Alpensia has a shiny new base village that wouldn’t be out of place in Whistler, or any modern North American resort. It’s an indication just how much development has been pumped into skiing in Korea. Hotels, condos and chalets are all sprouting like mushrooms as Alpensia follows the tried & tested real estate based resort model. It’s paid for great lifts, 2 new six packs & a quad supplying 100% of the uphill grunt. Which would be totally awesome, except for the minor detail of the 192m vertical drop and total of 6 runs!
That’s no problem according to the official website, which boasts “Alpensia Ski Resort offers the slope for snowboarders where you can enjoy speed beyond your wildest imagination”.
That would be the short but sweet snowboarders only ‘Eco’ run presumably.
Yes, the big village bears no relation to the size of the slopes, there are only 6 actual runs, no off-piste and no terrain park (yet anyway), so we can sum up the skiing in a couple of lines: a nice wide beginner run; 4 intermediate runs (one for boarders only); and one ‘advanced’ run that’s a bit steeper. Good for your first day or two for beginners, a few hours fun for cruisers, or a few laps for better riders to loosen the legs and that’s about it. Definitely a place where the time tickets make sense.
Presumably given all the development they’ll have to carve out some more slopes, but the runs won’t get any longer unless they put a linking run &/or gondola over the back side, which runs down to the Yongpyong base.
But the hotels are apparently rated the best ski hotels in Korea now, the Intercontinental being the only 5 star ski hotel in the country, and with a car or using shuttles you can easily stay here to ski Yongpyong.
The massive Ocean 700 indoor water park will work for families, and for ex-pats holed in up a some smog laden Asian mega-city within a couple of hours flight it makes a very handy short break destination as a fun park with snow – especially if your kids/partner have never skied before.
In typical Korean fashion they had the Olympic facilities like the ski jump ready way ahead of the event, and going up the tower has been a popular tourist attraction. It’s home for nordic events as well as the ski jumping.
But a minor downside of the Olympic year is it has shut the skiing down for the season .. so wait till 2019.
Alpensia Mountain stats
• Summit 892m, base 700m, max vertical 192m
• 250cm snowfall, 100% snowmaking coverage
• 6 trails longest 1.4km, terrain 40% beginner, 50% intermediate, 10% advanced
• 3 lifts including 2 six pacs & 1 quad
• Lift pass rates n/a closed for Olympic season
Alpensia accommodation and packages
Mogul Ski World have packages here and combined with nearby Yongpyong.
Details: 1800 335 724 www.mogulski.com.au
Alpensia tourist info
Gangwon Province is the home of skiing in South Korea, check their site for more ski info & on the many other attractions http://eng.gwd.go.kr/
Korea Tourism Office are a great source of info with many offices worldwide for local material, check www.visitkorea.or.kr
Resort info www.alpensiaresort.co.kr/EnSptsSkiIntro.gdc