Adventures in Swoosh, Swoosh, Swooshing…
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! The Year of the Pig got off to a great start at YeongPyong Ski Resort. In fact, we’ve decided that a Lunar New Year ski trip has now become an annual tradition. Saturday, Sunday and Monday were spent merrily on the slopes. Saturday began bright an early, leaving home at 4:10 a.m. in order to catch the 5:00 a.m. bus to the resort. 4 1/2 hours later, we arrived and got settled into our accommodation, got our equipment rented, our passes attached to our jackets, and our instructor secured.
The past two times I’ve gone skiing in Korea, I haven’t bothered with an instructor, but the two people I was with wanted one, and I figured it had been so long since I’d had a lesson, I might learn something. (The fact that the instructor, John, was super-cute might have helped sway my decision!) The lesson was 2 1/2 hours long, and by the end of it, we were all pretty confident of our skills on the beginner slopes. We continued skiing until the last possible moment our afternoon passes would allow, then trekked back to our room. After hot cups of tea or cocoa were consumed, and hot showers had by all, we slept soundly. The fantastic thing about Korean style rooms after a long day of skiing, is that you sleep on a thick pad right on the heated floor. It’s like having a nice warm heating-pad directly applied to all your aching muscles.
I won’t go into great detail about the rest of the trip (up the lift, down the hill, up the lift, down the hill, etc.) I’ll just summarize like this: My favourite hill was 1400 meters high, with a run of 5.8km. It took me about 25 minutes to get to the bottom (I took my time), and the view was incredible. During the entire weekend, I only fell once, and that was just a little topple-over during my lesson. John was trying to teach me to swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, with my skis parallel, instead of the basic A-shaped snowplow. My swoosh, swoosh is going to take a little more practice! By the end of the weekend, my cheeks were (and still are) wind-burnt into a stunning shade of pink, my muscles feel a bit sore, but good, and my lungs are so full of mountain-fresh air, they think they’ve been in Canada.
If the rest of the Year of the Pig continues as well as it began, it’s going to be a very good year!