2014.02.10 - Skiing

Yongpyeong - skiing in the rain

Lunar New Year means ski trip with the friends ... at least it has last year and this year. The beginning of a tradition ?

We headed off early Thursday morning - the first of the 4 holidays. Traffic was not too bad after we had passed Pohang and we reached Yongpyeong in 4,5 hours. Only little glitch was when we passed a man lying (dead?) on his back across one of the lanes of the freeway. Not a nice sight, but we hope that it was just a tired soyu warrior (i.e. a drunk). Two cars had stopped and one driver was approaching the body, but we didn't see any signs of life. We were later told that Zohreh and Kasra had seen him walking down the middle of the road 5 minutes earlier...

Hmmm - let's hope this is a typo !

Arriving before our rooms were ready, we joined Kasra, Zohreh and Nika at the ski rental place. Not the best weather for skiing - a steady drizzle kept the enthusiasm low and we ended up back at the hotel, waiting for better weather. The weather didn't improve but in the end we became impatient and drove up to the resort. I headed up to the upper slopes and was met by snow and strong wind - perfect skiing weather (at least compared to the drizzle at the lower slopes). At the end of the day we met up at the coffee shop - Paula and Zohreh had stayed there, Perro and kids were soaked, Agi and Sasha had stayed dry in the coffee shop, Asli and Erkan had still not arrived (10 hours on the road!) and Nena and Armando were also under way. Olga and Ivan had unfortunately had to return early due to winter flu all around.

Our regular pit-stop

After a couple of hours rest Kasra, Nika and I went out for some evening skiing. The temperature had dropped and the slopes had been freshened up and the boarding was great. It helps when the crowds clear up a bit....

My own personal apres-board

Next day the weather had cleared up completely and we were treated to high sunshine and (unfortunately) high temperatures. This resulting in pretty icy conditions. Not great for boarding. I think I only boarded 2x2 hours that day, but count myself lucky that I came away without injury. Sasha went ice fishing together with 200 other Koreans ! After I finished boarding Marin (Agi and Sasha's son) had a go at snowboarding on my board and loved it right away. Sasha also had a go and liked it. Even Paula gave it a try and enjoyed it. But in the end only Marin took the next step and was boarding the next day. A new boarder is born!

A beautiful Saturday morning

At the top of Rainbow

Kasra waiting for me to tie in

Me waiting for me - at the top of Gold

At the bottom of Gold

Late afternoon at the top of Rainbow

In the evening Kasra, Zohreh, Nika, Asli, Neris and Erkan came over to our apartment for apres-ski snacks. This year we were so many families that we had to split up in two.

I had planned to board all day Saturday, but with the rain returning I decided against it and packed the bags at noon time. The snow was getting too heavy and slow. It was so bad that the snow fanatics Trygve/Annelin and Web/Amanda for the second day in a row had decided to spend their time in the water park instead of on the slopes. After three days on the slopes we drove back down to Ulsan on the second-to-last holiday, hoping to beat the traffic. It worked right up until Pohang and at GyeongJu it just came to a complete stop. 6,5 hours... Have to find a different route next year.

Friday Feb 7th we celebrated Romi's birthday at one of her friends' bungalow. Funny to see how the latinos carried the party. Lots of dancing until the last latino's left ... then it all came to a stop. This is not unusual though - compared to latinos the rest of us a just a bunch of zombies ! Waldemar claimed that he was stiff a board followed by 30 minutes on the dance floor .... guess there are different levels of stiff also, 'cause my stiff looks different from his !

French/latino party kicking off

Saturday my Norwegian colleagues cooked up a late X-mas dinner at the compound. They had gotten their hands on half a sheep and a shipload of akvavit, so no further reasons for a party were needed.

Trygve, Tore and Ken making themselves useful!

Three chefs - three recipes ! Jarle, Tore and Trygve

Our busy weekend schedule was completed by chilli-tasting at the clubhouse on Sunday. About 12 people had entered the event and the competition was fierce ! As were some of the cook-ups...

Amy and Aurora at the chilli cook-off.

Derrick pointing out his favourite

The Jones' collecting their prize

In the sports section things have been a little slow due to the weather and unavailability of myself and my buddies. We've had a bit of snow, but Web, Mike and I still made an excursion up to Mauna Ocean Resort to try to find new trails. I had studied Google Earth beforehand and had come up with a few options. It was wet and windy, but at first lull in the rain we took off in the intended direction.... and soon afterwards we were way off the planned route. For the better. We found a really good trail down the mountain but ended up 10km from the ascent. I could see the rain coming closer and just wanted to find a taxi. Mike and Web were less chicken and as we couldn't find any taxi we just went for it. We reached the cars on the top just before the rain hit us - slow approaching rain as it took us one hour to get back up the mountain. Two weeks later we read in the newspaper that 8 people had died when the roof of an auditorium collapsed due to heavy snow load at Mauna Ocean Resort. It's a different climatic zone up there.

This is unusual - this year the rain has kept us off the trails - not the snow

One of the steeper parts of the Mauna Ocean Resort trail

Mike still hadn't fixed his enduro.... bet he was bummed about that on such a trail. I bet he was bummed about wearing shorts also!

Web did alright on his new Moots (almost) hardtail. It's steeper than it looks.

Dinner at Sapporo with Phoebe and Mike