Well, it’s that time of year again when the leaves turn red and I start getting loads of messages asking when the ski resorts are opening! Before the bad news, here’s a pretty autumn picture (for the best autumn colour spots in Seoul see here):
But the bad news is that even though it’s already November, temperatures are still as high as 20 degrees Celsius in the afternoons (it was 17 today), and still above freezing overnight. Which means the resorts are nowhere near opening; they haven’t been able to make any snow yet, and temperatures aren’t predicted to drop much in the next week so basically there’s pretty much no chance of the resorts opening on schedule. November 16th was the target date for the earliest resorts, but I think we’re looking at late November at best just to get the first few runs open.
I’ll post opening dates here once we know what they are.
Update: Alpensia has announced they’ll open on Friday 22nd. Yongpyong, Phoenix Park, and High1 are likely to open the same weekend, though not confirmed yet. Probably Welli Hilli & Vivaldi too. Seoul area resorts usually open 1 or 2 weeks later. Note that if you go on opening weekend, it will suck but be very cheap; Alpensia’s selling tickets for 10k won for opening day.
Update: amazingly, Yongpyong managed to open on the 15th, see announcement here (also with tickets for just 10k won) and check out their live webcam here. Only one short lift & slope open though, with a thin covering of machine-made snow, so don’t expect too much if you go at this stage. Phoenix Park also opened on the 15th; Well Hilli Park, Vivaldi & High1 all scheduled for the 22nd.
Update confirmed opening dates so far:
Yongpyong: Nov 15th
Phoenix Park: Nov 15th
High1: Nov 22nd
Alpensia: Nov 22nd
Welli Hilli Park: Nov 22nd
Vivaldi Park: Nov 22nd
Elysian: Nov 22nd
Oak Valley: Nov 30th
Bears Town: Dec 5th
Jisan Forest: Dec 6th
Star Hill: Dec 6th
Konjiam: Dec 7th
O2: Dec 7th
Muju Deogyusan: Dec 7th
Eden Valley: Dec 13th
New Vivaldi bus route: one good thing I can report is an additional shuttle bus route to Vivaldi Park from Seoul Station. It originates from Hongdae at 9:30, then makes stops at Seoul Station at 10:00 and Konkuk University Station at 10:30 (in addition to the buses leaving Hongdae at 7:30 & 8:30 which stop at Myeongdong). These buses are free for overseas visitors, details here
Any questions, give me a shout below and I’ll get back to you