COLD. Around minus 19 at the top plus windchill. Bluebird... but oh em gee will you feel it!

    [​IMG]

    Arrived around 1pm hoping for a bit of softening. Alas, no such luck. Still the odd spot of powder at the sides so not too bad. No real crusting and nice groom action. Snow arrived on Saturday, but honestly must have been pretty scant. Went up there primarily to see the rainbow line and have a taster of it, so after a few laps of the gold area headed back across to check it out.

    Its a mission. Thats the first thing to note. Its a straight gondola ride up to the top, and the queue at the time was pretty quick (less than 3 minutes), but my oh my. Im not sure how they managed this, but having been forewarned (and assuming possible exaggeration) i timed the gondola ride.

    TWENTY FIVE MINUTES.

    Seriously, the dragondola connecting Naeba and Kagura was faster.

    The folks i ride with told me they like to hit it first thing on a weekday for a nice leg burner warm up. I can see the wisdom in their words. Its a bit of a hike. Definitely a good place to eat your breakfast, grab a coffee, and maybe get dressed into your gear. Maybe even up on some of your latest shows or learn something from the great minds podcast or stoke yourselves out watching the Helgasons doing their usual stupid shit for 25 minutes to hype you up. Whatever, bring entertainment. Youll be needing it.

    And wrap up warm. Its the tallest point for miles, kind of exposed, so youre probably getting blasted by the wind.

    [​IMG]

    Thats enough of the preamble though, whats the line like?

    Straightforward, decent low intermediate path. Not much else to say, lots of side hits, and a decent length (easily long enough to feel like a bit of a leg burner) and you can catch some serious speed on it if you let it run, but otherwise not all that spectacular. Its a solid, fun, simple line with enough pitch to really just enjoy yourself. If it has one slight problem, its maybe that it can feel a little busy at the top. Still, once you move further down the mountain it mysteriously thins out. For me, im with my mates on this one. Its a good ride. but its really once a day. If the gondie was a bit quicker perhaps you could lap it a couple of times in a day. As they said though, its a 50 minute round trip. And when youre really pushed for time, thats a bit of an expensive run for something altogether straightforward and fairly unspectacular.

    Arrived back at the base kinda knackered and with a iceblasted face (thatll teach me to forget my face mask!), hit one more line on red, met the others and called it a day. Fun mission.

    Definitely more to the hill, could be a blast on a pow day, but not entirely disappointed with it. No breaks in the fall line, well maintained, long enough to add something else to the mountain... all good. Of course, even with the three lines from rainbow left to open, it still feels like gold has all the real quality mayhem, but again, plenty of diversity, lots of lines. Lots to do. Enough side hits. Definitely
    feels like a solid place to call home. I also learned that the real snow arrives late season in March. So could be a genuinely good time to hit it up.

    [​IMG]

    No off piste mind you. Ive seen a few lines id consider, but coverage is low. My boards got a fair few scratches in it already. Obviously if you like your side hits, bring a beater if youre hitting it in December/January.
     
  18. Adrian Lamande

    Adrian Lamande First Runs

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    Hey, getting into gangneung tomorrow for a few days, staying by the beach about 7km out of the town itself. As I have my boards with me (Korea is a bit of a stop, look, see something new before my 5th trip to Japan for snow) I thought I may take in yongpyong and have some fun. Any bus (shuttle bus, other transport) advice you would give??

    I know that I have just come out of Chungju, with a trip to Sajo Resort and the bus sucked. Getting there not so bad, but getting home another story. There was a bus parked at the far end of the car park (free shuttle) and a bus stop for it about 75m away near the ticket window. Now being a stupid tourist that cant speak or read a word of Korean probably does not help, but I decided to wait at the bus stop for the bus. The timetable was in English and no other bus from that stop for 2hrs in each direction, so I figured that if I waited at the bus stop it would be obvious that I wanted to catch the bus and it would stop. Wrong, it drove right past and the response I get from most people here when I get asked how I missed the bus is, why didnt I walk over to the bus in the carpark, to which I always reply if that is where you want people to go to catch the bus then put the f..ing bus stop there??? Didnt destroy my day ,or my trip, but it was a slight annoyance.

    So where is this shuttle bus to yongpyong? and is there anything special I need to do to either catch it or not miss it?

    So far I would say that Korea is not exactly a snowboard destination but if you are here and have a board the snow is fun think of it like boarding in Australian, you would not go to Australia just to snowboard but while you are there why not.
    `
     
  19. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    From Gangneung its easy as hell.

    Not sure where you are, but two easyish and straightforward places to pick up the bus are across the road from the express bus station.

    Easier still to be in the right place (since its a culdesac), is City hall. Im not 100% sure on downtown because i live in Taekchi (the kind of bar/restaurant suburb bit. From Taekchi though its the bus stop just a teensy bit up the hill from Baskin Robbins (or KFC - youll see baskin robbins quick enough (its a big crossroads). Youre diagonally opposite KFC. If you are downtown, i THINK the bus stops near the McDonalds near homeplus. But dont quote me on that.

    Bus times to Yongpyong are

    7.30
    11.20
    15.20
    19.00
    23.10

    (of you cant read korean, bottom two are gangneung station and city hall).

    http://www.yongpyong.co.kr/guide/traffic_bus_02c.asp

    If you seriously cant be assed with that, you can just go to the bus station and grab a bus to Hoenggye (pron: hengei (g for guitar)). Buses leave fairly often. Problem is youre paying for it (2500 won, whilst the other bus is free), and you then have to either hope youre on time for a nice shuttle to the resort (less often than youd hope), or more than likely youre paying about 9,000won for a taxi to the lifts (about a 3-4km walk if you want to do that instead for some reason).

    The bus is a RED BUS with Yongpyong written on it. If there are no seats and the driver shunts you off, dont worry, they send another bus soon after.

    Bus back is listed at the bottom. It leaves from Tower Plaza (where you got off the bus for Yongpyong).

    Times are:13.00; 17.10; 22.40; 00.30

    Hope that helps :) Just went there today. Kinda icy given the recent temps, but starting to soften up just as we left.

    Dunno if youre a park rat, but if you are, theyre building a kicker line by the looks of it. By line i mean two hits, but could be operational within the next couple of days.

    Possible snow tonight. Wont be a dump, but might give you a little bit of snow to play in on the sides after they groom the shit out of the main slope areas.

    Popped in there today with a mate, so er, might as well give a brief trip report for day 5.

    DAY 5

    [​IMG]

    Finally dragged my lazy ass out of bed before 10. In my defence, i work the afternoon/evening shift, so 7am to me is probably your 4am. Feel utterly drained. Really only decided to do it because was with a friend learning and he was paying full whack. Could hardly ask him to pay 60,000won (rental and ticket), for 2 hours. So bleary eyed, stumbled out of bed at 7.20 and made my way to the bus.

    Upon arrival grabbed the gondola straight to the top. Definitely a burning run first thing. Calves were properly exploding by the end of it. Picked up a quick coffee and made a bee line for Gold. Had a few runs on the gold fangstastic. Nothing really new to report other than of course i did my level best to get him hooked :p Think it worked. :) Had a nice morning mucking about, gonna get him to push a little quicker next time, though :p

    [​IMG]
     
    #19 ipps, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  20. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    ETA: Just to be clear on one point (or several - i write like i think alas: with lots and lots of random associations as they occur to me):

    1. I mean the second and third from bottom. The bottom one is obviously the yongpyong arrival time.
    2. The two places are City Hall and across the road from the express bus terminal. Not two places across the road from the express bus terminal.
    3. Since youre in Gyongpo (i assume), just get a taxi to the express bus terminal to keep it simple. Or get a taxi to taekchi KFC then head up the hill. Its about the same distance from Gyongpo as downtown. I honestly believe that Taekchi exists entirely as a kind of overflow for the summer season. Its literally just bars, restaurants, cafes and hairdressers. Theres no general day to day stuff except convenience stores and 2 supermarkets. And theres nothing approaching a mall or fashion and general big city consumerism.
     
  21. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    DAY 6:

    Park day. Kinda went in there with some mates and sort of ended up lapping it a few times. Not many people touching it, and of those that did, most features barely got a kiss. To be honest, thats about my skill level either way. Park isnt my natural habitat. In fact snow resorts arent my natural habitat. But took a few hits just to try and get back into some air time. Kinda nice. Couple of times failed to clear the knuckle - speed needs to be dialled in a bit. Basically got one 20 foot kicker, a few smaller hits interspersed along with some standard rail/box features. Nothing special. If youre going from feature to feature, itll take you about 1 minute top to bottom. Wish id taken a picture, but there you go. Got some air, didnt bail. Even 50/50 a few flat boxes. Kinda successful day in park aside this whole back twinge i now have :)
     
  22. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Day 7:

    [​IMG]

    Park has officially ****ed my knee. Thats nice. Cant do anything involving a twist or an impact on my left knee, so er, that limits my options drastically. It's fine with anything else. Leg days at the gym? No problem. Running? No problem. Cycling? A little twinge... probably need to stop cycling like im riding a horse.

    So motivation to hit the hill is zero. Cant play in the park, cant butter, cant even press without serious pressure. Time for a rest then until the snow comes. But before the rest, one of my colleagues wanted a ride on the nighta, so what the hell? Might as well see how it looks?

    Currently the nighta consists of the base area, the big wide bunny slope, park (not sure if its open mind you, but the lift up there is), and the gold valley. Realistically you can also steal a ninja run on the gold line back to the main resort area if you dont mind a bit of darkness. Needless to say we did, and it was probably the highlight to be honest.

    [​IMG]

    For a nighta its not too bad. Its a decent sized operation with enough open to keep you there a few hours happy snowboarding. And we have to remember as well that its still not technically in its full operational state yet anyway. Four of the main runs are still to open, and the crowds, though increasing a little are still hardly swarming the place. Possibly everyone else is waiting for some real snow. Its been a while. Last drop was almost a month away.

    I keep looking at the charts hoping for a rogue dump, but it seems that the system at the moment only allows precipitation once the numbers start creeping above zero. Its looking like they might even be due a base top up with the machines.
    Its all looking a bit... thin out there. :) For me this means its probably a while until i can be bothered hitting the resort again. When something new happens i might hit it up again, but until then, its kinda same old at the moment

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Pink

    Pink One of Us

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    Has anyone ridden Yongpyong or other South Korean resorts mid winter (that is, at maximum snowpack) and able to confirm whether or not off piste / tree skiing is at all possible? I've previously read that Korea doesn't receive enough snow to access off piste terrain. Yongpyong receives 2.5m p.a. officially which, while not much, is more than Buller right? Or, as ipps observed, is it the fencing and strict banning of off piste riding that makes it not possible? I have seen footage of backcountry skiing on Hallasan (Jeju Island) so I'm guessing it's the fences that's the main issue.
     
  24. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Arguably youre looking for someone other than me to give you deets, but genuinely ive looked. I have a beady eyes for lines and the stupidity to have a crack at them blind. Hell, i once regrettably had a pop at a line at the top of Muju a few seasons back - it was a solid frictionless ice wall into trees and scrub.

    That being said, there are a few places you can nip under lifts near the very top, but genuinely its not worth the aggro. Not only is the pack up there pretty low, but the winds are furious. If youre lucky enough to get a drop, you might as well just enjoy the terrain. Its pretty fun when theres some snow out there. Once the gondola lines open, the slopes up there have a decent angle on them. A bit short... but lots of bouncy fun.

    Speculating though, one of my friends (she lives near Hoengye - the little town that leads into Yongpyong) did suggest that last season was pretty bad. In a good season everything i wrote is definitely up for change. I only have 1 season under my belt, and obviously thats just a dice roll at the end of the day. There are lines you can dip off, BUT under the conditions i experienced, the off piste barely dusted the shrub. If you did try under those conditions, youd be core-shotting your board, or smashing your face into rocks. Youd need at least a 1m-2m base in there to get over the debris with your board and health intact id imagine. Not to mention that off piste in Korea is deeply frowned on.

    If you do want off piste though, a nice choice might be Ulleung-do. Ferry leaves from Gangneung or Donghae. I think theres another place much further south as well. It might be ski only though with lots of traversing. But if it helps, the area is genuinely beautiful. I went there in summer and was ASTONISHED by it.

    Linky: http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2984620

    Honestly, if i was here for another season (im off to take up a public school gig - yay! massive vacations again), id probably have a look. If youre in Korea for a wee while, Ulleungdo will MAYBE have what you need: Powder, scenery, intimate local town, and an unforgettable and UNIQUE experience to make your mates jelly.

    Heres the place in Summer:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ETA: 2.5m snowpack seems like a damn lie. Less than 1.5 seems more accurate.
     
    #24 ipps, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
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  25. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Clip found on Vimeo:

     
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  26. ipps

    ipps Hard Yards

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    Appalling start to the season in Muju. I dont think ive seen it worse to be honest. Last time i was down this way (2009-11) the top was all but ready by around the start of January (only really a few of the short steeper runs still needing some cover). Right now, and projecting to the 14th (on the main site - they list expected openings a week in advance), we're still stuck with only the bottom half of the hill open. The other side (mansun base - which only really gets you half way up to the top anyway) has about 80%. The last time i headed there, apparently it was 'too difficult' to let snowboarders ride the lift. They let me on it late season in 2011, and obviously its nothing special. Its just bullshit skier only for the sake of nonsense.

    Dont really want to take the chance that its gated again for arbitrary reasons. As it stands then, i know for a fact i wont be there before heading to niseko in mid january. Hopefully come February itll be open for at least a couple of days riding. But yeah, glad i didnt pick up their 90,000 yen season pass... yes, not a miss-type. 900,000 won. For muju... ?!?!?

    Im honestly amazed that a resort with a phalanx of snow blowers cant even organise shit enough to start from the top and work down the hill instead of constantly trying to keep up with the warm weather at the base of the hill. It actually blows my mind. :)
     
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  27. tonks

    tonks Hard Yards

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    900,000W for a season pass?

    Are the lower slopes better for beginners?
     
  28. gmn

    gmn Hard Yards

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    Hi,
    Im heading to Seoul in Feb and planning to spend a few days skiing at Yongpyong.
    Any advice for best area to stay? Was originally thinking one of the Alpensia hotels but came across this about Hoenggye.
     
  29. Toto Warmlet

    Toto Warmlet One of Us

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    wow Agfachrome color
    astonishing?
    seems fair enough