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Jisan Forest Resort (Icheon City, Korea) - 2/7/2015

snowmonster

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Date(s) Skied: 2/7/2015

Resort or Ski Area: Jisan Forest Resort (Icheon City, Korea)

Conditions: Warm, snow firm but getting slushy at the bottom, man-made snow, frozen granular. Cloudy in the morning and clearing up to bluebird sunny in the afternoon.

Trip Report:

Because I knew that one day on snow would not be enough, I got on a tour bus the day after my YongPyong adventure and headed to Jisan Forest Resort, which is about an hour away on the outskirts of Seoul. Jisan is where people from Seoul go to get their ski fix at any time of the day or night since it has lights. It's not a destination resort but it's a hill and there's snow on it. For us skiers, that's all we need.

The tour company picked me up from my hotel at around 730 am. We picked up a Filipino couple who were up for snow tubing and a college kid from Malaysia who was a never-ever. The price of the tour included ski instruction -- from the bus driver. Not the way I would do it but, hey, to each his own.

Anyway, we got to the mountain at around 9 am and it was pretty much mobbed like any ski hill on a winter Saturday. The tour guide said that we should be on the bus at 2 pm so we could visit the ginseng museum. Since it wasn't a big hill, I figured that 5 hours would be more than enough. We rented skis and boots at the shop across the street. I insisted on getting the only boots in the shop that were not rear-entry. Note to self: next time, bring your own boots.

Jisan reminds me of Wachusset or perhaps a bigger Blue Hill ski area. There are 5 slopes -- 2 green, 2 blue and 1 black with three lifts. There's a huge food court on the bottom of the hill as well as up top. While the greens and learning areas are choked full off learners and people careening out of control, the black trails had all these very good skiers just maching down the runs.

Since I had my ski legs back, I decided to get in as many runs as I could on whatever trail was in front of me. I worked on turn shape, speed, control, weight distribution and all the other drills that make you a better skier. There was even a bump run down one trail (just like Wachusett) and I tried going down it. I am happy to say that, after all these years, I still suck at bumps!

At lunch time, I stopped in at the small hut on the summit. No one spoke English and so, by pointing at the pots of several patrons, I was able to order a bowl of ramen which I paired with a small side dish of kimchi (these side dishes called banchan are a staple of Korean meals and come free). Nothing warms you up like a good ramen and, I think, every ski resort on the planet ought to have a ramen bar.

After lunch, I was scooting along and met the only non-Asian person on the hill -- a soldier from New York who was stationed at the US base in Seoul. After ribbing each other about the Patriots and Jets, we went off on separate directions.

I tackled the black trail, which was nicely steep and long. Too bad that it was pretty wide. If it had been half its width, it would be a legitimately scary run. I thought I was going down fast until some skiers just blew past me on my right. Whoa! I wanted to race them but, being on rental equipment, I eased up and let gravity do its job. Note to self: get all ski gear back from Boston.

At 2 pm, like a good tourist, I got back on the van. The kid from Malaysia sat beside me and told me how his lesson went. He said that, at the end of the day, he got on the lift and finally skied down from the top of the green trail. He was pumped and the smile on his face was indescribable. Man, we all felt that, didn't we?

I asked him if he would ski again and he said: definitely! Another skier is born.

One planet under snow. Ski the Far East!
 
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snowmonster

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A typical Saturday crowd at Jisan. Jisan gets pounded not only by people from Seoul but also by foreign tour groups (like mine). They even have a separate learning area for foreigners. They do have a ski school but the kid I was with was going to take lessons from the tour bus driver. Hmmm... By the way, see that station on the bottom right of the photo? Those are hoses connected to air pumps to clean off snow from your boards.
ImageUploadedByAlpineZone1425111748.831064.jpg

Moguls! As much as AZers love them, I'm still terrible! Random thought: these are pretty oddly shaped moguls.
ImageUploadedByAlpineZone1425111767.309036.jpg

The steepest run at Jisan. It's actually decently pitched, long and fast. If only it were narrower, it would actually be a real challenge to ski this. I saw a lot of Korean skiers maching this trail. They were very good. I saw the future of Korean skiing on this trail.
ImageUploadedByAlpineZone1425111821.478648.jpg

A brand new experience: eating ramen and kimchi at the lodge at the peak. In my opinion, every ski area must serve ramen. It's a great way to warm up and beats two chili dogs and a beer any time. Ski slopes can be the same throughout the world but nothing says that you're skiing in Asia more than a steaming bowl of ramen while you're in ski boots.
ImageUploadedByAlpineZone1425111839.860034.jpg
 

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Cornhead

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So cool to ski a TR from you once again SM. Are you living in Korea now, or was this a vacation? Yes that bump run does look peculiar. Greek Peak does have something they call an "Asian Bowl" that looks good, I haven't tried. It is on the bar menu, which is pretty good this year. I think some stickers are in order, "Ski The Far East", be a cool change from all the " Ski The East" stickers we see everywhere.
 

deadheadskier

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Very nice snowmonster!

I actually had fairly good Ramen yesterday at Ragged Mountain. It certainly wasn't the quality you get at a traditional noodle bar, but not bad at all and a nice change from typical bar food served at ski areas.
 

snowmonster

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So cool to ski a TR from you once again SM. Are you living in Korea now, or was this a vacation? Yes that bump run does look peculiar. Greek Peak does have something they call an "Asian Bowl" that looks good, I haven't tried. It is on the bar menu, which is pretty good this year. I think some stickers are in order, "Ski The Far East", be a cool change from all the " Ski The East" stickers we see everywhere.

I live in Manila, the Philippines now. The closest snow to me is either Korea or Japan. I had a business trip to Seoul last month so I decided to squeeze in two days of skiing. Outstanding! Maybe I'll print up some SKI THE FAR EAST stickers and bring them over next time I come over to the US. Save me some spiedies!

Outstanding thread! Thanks, really enjoyed that! More please!

Thanks! You'll have to wait a year though. I'm hitting Japan next year.

Thats really cool sm


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Thanks! More next year.

Nice!!!!!!

Wish you were here, brother!


Very nice snowmonster!

I actually had fairly good Ramen yesterday at Ragged Mountain. It certainly wasn't the quality you get at a traditional noodle bar, but not bad at all and a nice change from typical bar food served at ski areas.

As good as the ramen is around here, I'm craving a good bowl of chili (and chowder) right around now. Come over for a food tour, deadhead! There's some awesome stuff here.
 

snowmonster

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Great trip report! Nice to hear from an AZone legend of sorts.

Thanks! I don't know about the legend part but it sure is great to be back posting on here!

We expect a trip report for the greatest resort in your neck of the woods soon: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Pass_Ski_Resort-Wonsan_Kangwon_Province.html

Welcome back sm!

Thanks, kelly! Where did you find this? Assuming that my government does not put me in jail for travelling to North Korea, this is now on the hitlist. Next trip to Korea, I'm definitely traveling to the DMZ on the North-South border. No South Korean citizens allowed and I have to carry my passport with me to enter the place. Should be a treat. Ski the Far East!
 

snowmonster

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My buddy Rodman was telling me about it. ;)
Of course, the Dear Leader's best bud!

Those moguls look more like reverse moguls. Troughs into the snow rather than bumps coming out of the snow.
Yeah, that's what it looked like to me. It's like they wanted moguls and sent some kid up with a shovel to dig holes in the snow.
 
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