During the 2013-2014 Ski Season, the Two Crabs had the opportunity to sample four of Korea's major ski resorts: Yongpyong, Phoenix Park, Bears Town and High 1 Resort. Of those, HIGH 1 is by far the tops! The Two Crabs visited High 1 during the American President's Day holiday weekend with dozens of friends and colleagues.
High 1 is a four-hour drive from downtown Seoul, located in the southeast corner of Gangwon province. It's certainly not the closest, but it's worth the drive. At 1,367m (4,484 ft), High 1 is the highest elevation and most snow-sure of Korea's ski resorts, hene the name.
Don't let the poorly-designed piste ski map steer you wrong: this place is HUGE. 18 runs. 3 gondolas. 6 chairlifts. The resort is a huge horseshoe-shaped bowl, with all the runs dumping into a common mid-station before ending in a gentle green slope down to the base village.
There's something for everyone here. For beginners, there are several gentle, long lazy green slopes. For experts, there are actually some honest-to-gods challenging (albeit short) slopes to tackle. Non-skiers will find dozens of restaurants and cafes, a huge casino and great accomodations. Our group of 6 stayed in a large, 2-bedroom Mountain Condo with heated ondol floors. Our hotel complex even had several outdoor hot tubs!
High 1 has one major negative point in our book: the slopes are "dry". You won't find a drop of alcohol for sale at any of the slopeside restaurants, cafeterias and cafes. The only place to find booze at High 1 is the lone convenience store at the base station, the casino, or bring it with you. As noted before on this blog, Koreans have yet to embrace the Apres Ski scene!
A few more scenes from High 1: