Konjiam is the most convenient hill in the immediate vicinity of Seoul, both in terms of access and also their flexible ticketing system. For the riding available I also rate it slightly better than its near neighbours Jisan Forest Resort and Yangji Pine Resort, and best in Gyeonggi-do province (along with Bears Town); for a quick half-day on the slopes near Seoul, Konjiam is the best option. This is my choice for a season pass for local riding when in Seoul for the season.
Konjiam Resort: the hill
Homepage and piste map:
It’s the typical setup with a small ski area but a huge and highly developed base area with large hotel/condo buildings, excellent facilities and plenty of food and drink available, and attached golf course for the summer months.
The riding itself is essentially limited to one (pair of) main lift(s) to the top of the main hill (with a few more lifts going part way which do nothing in terms of opening up any terrain, but are pretty essential for the extra uplift capacity on busy weekends and holidays), plus a bunny slope to the side with its own lift. The lifts are fast and comfortable, as is standard in Korea. For intermediate riders and above, essentially you’re just going to be lapping the main lift, with a handful of available routes down; I find skier’s right the most satisfying among them, but you’ll likely have it all skied out in an hour.
There’s a small but reasonably decent park towards the bottom; it doesn’t have its own lift though, so you either have to hit it on your laps or session it by hiking the features (they have small and medium kickers, plus various boxes and rails).
Konjiam Resort is good for:
Ease of access. For those without vehicles, Konjiam has the easiest access of any ski resort from Seoul; you can reach Konjiam by free resort shuttle from points all over the city, or take the Seoul Metro to Gonjiam Station and the shuttle bus from there (see below for details)
Lift tickets. The flexible ticketing system means you pay for a certain amount of time without being limited to pre-ordained start & finish times.
These two points make Konjiam by far the most convenient hill around Seoul.
The park is decent by the standards of Seoul area hills (though Jisan’s is better)
Open until 4am! (though I have no idea who goes there at such a time)
Konjiam Resort is not so good for:
Size. Although it is slightly larger than the other Seoul local hills Jisan Forest, Yangji Pine, and Star Hill, it’s still one of the smaller hills in a country of small hills.
Their English website is pretty useless (that’s where we come in!)
Konjiam Resort lift tickets
Konjiam gets top marks for selling tickets which start from the time you actually buy them, rather than for the rigid AM/PM/Evening time slots that most Korean resorts follow. As you can arrive at any time through the day using the train & shuttle bus, this makes Konjiam an attractive option. They also sell a wide range of ticket lengths, from 1-hour to full day (though the 1-hour and 2-hour tickets are very poor value; I’d get 4 hours to make it worthwhile). As usual in Korea there’s a snow grooming break, but it’s only for an hour at 6pm (rather than the 90-minute or 2-hour breaks at most resorts). You can check the rates on their website (not shown in summer months), and here’s a (not very clear – apologies) photo of their 2016/17 rates as shown at the ticket windows – the top box is weekdays, the middle box is weekends (bottom is rental). In the top rows, 시간 means ‘hours’. The 대인 and 소인 rows are ‘adult’ and ‘child’, respectively:
Most visitors will probably want to stay in Seoul and take a shuttle bus to Konjiam (see below for access details); for the best rates, search Agoda for hotel deals in Seoul
Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. 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!
If you do want to stay at Konjiam itself, accommodation is available at the base of the slopes in the Konjiam Resort Condo; information and reservation details on their site here
How to get to Konjiam
Konjiam is easily accessed by subway and/or shuttle bus. It can be reached on Seoul Metro’s newly opened (September 2016) Gyeonggang line; the stop is called Gonjiam, and the resort runs a regular free shuttle from there (once or twice per hour from 9am to 11pm). This enables you to make your way to the hill throughout the day, taking anything from 45 minutes (from e.g. Gangnam) to 90 minutes (from e.g. Hongdae) to Gonjiam Station, depending where you start from, plus the 20-minute shuttle bus ride.
This was the schedule in 2016/17 (1st column is departure from the resort, 4th column is Gonjiam Station, and the 6th column is arrival at the resort):
They also run free shuttles direct from various pickup spots across the city, with morning buses from all of them plus midday buses from some of them; return buses leave in the evening at 6pm, plus 3pm buses for some of them and even 11:30pm and 4:30am(!) buses on the main lines (Sadang / Jamsil) on weekends / holidays.
During the ski season you can find the shuttle bus schedules on their transportation page here. This information isn’t displayed in summer though, so here’s a screenshot of the 2016/17 schedule from Sadang and Jamsil:
The customer service desk has English-speaking staff and all the bus schedules, but information for the return buses is also displayed at the bus stop:
Handily, a ‘for foreigner’ number is provided:
The resort shuttles obviously work out cheaper than using the Metro to Gonjiam, and will likely also be faster (unless you’re based somewhere southeast of Gangnam / Jamsil). This author’s preferred route is the midday bus from Sadang, taking just 45 minutes, and the 6pm return bus.
The pickup spot at Sadang might not be immediately obvious if you’re unfamiliar with Seoul; when you come out of exit 1, walk straight for 50m past the bus stop:
The bus pulls in at the parking area just after this bus stop, and you want to wait in this spot:
There’s usually a bunch of people waiting so it should be obvious once you see them.
Konjiam has the usual large and well-catered base area facilities, here’s the main cafeteria:
Any questions about Konjiam Resort? Leave a comment below!