Right before Christmas, we got our first actual snow! At the last minute, some of our friends decided we should all go on a road trip three hours outside of Seoul to Yongpyong Ski Resort. Everyone in the group had been skiing or snowboarding for quite some time, except Stephanie. This would be her first time, but after promising to teach her, she agreed to the impromptu trip.
On Saturday afternoon, we all piled into two separate cars and headed out. We were packed in pretty tightly with all of the gear, luggage, and food, but we were too excited to care. We booked a fairly cheap three bedroom pension to share between the eight of us. The owner really talked up the place us saying that it was a very nice and newly built. When we got there, however, we realized that, though “very nice and newly built,” it was also lacking any furniture except of one bed and a flat screen t.v. The kitchen came with plates and cooking supplies, but no soap and the bathrooms lacked toilet paper. After calling the owner in to supply us with blankets, pillows, and a few chairs, we felt a little bit better about the situation. We spent the rest of the night cooking barbecue and playing games together in the middle of the living room floor.
The next morning, we were up early and packing our things to finally hit the slopes! Some of us didn’t have any gear for skiing or boarding, so we rented skiis/boards, boots, and clothes at a nearby store. The rentals were really inexpensive and only ended up costing us 20,000 won (about $20) each for all we needed. They even agreed to meet us at the ski resort later that day to pick up the gear from us!
We drove the rest of the way into Yongpyong Ski Resort and bought our lift tickets for the day. The 6.5 hour lift tickets also only ended up costing around 20,000 won each because they were having an opening weekend sale. This is an excellent deal and we smiled on our purchase as we headed to the lift.
Stephanie needed a bit of coaching, so we first tried out the ‘bunny hill.’ We pointed her downhill, and let her show off her balance and innate abilities before the coaching began. She did quite well for having just learned how to put skiis onto her feet, and her balance was, indeed, very good. She fell down on her first run, but it wasn’t at all bad. She picked up on steering and speed control throughout the rest of our afternoon, but she learned faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. Her wreck-tally never entered the double digits, which is an impressive feat for a beginner. She stayed positive and really enjoyed herself. We both had a terrific time at Yongpyong and are very anxious to hit the slopes again in the near future.