|Inside the ski jang of Bearstown Ski Resort|
If you were born and grew up in a tropical country like me, the thought of trying some winter sports like skiing could be challenging, exciting and intimidating. So if ever you are in Korea on a winter day, don’t ever leave this country without at least taking one winter sport, and for that, I would recommend skiing.
Well, there aren’t any ski resorts or “ski jang” as what they call it in Korea in downtown Seoul, but if ever you want to really try this sport, the nearest ski resort in Seoul is the Bearstown Ski Resort(베어스타운리조트 스키장) . It is roughly one hour and a half away from Seoul. It is a very large complex located at this address: 27, Geumgang-ro 2536beon-gil, Naechon-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 포천시 내촌면 금강로2536번길 27 (내촌면) ). The advantage of Bearstown Ski Resort over any resort existing in South Korea is that it is very much accessible via public transportation. All you need to do is take Bus No. 11 from Gangbyeon Station. To take bus number 11, you need to get out of the exit 4 of Gangbyeon Station, and then cross the street and walk to the right. Then cross the street again until you reach the bus stop where you can catch Bus Number 11. The travel time from Gangbyeon Station is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
|This big bear will welcome you at the Bearstown Ski Resort|
The entrance to the Bearstown Ski Resort is totally free. If you want to ride the lift so you can go up the slope, you need to buy a ticket from the ticket office. For the complete information about the prices of the ticket based on the time and the level of slope, you can CHECK THIS LINK for more information. At the Ski Jang, there are lockers, change rooms and rental shops for ski gears available for your convenience.
|The courageous men taking on the ski challenge|
As for us, we did not pay for the ticket because we decided to just ski in the practice area. We rented Ski gears at the nearby rental shop for just 10, 000 won ($10) for 4 hours. We did not invest that much on ski clothing and lift because we were there just to experience it. In fact, our primary purpose of going to Bearstown Ski Resort is to attend the Men and Women’s Conference for the Filipino Delegates in Korea. Since we still have time after the conference, some of us decided to stay for one afternoon just to try skiing. There are a lot of rental shops in the area, but we rented at the shop considerably far from the slopes, the good thing about these shops is that, they can offer you a free ride to the ski jang so you won’t be bothered carrying all those heavy ski gears.
It was not my first time to ski. I first tried skiing at Jisan Ski Resort in Icheon, but I admit I was not really that good because as what I’ve said, I didn’t invest much on this as I just wanted to try it. Although it’s my second time already, I still find it intimidating because it’s a hard winter sport, at least in my book.
|This brave little kid is actually feeling nervious inside|
When we entered the ski jang, my excitement turned into nightmare because it was so difficult to move around with my ski gears. Like any moment, I can fall and get injured. Then I saw other people who were probably trying the sports for the first time struggling to move around and stumbled on the snow bed. It looks like fun, but when you are actually experiencing it, it’s so scary. At first I was all so sissy because I was thinking of the possible fiasco this experience may bring to me, but I saw my friends doing it well like they were fishes swimming in the water, so I got motivated to man up too. They went up to the level of slope high enough to instill more fear in me, but they challenged me to come with them, and being the man of courage that I am, I went with them a little bit higher than I think I could manage, but it was a challenge for me.
|Getting the hang of skiing and snowboarding|
I was so jealous at them, some of them were first timers, but I think they got the stamina, the energy and the will to do the sports. I wished to be like them, so I was there, at the middle of the slope, standing with them, looking down the hills. I am not afraid of height, but boy, I was so scared. One by one, they went skiing down the hill, and I was still there, standing, watching and listening to my heartbeart. They climbed back already to try another round, and I was still there, standing and waiting for nothing. They motivated me, so I observed again to make sure I am not making a single mistake. Then I decided to try it just for once. If I stumble and fall in the middle of the slope, it’s ok, I can still get up and try again (OR NOT!.. hahaha). I mustered up all the courage inside of me, and then I started sliding down the hill in a fast uncontrollable pace. The only thing I don’t like about the ski resort is that, there are a lot of people, and if you are skiing, there’s a big chance you’ll bump with somebody, and that would surely hurt. I was shouting while I was sliding down the hill for people to get out of my way. I think I shouted loud enough because apparently, they gave way for me. Now I have a problem!!! How to stop? That was my dilemma. I don’t know how to stop. So I maneuvered my ski so it will go into the direction where there’s flat area hoping that it will stop when I get there. But my ski won’t stop even at the flat surface, it could be because I skied too fast. So I decided to just hit the side wall, but the problem was, there were a lot of people standing there. So before I hit them, I shouted so loud again, thankfully, I hit the wall and not the people. It hurts though, but I just laughed it off. There’s ski patrol coming over to help me up, but I wanted to show I was man enough to stand up on my own, so the rescuer just backed off anyway.. haha
Despite of the hurt I got on my first fall, I climbed back up the hill (because we didn’t pay for the lift, we have to climb on feet and carry our ski gears), skied again. I tried several times, sometimes I managed to ski without falling, and sometimes, some minor shits happened. LOL. But I realized, that what’s make skiing even more fun and challenging. I can’t say I got the hang of it already, but if I still have another chance to ski, I would surely do it again.
|At the cozy lobby of the hotel at Bearstown Resort|
Aside from the ski jang, there are also other winter ski sports like sledding. We didn’t try it because we just think it’s for sissies and for the kids, but I think it’s fun too. There are a lot of accommodations at Bearstown Ski Resort. There are hotels and pension houses you can rent if you want to stay there overnight. And did I mention we went there for a conference? Yes, because there are also venues perfect for this kind of event. Right beside the ski Jang, there are hotels perfect for your accommodations if you want to stay there overnight. I just think it’s too pricey though for an average of 192,000 won - 354,000 won fee.
|At some random Korean restaurant in the area|
Restaurants and coffee shops are also plenty in the area. If you feel hungry after trying out different winter activities at the resort, you can just grab coffee, or burger or even Korean food at the restaurants nearby.
It was a fun and memorable day at Bearstown Ski Resort. I can feel the pain of stumbling and falling, but more than that, the experience worth it all. At least I know I can ski, not as good as the experts, but in my book, I can ski too well! haha