High1 Resort

High1 is located in the heart of the Taebaek Mountains, Korea’s main range, and offers the most serious piece of ski terrain in the country. This isn’t a ski / golf / water park all-in-one leisure resort; this is a proper ski hill with proper runs (although the High1 Hotel does actually have an attached golf course… and there’s a casino! And lots of good hiking… so it is popular year-round)

High1, view from the gondola

High1 has one of the best natural snowfall records in Korea, so isn’t quite as reliant as most Korean hills on snowmaking – this isn’t saying all that much, but at least you’ll be getting some of the real stuff under your board.

Mountain scenery at High1

The Taebaek Mountains

Also, take note: High1 offers a whopping 50% discount to foreigners! Just remember to take your passport with you, and present it at the ticket counter when you buy your lift ticket.

High1: the hill

Mountain stats
Highest lifted point: 1,367m
Lowest skiable point: 720m
Vertical drop: 647m
Lifts: 10
Runs: 18
Longest run: 4.2km (‘Z1’ > ‘Z3’)
Terrain park: yes
Halfpipe: yes

Homepage and piste map (click to enlarge):

High1 piste map

There are three base areas, although one of them is just the High1 Hotel, located on the side of the mountain some distance from the town of Gohan with its own gondola – High1 Gondola – direct to the top, but no ski in/ski out piste access. The main base areas are Mountain House, high above the town of Sabuk, and Valley House lower down in Gohan; the Valley Gondola connects these two bases, and you can ski down from Mountain House to Valley House via the Athena 3 run. From Mountain House, the Mountain Gondola (which is the main gondola) runs up to the top.

High1 Resort

In addition to the three gondolas, High1 has a total of 7 chairlifts running up the two facing sides of a valley, with all the runs funnelling down from the two top stations (Valley Top & Mountain Top) to Valley House at the bottom.

The vertical drop at High1 is similar to that at Yongpyong, and a bit less than at Muju Deogyusan, but a crucial difference is that while Yongpyong has only one full run all the way down and Muju Deogyusan a couple, at High1 you have a much greater variety of top-to-bottom options. Although it’s certainly no Whistler, High1 offers the most satisfying terrain and downhill skiing in Korea (arguably along with Yongpyong), though perhaps it’ll be eclipsed in this regard by the soon-to-open Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

They also do a good job with their freestyle efforts; the park isn’t quite as impressive as the more specialist setups at Phoenix Park and Welli Hilli, but High1 is otherwise the best freestyle hill you’ll find in Korea.

Ski slopes at High1 Resort

High1 is good for:

Freestyle – best in Korea after Welli Hilli Park and Phoenix Park.

Terrain – the best variety of top-to-bottom runs at any single resort in Korea.

All levels of riding.

50% discount for all foreigners! (remember to take your passport)

High1 is not so good for:

Day trips from Seoul! It’s doable, but it’s probably just a bit too far to be worth it for most; better to stay for a couple of days if possible.

High1 lift tickets

High1 is open from 8:30 to 22:00. Their lift tickets follow the typical system in Korea, with the operating hours split into day & night by a 2-hour snow grooming break at 4pm; the daytime hours are subdivided into AM and PM. You can get a ticket for AM, PM, or Night, or a combination of the above, as per here (Korean page, but obvious enough). Prices range from 62,000 for a single slot to 92,000 for PM & Night combined.

They have a very handy ticket option of Night (18:00 – 22:00) and morning (8:30 – 12:00) the following day, for 90,000 won. This is very useful if you want to hit High1 from Seoul and only have 2 days, as you can travel on the first day and ski in the evening, then ski again in the morning before travelling back.

And remember, there’s a 50% discount for foreigners! Your passport is required to get the discount, so don’t forget it.

High1: accommodation

There are multiple accommodation options at the resort itself, with more in the towns of Sabuk and Gohan below.

The resort accommodation consists of three condos (Hill Condo, Mountain Condo, Valley Condo) and three hotels (High1 Hotel, High1 Convention Hotel, Kangwonland Hotel); click on each property name to view details or make a reservation.

Alternatively, you can stay in Gohan or Sabuk. Gohan has a few hotels listed here, while Sabuk is good for budget options with an Ekonomy Hotel and a number of love motels. Some of them can actually be reserved online here, but the others are walk-in joints – which you probably can’t bank on having availability if it’s a holiday, but should be fine otherwise (staying at a love motel may sound off-putting to some, but they’re actually decent places and not as seedy as the name might suggest, and could make for an interesting Korean experience!)

If you’re going to base yourself in Seoul and hit High1 from there, it’s a long day but it can be done (see below for access details); see Agoda for hotel deals in Seoul

Airbnb is also a good option in Korea, and they have a few listings near High1 in the Sabuk/Gohan area. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!

Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation

For full details on where to stay for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, see this page for advice and the latest updates

How to get to High1

High1 can be reached by train from Seoul’s Cheongyangni Station, with trains costing around 14,000 won and taking around 3.5 hours to Sabuk or Gohan. These two stations are a few minutes apart in neighbouring towns, and are connected to High1 by free resort shuttle buses; check the train & shuttle schedules here, see which shuttle bus (i.e. from Gohan or Sabuk) best matches your preferred train time, and choose your destination station accordingly. There’s some good scenery along the way, so try to get a window seat!

The highway bus is actually faster than the train in this case, though it doesn’t link up with the shuttle buses so you have to take a taxi from the Gohan bus terminal to High1 (the location of the bus terminal in an odd little turnoff from the highway is not conducive to walking into Gohan itself). The bus goes from Dong Seoul (East Seoul) Terminal located next to Gangbyeon Station (Line 2), takes around 3 hours, costs around 18,000 won, and runs roughly every 30 to 60 minutes (bus schedule here, page 2 in blue)

The resort operates free shuttles for both of the local train stations, but not the bus station. If accessing High1 from Sabuk Station, the shuttle bus takes you to Mountain House. If accessing from Gohan, the shuttle bus goes to both bases but Valley House is first; if taking a taxi from Gohan bus terminal, Valley House is significantly closer. If you’re going to the High1 Hotel, you need to take the shuttle from Gohan. The shuttle bus system is clearly explained here.

Another option is a direct bus transfer from Seoul to the resort with these guys. It’s a bit more expensive, but way less hassle as it’s 3.5 hours from Seoul direct to High1 with no transfers.

When the new Gangneung KTX line opens in late 2017 it will run from Seoul to Gangneung in an hour or so; from Gangneung you can then take a bus to Gohan and taxi to High1. This should work out an hour or so faster than the existing routes (though certainly also a fair bit more expensive).

Any questions about High1 Resort? Leave a comment below!

For more Gangwon-do resorts, see here; for full reviews of every Korean ski resort, see here

Also check out the best Korean ski resorts according to various criteria, and this size comparison of Korea’s ski resorts using satellite imagery

If you’re visiting before/during the Olympics, see the top 5 hills to ski at during Pyeongchang 2018, and for more information and the latest updates on Pyeongchang 2018 see here

16 comments on “High1 Resort
  1. Aaron says:

    Just checked their website and saw they have kids school.
    Do they provide English or Chinese Lessons?
    Originally we were planned for Yongpyong. But also checking if there are other viable options since Yongpyong will not fully open.

    • snorton says:

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for stopping by & commenting. I’m not sure about Chinese, but yes High1 definitely offers lessons in English. Yongpyong does too, but for the coming season High1 is the best choice.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Sandi says:

    Hi,

    Any idea when they’ll open for the 2017/2018 season. Will be in Korea in about 2 weeks time and was wondering if mid-Nov would be too early. Couldn’t find any official info on any of the websites.

    Thanks,
    Sandi

  3. Fenn says:

    which condo is best for ski in/out in High1? And how do I get there directly from Incheon airport?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Fenn, Valley Condo (book here) and Hill Condo (book here) are ski in. Valley Condo is best for the gondola.

      To access from Incheon Airport, there are direct buses. See here (halfway down)

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!

  4. Fenn says:

    Thanks Simon! I thought i read the gondolas are at Valley Condo and Mountain Condo. Now you’re saying it’s Hill Condo, i’m properly confused 🙁

    • Simon Norton says:

      Oh, sorry for the confusion… actually Hill Condo is a short walk from Valley Condo. The gondola base station is directly next to Valley Condo

  5. Fenn says:

    But regardless, i checked Agoda and its all fully booked! I am so disappointed and trying to contact the hotels directly. Do you have any other recommendations to see if i can get a room in either of the condo?

    • Simon Norton says:

      It’s not surprising I’m afraid… due to the Olympics I guess it’s going to be very hard to get accommodation at most resorts this season.

      What I’d suggest is staying in Gohan town. It means you don’t have ski in accommodation, but some of the hotels are close (walkable) to the Valley House base station (be sure to check the exact location on the map when booking). You can search Gohan hotels here. It’s not ideal, but to be honest I think it may be your only option if you want to go to High1 this season.

      Let me know if you manage to book something! (or if you have any more questions)

  6. Fenn says:

    I managed to get in touch with a staff and he said Mountain Condo might still be available. I’m awaiting his confirmation, but is it also far from the gondolas?

    If that doesnt work out, which hotel do you recommend that is truly within walking distance to the base station? Thank you so much for all the advices

  7. Fenn says:

    Simon, i guess, the more appropriate question would be, do you have a map of the High1 resort where i could see the location of the other hotels?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Fenn, sorry for the slow response, have had a couple of busy days travelling back to Korea. In Seoul now and ready to rock the season!

      When you look at the hotel listings on Agoda, if you scroll down the bottom you can see exactly where each hotel is on the map and check the distance to High1.

      Sorry, I think my previous posts weren’t clear enough about the condos – all of the condos are convenient for the gondola! Valley Condo is right next to the gondola base, Hill Condo is a short walk from it, Mountain Condo is slightly further but you can ski to it so yes it’s also a good place to stay!

      Did you make that condo reservation in the end? Or a hotel?

      Let me know if you’re sorted, or if you have any more questions

    • Simon Norton says:

      Oh yeah, and if you look at the High1 slope map (the one pictured above) you can actually see the 3 condo buildings at the bottom. That should give you a better idea of the setup

  8. Steven says:

    Do you have any good rental shops around Gohan recommend and they can communicate in english?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Steven,

      You can rent boards from High1, or from the rental shops in Gohan. I’ve never done either personally, but my understanding is that the resort has better boards than the shops, but the shops are cheaper. I’m afraid I don’t have recommendations on any specific shops, but there are a number of them there. I wouldn’t worry too much about communication – their English will usually be sufficient for the purpose!

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