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Hitting Muju for the weekend
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rgreen8314



Joined: 20 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Ippy! awesome review. i just bookmarked the long one with the slope map so i can reread it before i go. sounds like the harmony lift is definitely the way to go. after reading the first half of this post i was thinking "well, screw snowboarding in korea, i'll just wait till i'm back in colorado..." but thankfully things got better for ya and now i'm definitely going to make some plans soon for a day trip. i've only been riding twice but i think they were a very productive two days (unless the people i was with were just flattering me) and i could handle those korean blacks at the top considering everything i've read says they'd just be blues in the states and i can definitely handle those...

a few questions...

how did the gwangju package thing work out? two hours on the bus sounds way better than the 3.5 on the public one. do they only run their offer on weekends or do they run a bus daily? although it sounds like if you hang out at the top going on a weekend won't affect you too much... i don't live in gwangju but i'm not far from it, i guess i could spend the night before by the bus terminal... if i call that number do they speak english or should i get a co-teacher to help?

always curious about the money... how much did your day cost you (ballpark)?

thanks again for the great review...
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ty7180 wrote:
Hey Ippy, I'm glad your trip turned into a good experience. I have to be honest though, I was laughing at your tales of misfortune a little bit Laughing I would try to get my students to help me out, but on a good day I'm lucky if they can string three words together!! I was going to go next week, but I called for reservations, and all the rooms were booked. They are supposed to have over a thousand rooms, so I can just imagine what the slopes will be like. We were going to try Bears town this weekend. We took all of our gear through the subway to our room just to be told they cancelled the shuttle bus for the day! There was a lot of Snow today in Seoul, and I wanted to go snowboarding so bad that I almost decided to try it out on a street with a little hill. I should probably thank my better half for talking me out of it. I'll be going for sure the weekend after next, and I'll take your advice on the slopes. Do you think the good run you were talking about will be ok for me to go on, or should I stick to less challenging runs. Who would have thought, this thread is actually turning out to be pretty informative Shocked Have a fun New Years!


since youre quite new to the game, i assume youre barely linking turns yet. I seriously wouldnt take you above the middle yet. In fact the mansun comment ("if you HAVE TO stay down the bottom"), was pretty much directed right at you Smile The top of the silk road is relatively easy, but id seriously think about building up your snow miles before you try hitting it with anything more than a slide. Its okay until it starts getting bendy and at that point might be a little challenging for you both.

However, you can do it, (hell you could do any run you wanted with a side slide), its just not going to be as fun as properly riding it Smile If it all gets a bit stale though next time youre up, save it as a little treat. Id say its a only really a tough beginner run, and only because of some of the steeps on it. Though unlike a lot of the beginner paths youll find on most courses, this one doesnt come with the fun extra of tiny narrow routes with a certain death cliff drop Smile Its actually not that hard, so definitely have a go once you feel confident. In fact with less people than your average green run, its probably EASIER for you at the end of the day.

The same goes with some of the red runs. You can do them, but its going to take a lot of your will just to drop over the edge on them. Theyre pretty steep at the very top (55 and 50 degrees) which would put off most newbie riders in itself. You wont know how to control the speed for sure and will spend a lot of time on yoru ass. I did this plenty when i was learning though, but i guess the difference here is that once you get past the 5mm of snow, its solid ice underneath. You fall, and youre probably hurting yoruself as well as sliding pretty much to the bottom Smile Which reminds me, a lot of the challenge up top is really the ice. The snow hasnt been dumped so heavy up there, and what little there is seems to have blown away. This means youll need a bit of carving ability to control it. (Which is actually what youll need to be working on anyway after you can link turns). Again, you can ride ANYTHING. I rode the 1998 mens olympic downhill course at happo1 on around my 4th day out Smile It didnt hurt though that it was a powder dump (seriously dumped!) so falling (which i did a lot of to get down) was actually hysterically good fun!
I also learned how to link a turn by dropping into a red run. The faster the board went it seemed the easier a time i had it. You literally had to make the turn once you hit the fall line Smile

Its not the way id personally recommend, but its a blast doing those things when you shouldnt be doing them, so even though the rational part of me says no, you shouldnt be playing in them, the idiot part of me says this game is 100% about stretching yoru limits and learning to ride the terrain, so if you feel youre up for it, then have a go. The only consideration id insist on is you recognise youre not going to have complete control of the board if you do that, so make sure youve got a clear path and always look out for other people. You shouldnt be there, so dont screw up their day by clattering into them Smile keep a wide berth and make sure your run is pretty clear whenever you step outside of your comfort zone.
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rgreen8314 wrote:
thanks Ippy! awesome review. i just bookmarked the long one with the slope map so i can reread it before i go. sounds like the harmony lift is definitely the way to go. after reading the first half of this post i was thinking "well, screw snowboarding in korea, i'll just wait till i'm back in colorado..." but thankfully things got better for ya and now i'm definitely going to make some plans soon for a day trip. i've only been riding twice but i think they were a very productive two days (unless the people i was with were just flattering me) and i could handle those korean blacks at the top considering everything i've read says they'd just be blues in the states and i can definitely handle those...

a few questions...

how did the gwangju package thing work out? two hours on the bus sounds way better than the 3.5 on the public one. do they only run their offer on weekends or do they run a bus daily? although it sounds like if you hang out at the top going on a weekend won't affect you too much... i don't live in gwangju but i'm not far from it, i guess i could spend the night before by the bus terminal... if i call that number do they speak english or should i get a co-teacher to help?

always curious about the money... how much did your day cost you (ballpark)?

thanks again for the great review...


Its not so expensive. Cost me 66,000 for the bus and lift pass, and food and expenses added on an extra 20,000. Also i live in naju, so i just stayed at one of the hotels near U-square, cost 25,000, and then grabbed the bus in the morning. All in all it was around 110,000 which isnt too bad for a day on the slopes.

I dont think the travel agents speak english, though i never asked (or rather my coteach never asked), but the guy on the bus gave me his business card and seemed to have basic english. I mean dont fire off a lot of questions, but if you stick to simple things like "reservation" etc, he should be able to work it out. Id send you a PM here with his deets, but i cant, so if you have a trash email address and can pm me it, ill send it to you. As i say, im thinking of heading up there this weekend on saturday, so if you want to meet up im naturally game.

ETA: sorry, should add that i have all my own gear. if youre renting then youll need to add that to yoru sums. Itll probably knock you up a fair bit more, renting in muju isnt cheap, but i THINK the package also has a rental option. Id definitely get yoru coteach to help you out. Youll probably have stacks of questions that you cant ask yourself.


Last edited by ippy on Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just have to say this. When i went on my first trip to Togari onsen in japan there was this run that scared the crap out of me. I remember looking over the edge utterly terrified and thought if i tried it i would literally die. I had to lie down to look over the edge because i was that sure id lose my balance. It must have been 70 degrees at LEAST!!! I dunno why, but i suddenly remembered it today and popped on to snow japan to ask about it. I guess it seems like i can handle it now, so i figure ill go back there and slay that japanese dragon.

So anyway, i asked about this run of death so i could find out if i really could have a crack at it - 70 i can probably do, but 80 and above might be too much for me. Someone replied with the following:

Quote:
The steepest is 34 at Togari Onsen, the Rabbit course. A non groomed course so I presume thats the one you mean. You would probably laugh now.


Confused

Its amazing how this stuff works. Smile
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ty7180



Joined: 02 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we're going to try your package deal you mentioned this weekend. I hate the idea of spending New Years weekend in our litttle town. Last time we went to Muju we had to take so many busses it almost turned me off from going. We had to go from Samcheonpo to Jinju to Dajeon to Muju, then take the shuttle and do it all over the next day! We'll probaly spend Friday night in Gwangju and take the early tour you mentioned Saturday Morning. That should still let us take the evening bus back Saturday night. The ski package sounds like a better alternative than the original plan. I'll give your guy a call tommorow morning.
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so long as theres space on the bus i might see you there Smile

woah, just worked out by your cryptic clues :p where you live! thats an epic hike just for some snow! Whats the plan then? Head to gwangju friday night, crash over night, then get the bus satuday AM? Good plan.

remember, bus stops outside the IBK bank which is across the road from the dept store right next to U-Square bus terminal. Basically when you arrive at U-Square, follow the book shop (its looooong) and youll come out at the dept store Smile It leaves at 5.50am from there and rather fekking annoyingly 2 buses form different companies arrive at the exact same time. Its the blue one. Look for the phone number blasted on the side of it. Oh, and they didnt have me down for a reservation (even though my coteach had definitely made the reservation), but they still took me anyway Smile You pay about an hour into the bus ride when he walks up collecting the fees. Also when you arrive at muju, he hops off the bus for ten minutes and goes and grabs your lift ticket. The bus leaves for home at 4.30 (though it actually left around 5, i guess they just really want everyone there good to go asap).

There, thats pretty much everything i reckons. Smile
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rgreen8314



Joined: 20 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah i'll have to rent and that will definitely bring the cost up but it will still be less than half what a day trip in colorado would cost me with rentals, so i'll be happy. i got a free lift ticket to Vail in february through a friend who worked at one of the hotels there and looked at the price on it... something close to $100. but it was Vail, which was an amazing place for a second day of snowboarding when you really get it figured out. heavy snow the night before ... it was downright pleasant to wipe out when i started taking some risks and going faster. and that place is unbelievably huge... at the end of the day i was completely wiped and took a green from the very top to the base... ended up being a four-mile ride. if you ever get to colorado, go to vail and check out the back bowls. completely awesome.

wish i could go up this weekend but i've got plans. right now i'm thinking of going the 9th, and if i like it a lot then maybe the 16th, as those are pretty much my last free weekends in korea. going to look into the gwangju package soon, hopefully they can discount the rentals a bit.

funny stuff about that run of death. hope y'all have good trips up there this weekend.
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ty7180



Joined: 02 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to let everybody know that I called the tour company that Ippy recomended. It was extremely easy to set up reservations. Mr. Kim was very nice and helpful. I don't speak any Korean, but he was still able to understand enough English to set up reservations, and explain the details of the trip. His phone number is: 011 - 621 - 4258
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wont be able to make the 9th because i have that stupid orientation thing in seoul (thursday to monday, 8.30am to 9pm every fekking day and no days off or extra pay to compensate). Will try and get there on 16th though, (the week after off to seoul to visit friends and the week after that off to japan for a month of snowboarding Smile) so maybe see you then then. Also, just looking at the cams on muju site, looks like they have most of the runs up and running. The mozart cam looked by far the worst just last week, but the snow from yesterday must have been heavy enough to finally give it some proper covering. Hopefully the sun sods off and we get some snow tonight or its probably going to be crusty crap which no one likes Sad
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rgreen8314



Joined: 20 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a co-teacher just called the number ippy posted (573-6100). she said they run the gwangju -> muju bus seven days a week. and bus + lift + rental of everything (except goggles) would be 88,000 for snowboarding. (i think it's 85,000 for skiing.)

so i'm thinking i will go on monday and hopefully miss the crowds. i'll let y'all know how it goes!
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ty7180



Joined: 02 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rgreen, I went with Ippy, who's a great guy by the way, this past weekend. If you do like he mentioned and stay on Harmony you will get in a lot more boarding time. Don't let either of the black runs put you off either. They aren't too bad, and are good fun. I probably wouldn't have tried them if somebody hadn't suggsted trying them out. I'll be up there Saturday, butI'm interested in how it is during the week. Please have fun and keep us posted. Ty
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rgreen8314



Joined: 20 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks ty. yeah i plan to spend most of my time up in that part of the slopes. i'll surely keep y'all posted.

i (my coteacher) just called the tour company again to check what i'm getting for my money since i'm renting everthing. i'll post it here to complete the record.

for 66,000 you get the transportation and lift ticket

for 75,000 you get transportation, lift ticket, and a board with bindings (72,000 for skis instead of a board)

for 88,000 you get transportation, lift ticket, board w/ bindings, boots, helmet, jacket and pants. (85,000 for skiers)

bring your own goggles, gloves, and a face mask if you want it.

this is a solid deal. many thanks to ippy for passing along that phone number!
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rgreen8314



Joined: 20 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

went up to Muju yesterday and had a good time. the tour company was great, as described, and the prices were what they quoted on the phone. i think you can choose your package on the bus. rentals was easy. my lift ticket was good for board/boots and i got another ticket from the tour guy for pants and jacket. give it to the counter people with an ID, they keep the ID and you get it back when you turn in the stuff. the equipment was fine by my standards (i have no standards, though). tour company's web page: http://www.kwangjutour.co.kr/

first i did the bottom half of the silk road to get my legs back, that was good run on freshly made snow and no people. by the time i got the bottom there was a wait for chorus so i took it again then stayed in the top part the rest of the morning, randomly picking out different runs. the top silk road was fun, especially the turns at the end. i did the blacks at the top and did alright. not much to dig into there though! conditions were about what i expected: pretty poor compared to what i've experienced before. around lunch time there were large patches of sheer ice in the middle of the silk road (top half) and i had a really crappy run dealing with that. man it hurts! but i learned to deal with it on that run and never had too many major problems with it, just learned to spot it coming and avoid it (or at least not try to turn on it!). on all the popular runs i'd say some good advice is to stick to the sides where there is more snow and fewer people. never went over to the other base, didn't look there was much worth doing there and was having a nice time as it was.

i thought it was pretty damn crowded, but i talked to this gal during lunch who said she usually goes on weekends and this was way less crowded. i got stuck in a 20 min queue for chorus after lunch which sucked but only had to do it once. the bottom half of silk road was pretty full but nothing crazy... looking up at that green next to it i couldn't believe my eyes. not sure how you could even run that. same gal also told me that there was way more snow that day than when she'd been in the past... i had to pick my jaw up off the ground after hearing that... this was after my icy run and i was little bitter about slope conditions.

the koreans definitely do it a little differently but everyone was pretty polite. carrying the board on the lift was a new one for me. they do have the tendency to sit on the runs in sometimes less than ideal spots but i think every other person out there is a beginner so they're probably just tired from falling on that nasty ice. wouldn't have minded more signage on the runs. lifts are kinda slow.

but overall i had a fun full day of riding. don't think i'll go back though. maybe if i was here longer, but my contract is up in about a month and most of that time i'll be in cambodia. think i'll save my money for a trip out to the colorado rockies in march.

thanks for all the info in this thread for making the trip happen!
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ippy



Joined: 25 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone been up there in the last couple of weeks? how was it? thinking of maybe heading there this saturday or next, but its probably not worth the trouble... but want one more day at least Smile
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Ethan Allen Hawley



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Bump Reply with quote

Any updates for the new season from anyone on prices, or places to catch the bus, or even snow conditions on Muju?

I'm also interested in the time it takes on the bus to get to other skifields around the country. Have you ever taken a bus to another field from Gwangju? How long did it take? How does it compare to Gwangju?
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