Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Seoul Skiing

Seoul skiing is no Colorado. It's more like Boreal - except that Boreal's man made snow doesn't thaw during the day and freeze at night to create a downhill iceskating rink. It is convenient, though. An hour drive from the city and you're off snowboarding. The first trip was an evening run after work on a Friday. I think it was around 8-12 or so. What I found baffling was the price. $45 for the lift ticket and equipment rental including: board, boots, pants, a jacket, a helmet, and goggles. The guy drove to the resort in a suit at midnight to pick up our gear. The strange thing is that the lift ticket was more than $45 at the resort. I wonder if anyone actually pays that. The rental at the second trip charged $10 to rent a board and boots - then provided us with 25% off coupons for lift tickets that were slightly more than $40...ugh...?

The skiing wasn't great but I had a good time. I was able to trade in my skis for a board so the second trip felt like two. A few weird things worth mentioning:

1. They had "magic carpet" conveyor belts that took beginners up the bunny slopes. Similar ones behind automated gates would help you onto the lift. Especially silly considering that many Korean snowboarders completely remove their boards before getting on the lift. Skiers with poles shouldn't care less.

2. My friend Max skiing on one foot. See the video on youtube here.

3. Food prices - just like at airports, they don't get the whole monopoly thing.

4. Rental places - there must have been literally 10-20 on the way to each resort all providing the exact same service. What are they thinking?

5. Compressed air stations - they have nozzles hooked up to compressed air to blow the snow off your equipment when you finish. Not a bad idea to remove the bulk of the ice from your board. For some reason the Koreans would take forever blowing their equipment until there wasn't any snow left, but it would still be pretty wet.

More pictures here

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