2019 updates

The 2018/19 season was a late starter due to higher than usual November temperatures, and it’s continued to be a relatively mild winter (by Korean standards) since then. The mountains have had very little natural snowfall (pretty much none in the Seoul area resorts), and while they’re all doing a typically good job of grooming and keeping everything skiable there isn’t much base and we’re probably looking at an earlier than usual finish (late Feb to early March) unless February brings some heavy snowfall. Fingers crossed!

I was up at Phoenix Park last week and they were still hadn’t finished building the halfpipe even in late January – had a chat to the park crew who lamented the lack of snow this season. Welli Hilli Park have finished their halfpipe, but seem to be struggling to keep it groomed & open (the regular runs are obviously higher priority).

Personally I spent the first half of the season doing the rounds of the resorts to update the info & pictures on the site, and have bought a half-season pass for Welli Hilli Park which is where I’ll be spending my remaining ski days for this winter – broke my arm on one of the jumps there last season, so will take it easy in the terrain park this year! I also still need to get over and check out O2 Resort which has partially re-opened a few years after closing down – planning to do that next week (update: this never happened because I broke my ribs! It’s first on the list for next season). I also spent a fun day teaching a couple of friends, hadn’t coached anyone for years but they did pretty well:

Teaching friends at Welli Hilli Park

Teaching friends at Welli Hilli Park

Have been getting a few emails & comments already asking about closing dates, I’ll update this post with those when they start being announced in a few weeks – as always, give me a shout below if you have any questions.

Update: closing dates confirmed now as follows. Konjiam March 3rd, Elysian Gangchon March 3rd, Star Hill March 3rd, Jisan March 3rd, Bears Town early March (expect it’ll be March 3rd, but shuttle service ends on Feb 28th), Eden Valley March 3rd (plus an extra day open on the 9th), Oak Valley March 2nd, Alpensia March 10th, Well Hilli Park March 10th, Vivaldi Park March 18th, High1 & Yongpyong March 24th.

Note that you can usually get around a 50% discount on lift passes in these final weeks of the season.

Doing the rounds:

High1 Resort


Oak Valley

Oak Valley

View of Yongpyong from Alpensia

Nice view of Yongpyong from the top of Alpensia

Terrain park at Welli Hilli

Welli Hilli Park

24 comments on “2019 updates
  1. Hessa says:

    I will be in Seoul around end Feb and wondering should I still visit the Ski resort? Do you have any recommendation which one should I go? (I am ski noob)
    To be exact, I am looking at 27/28 Feb.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. Will Wu says:


    Thanks for the guide and information. Was just wondering whether any other closing dates were set for the ski resorts. Headed to Seoul 1st of March, would you have any recommendations?

    Kind Regards

  3. Ben says:

    Are there any further updates on Yongpyong? I’ve tried contacting the resort via email, Facebook (Korean & English) and email, but no response. Thanks in advance.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ben,

      You can check the calendar here. 주간 means daytime and 야간 is night skiing; closing day presently scheduled for the 24th.

      • Ben says:

        Awesome. Thanks for the quick response. The English website doesn’t give those dates, just events, and it stops at a photo event on 19th Feb. So, there’s no way I would have found that calendar without your help.

        So, it seems daytime skiing will remain open until the 24th. Evening/Night skiing was until the 2nd, then evening skiing again on the 8/9th. I also saw on the Korean Facebook page a post about the cable car now remaining open until 31st March.

        (And sorry I posted twice – all done via mobile and I was unsure whether I was submitting or posting a comment as no confirmation is given!)

        • Simon Norton says:

          No worries, that’s my fault, unfortunately I don’t quite have the budget for this site to ensure a super sexy user experience! But yes you have those dates correct, and yes their English site is always out of date!

  4. Farid says:

    hi There,
    Me and my family is going to Seoul Next weel 23-29/3. Will there still a good time to visit Jisan for some snowy view or even sledding for our kids?


  5. Jane says:

    Hi Simon,

    What a fab blog- love the tips; I’ll be abusing the one about the discounted lift passes in particular!

    We’re planning on a week’s skiing this year in Yongpyeong starting on Boxing Day and I’m looking into getting to the resort directly from Incheon Airport … any wisdom pearls you can drop will be greatly appreciated!

    Kindly, and with thanks,

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jane,

      Always good to hear the site’s useful, cheers!

      See here for info on direct buses from the airport to Yongpyong.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  6. Dave says:

    Hi hi,

    Me and my family will be visiting Seoul beginning Dec and would like to stay at one of the ski resorts near Seoul for a night or two, both princesses are 12 and 16, never had ski before.

    Any good recommendation?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Dave, I’d suggest perhaps Vivaldi Park, as it has English-speaking instructors, good non-skiing activities (water park and Snowy Land), and is super easy to reach from Seoul

  7. Don says:

    Hi Simon, we’re visiting seoul for 5 days from 4/12/19 – 9/12/19. What’s your experience with the snow season during those time? Do resorts open around the same time? Keen to squeeze in a full day sess or two. Cheers Don

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Don, the resorts usually open in mid to late November, but things can be pretty patchy throughout December in terms of how many runs they actually have open. Really depends on whether any natural snow falls, and how early the temperatures drop low enough for them to crank the snowmaking. If you’re beginner or low intermediate you should be happy enough with Vivaldi Park, if you’re more advanced it’s worth the extra effort to get over to Yongpyong, or Phoenix Park or Welli Hilli Park if you want to ride park.

  8. Adeline Poh says:

    Hi Simon, do you have any info for the 2019/2020 season? I would like to know the rates for the ski lift passes from 08 to 12 December 2019. Also the snowboarding board and boots rental rates for the Phoenix park ski slopes.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Adeline, they don’t announce that information until just before they open (Korea tends to have a very ‘last minute’ approach). But if you check the prices from last season (see here), they will basically be the same or slightly higher (e.g. lift passes often increase in price by 1000 KRW each year)

  9. Jane says:

    Hi! Me and my son(9yrs old) is going to korea this Nov 26-29, 2019 to experience the snow and the ski activity. But until now i dont have any idea if during our stay in korea some of the ski resort is open for ski adventure (basic only) that time. Thank you

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jane, if you look here you can see the opening dates from last season. The opening date varies according to the weather conditions in October/November, last season was later than average and you should usually be ok for Nov 26-29 but note that it can’t be guaranteed. I’d recommend Vivaldi Park as it’s usually one of the earliest to open, and it’s very easy to get there from Seoul (free direct tourist bus from Myeongdong) and caters well to beginners and non-skiers.

  10. Kevin says:

    Hi Simon – thanks for your posts, they are very helpful.

    Planning to be in Seoul over the Christmas period. I’m an upper intermediate and would be interested in your opinion on the best ski resort with intermediate/advanced slopes closer to Seoul (appreciating that there are limited options compared to Gangwon area). Looks like it might be Bears Town or Vivaldi?


    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kevin, yes the best in the near vicinity would be Bears Town. Vivaldi is actually just across the border in Gangwon-do, but if you’re willing to spend the extra 30 mins to get there it’s probably worth it (and in fact depending where your hotel’s located it might not even take longer). Vivaldi is the best resort you can hit in <2 hours travel time from Seoul. Exception to this would be if you want to ride park, in which case head to Jisan Forest

  11. Siew Siew says:

    I will be travelling to Seoul during year ends session and planning to stay at ski resort from 24 – 26 December 2019. However I couldn’t get any accommodation resort at Vivaldi Park. How to reserve the room there?

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Hi I’m Simon, British snowboard addict & travel blogger presently based in NE Asia. I run this site to help international visitors plan their trips to Korean ski resorts; you might also be interested in my travel blog (especially the Korea sightseeing and Japan snowboarding content) or my new site Rugby Guide Japan (for fans visiting the 2019 RWC)

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