Friday, December 16, 2011

1st Time Skiing

Because my friend suggested to go skiing in Japan, because I accepted the suggestion, and because I happen to be in Beijing, because my friend suggested why not learn skiing in Beijing 1st! So that was why I decided to forgo a trip to a remote Great Wall of China and went ahead to a ski resort to learn skiing..

As it turned out, I chose Huai Bei International Ski Resort (怀北国际滑雪场). The ski season just started not too long ago, so some of the ski resorts were not opened yet when I was there, and only a few lanes were ready. It is man made snow at this resort, so when we went, there were machines plowing through, generating snow..

We took the local bus 936 (look out for the bus that says to 怀北国际滑雪场) from Dongzhimen Old bus station. Bus fare is RMB14 one-way. There is a direct bus that departs from Dongzhimen at 810am and returns 1630 from the ski resort but it wasn't operating when we went. Check the website for bus information 怀北国际滑雪场

The bus journey took slightly more than 2hrs. Long bus ride, on hard seat.

Right outside of the ski resort, you can see a portion of the wild Great Wall that has not been refurbished and there were people on the dilapidated Great Wall. And it seemed as though there's no ticket office. A great idea for the next trip!

There were still machines making snow for the ski lanes. We called ahead and got a promotional price for a day pass of RMB180 (original RMB360), includes ski equipment. Clothes rental was RMB30 (jacket and pants), and you can rent gloves, helmets, etc.

We hired a coach (there were plenty at the doorway). RMB200 for 2 to 1 (it's RMB150 for 1-1) and incremental per hourly (no discount for more hours).

With our gears on, we started the coaching, learning how to wear the skis, remove the skis, laws of gravity (lean forward), how to stop (A-frame). Really makes use of your thigh muscles a fair bit!

My ski gear - Goggles + Hat + Gloves from china Taobao

Not as easy as it looks, gota have a lot of control and really push hard when doing the A-frame to make sure you really stop there and then, else you'll keep sliding down gradually...
After an hour, we decided to practice on our own and went up and down the beginner's ski lane

Going up the conveyor belt

Then we decided, let's go up the ski cable and try out a steeper beginner's slope!

On the ski cable

As the day went by, it actually started to become warmer and warmer...And I was practically perspiring under the jacket and my hair was all wet from wearing the beanie (couldn't take it off as my hair was totally messed up)

The Ski cable was a fun ride up, with the view of the entire ski resort. However, I had trouble getting off the cable. Hehe, couldn't ski off the path in time quite a number of times, had to be pulled away by the staff...

This is the intermediate slope. Didnt try this time

This is the steeper beginner's slope

We spent most of the day going up the ski cable and skiing down the slope. It's actually quite fun, and not that difficult on the beginner's slope.

Did I fall? Initially during coaching a couple of times. During the steeper beginner's slope? Once only.. Initially was frightening but it was quite a bit of a rush!

Still A-frame is very tiring and hard on the knees...Need to learn a new way if I were to tackle steeper slopes!

Still wondering, how am I to survivie a 3-day ski pass in Japan?

Initial try at skiing

A longer ski without stopping..Unfortch the vid was taken at the end

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