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Skiing in China
THE CHINA EXPAT WINTER SKI GUIDE 2005[ By Chris Devonshire-Ellis ]

IntroductionChina skiing is still very much in it’s infancy, however it’s only going to get more popular and now is a good time to get off the beaten track, live a little, and find out what’s REALLY going out there. But first of all, some points to bear in mind: 1) This ain’t Whistler. Expect a low standard of accommodation – warm and dry, but not much in the way of luxuries. 2) The Chinese are not yet aware of ski etiquette. Keep an eye on what’s going on behind you as well as what’s going on in front. 3) Yes, he probably will propel himself off that run with no lessons. Look out…4) -20 means icy snow, so use your ski edges.5) China is where all the moguls expelled from Europe and the States come to live. 6) Some trails can be very icy and run through narrow paths amongst dense woods, so don’t do a Sonny Bono. 7) Thermal underwear – you’ll need it. The Resorts: Yabuli / Beidahu / Changbaishan / Erlongshan / Lijiang / Mulan / Alshan / Beijing CHINA SKI REVIEW : YABULI, Nr. HARBIN, HEILONGJIANGYabuli used to be the royal hunting ground in the Manchurian Qing Dynasty. Covering an area about 23 square km, the resort is China’s largest ski area with best facility, and the home to the China Olympic Ski team. As China’s premier ski resort, Yabuli has a number of quality down hill and country trails, ranging from runs for new skiers to highly challenging ones, some of which are comparable with those in North America and Switzerland. In addition, the resort has new runs being planned. Yabuli also has the longest Tobaggan run in the world. In 1996, the resort was chosen to host the 3rd Asian Winter Games, which was proved a success. Windmill Village has normal comfortable hotel rooms and villas. The resort is not only famous as a ski resort in China but also renowned for its scenic beauty. It was granted National Park status in 1993. The ski center, located 195 kilometers north of Harbin, the provincial capital, boasts a 3,000 meter-long ski run, the largest of its kind in the country. It is also the largest ski training center and the venue for the annual China International Ski Festival and the annual meeting of the China Entrepreneurs’ Forum. Ski equipment is available for rental at the center.Getting There : Flight to Harbin, then a 2 hour drive West, or 1 hour on the train. The resort also picks up from downtown Harbin hotels. BEIDAHU, Nr. CHANGCHUN, JILIN Beidahu Ski Resort is located in Songhuahu Lake Nature Reserve, and was built in June 1993. It covers 17.5 square kms, hosting alpine ski trails, cross-country skiing trails and ski jumping (diving) platforms, free style skiing area for almost all levels of skier. Skiers can also enjoy downhill, freestyle, jumping, heliski, slalom, alpine, and cross country ski. 10 snow making machines with lifts are sited here, the course is also regularly used for skiing competitions and is Yabuli’s main competitor. Profile Best Season for skiing : 01Nov to 01Apr. Altitude : 1400 Meters Resort area : 1750 hectares Lifts : 6Trails : 6 (one cross-country cycle trail) Total trails length : 20000meters. Skiable trails : 30hectares. Platform : 4 Trail slope : range from 32° to 4° Trail width : range from 20-60M Skiable days : 140days Average temperature in winter : -10.2 Snowboards : Yes Ski Training Center : Yes Ski school & instruction : Yes Snow making machine : 10 Snow groomers : 2 Skiing market : for adventure, advanced, expert, intermediate and beginners; race and competition.ProfileVertical Drop : 3,600’Top Elevation : 4,122’Lifts : 9Terrain : 20% 30% 30% 20%Trails : 11Skiable Acres : 1,500 (plus snowcat skiing, slides, horse and sleigh)Annual snowfall : 300”Nordic : 5 km groomedSnowboards : YesHours : 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM dailyNight Skiing : Until 10:00 PM dailyForeign Instructors : Yes, also decent nursery slopesInformation : 86-451-3455088Lodging : 86-451-3455088Snow conditions : 86-451-121E-mail : info@yabuliski.comWeb Site : www.yabuliski.com CHINA SKI REVIEW Beidahu: Trails & Platform : (Follows not opened to the public all, some for Professional Training )Platform : W90m, W50m, W20m and one freestyle. Skiing cost : From 30USD/dayGetting There :To either Changchun or Jilin airports, then taxi - about 1.5 hours from Jilin City, and 3 hours from Changchun.Contacts: Tel: 0432-4202 023, http://beidahu.gotojilin.com/, www.beidahuski.com (under development), beidahuski@163.com CHINA SKI REVIEW CHANGBAISHAN, JILIN Located in the primitive forests of Changbeishan Nature Reserve, Jilin province, this is an increasingly developed resort, with alt 1640 to 1820M. There are two trails with lengths of 3000M total for mountain skiing, off piste about 5000M, one cable car about 600M. Entrance fee for the Reserve, 5USD/p.p. Skiing cost, from 30USD/day.Changbaishan is also Koreas’s most sacred mountain, and an area of outstanding natural beauty. Make sure you stay on the Chinese border though – that is North Korea on the other side, a hapless Brit went trekking at Changbaishan five years ago and ended up spending six weeks detained at Kim Il-Jong’s pleasure until he could be diplomatically released. Good story down at the piste bar though. Profile Getting There :Flight to Yanji, then by airport transfer or private car to Changbaishan, about 3 hours. Contacts : Tel : 0433-5746 088Standard Alpine TrailsTrail No.Duration for skiingCategoryLengthWidthSlopeMark115Beginner9046010°-15°Platform 0.5M, night available220Intermediate14044025°3Adventure150020Naturally terrain & condition425Beginner1691506°530Advanced12496032°-40°Cross-country trail: 1 cycle, 10000meters.Better Season for skiing : 01Nov to 01May. Top alt : 1820M Base alt : 1640M Lifts : 1X600MTotal trails : 4 Alpine trails : 2, total length 3000meters with drop 130meters.Terrain or cross country trail and winter : 2 trails, 5000meters in length through primitive forests. captivity for free style : 100persons. Snowboards : Yes Ski Training Center : Yes Ski instruction : Yes Accommodation : 400beds CHINA SKI REVIEW ERLONGSHAN : ERLONGSHAN, HEILONGJIANG Erlongshan or Longzhu (dragon pearl) Ski Resort, is located about 60KM west to Harbin, the capital of Helongjiang Province. Built in 1999, the top altitude is 266 meters while the resort covers some 780000sq meters, with 8 trails for beginner, middle and advanced skiers, with 6 trails totaling 5600 meters for alpine skiers with slopes range from 3° to 30°. Snow cover is about 170 days. Accommodation for 800 persons with ski equipment for rental, and China and Western restaurants. Ski cost from 50USD/day.Getting There :Flight to Harbin, then 1 hour by taxi or bus. Contacts :Tel : 0451-5790 8333, www.longzhuski.net, longzhu@longzhuski.net JADE DRAGON MOUNTAIN, LIJIANG, YUNNANLijiang is a beautiful destination anyway during the winter, sited in the Himalayan foothills half way to Tibet. It’s overshadowed by the huge Jade Dragon Mountain, which can be reached by bus and has a cable car route to the summit also. The skiing here is off piste and you’ll need to bring your own gear. It’s also not really encouraged. The snow however was powdery – unusual in China where most of it falls in more frigid areas north of Beijing – but there is a lack of marked trails and wed strongly recommend you are an experienced off-piste skier before tackling these mountains. The trail also includes a couple of rock faces so be careful. The altitude here is about 3,500 meters. Getting There : Lijiang is reached by plane from Kunming, plenty of cheap backpacker accommodation in town amongst the traditional Naxi low rise dwellings, get let off at the old town and walk in a little way (no cars) to find the best deals. Taxi’s or buses will take you to the mountain. This is do-it-yourself so good luck ! MULAN, CHENGDELocated in Chengdu, and previously an Imperial royal hunting area, Mulan (also known as Saihanba ski resort) has an altitude of about 1600meters, built in 1997, covering an area of 1600mu, for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. We haven’t visited but our Beijing friends tell us it is worth checking out. Skiing cost: 70USD/dayGetting There : Train, 4 hours from Beijing Contacts : Tel : 0314-7802 222 ALSHAN, INNER MONGOLIA Alshan Ski Resort is located in Alshan city, Inner Mongolia, close to the boundary of China - Mongolia, surrounded by primitive forests, with the resort covering some 10KM². There are average snowing periods of 180days from Nov to Apr with soft Winds, while the resort contains mainly country and alpine trails.This resort if also reaches downtown Alshan, there are two main trails, the western hill area covers 5.5KM² for competition and training and is professionally maintained, mainly for country skiing with 1500, 2000, 2500, 4000, 5000 trails, and the eastern hill area covers 4KM² for alpine ski and snow entertainment. Every December Alshan holds an Ice & Snow Festival. It’s a pretty resort and a lot of fun if you’re looking to get off the track a bit.Getting There : It’s 200 clicks from either Ulanhot or Hulunbel airports.Contacts : Tel : 0482-7126 669Total ski area : 78 hectares Top alt : 266Meters. Trail : 6 Total trail length : 5600meters Trails slopes : 3° to 30° Snow making machines : 2 Snow groomers : 1 Accommodation : 800beds Skiing market : tourist skiing and entertainment for beginners. CHINA SKI REVIEW BEIJING: BEIJING There are a number of resorts popular amongst Beijingers just an hour or so out of the city. They are basic, but can have long runs and are well equipped with snow blowers etc for a quick fix. These are the best:NanshanLocated in Miyun county, Beijing, about 80Km from downtown, the Nanshan Ski Village, has assorted trails, some 3000 pairs of skiing equipment for rental, and over 150 snow-boards. With 1318 meters of Toboggan Runs, crossing 9 highs, one bridge, and 5 jumping segments, it has a skiing school with 40 international instructors. The resort itself boasts of 8 trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers, and the first Halfpipe of international standard as well as the China first Mogul’s advanced trail, and the first snow football ground for six players. Accomodation is available in the ski resort at Shirton Villas, which has 24 double rooms all equipped with fireplace, and at the Nanshan Skiing Club.Cost : USD 50 per day. Contacts : Tel : 010-6445 0990, www.nanshanski.com, nanshan66@hotmail.com Saibei We haven’t skied this but we’ve seen it from afar and heard some good reports. Built : 1995 Location : Zhangjiakou, Hebei province. 270KM to Beijing Alt : 1600-2000meters. Skiing time : Dec to Mar Trails : 10 Total trail length : 7000meters for begginers, intermediate and advanced skiers One trail for Beginner : 2800MX8-10M Skiing capacity : 1000persons Lift : yes Groomer : yes Snow maker : yes Instructor : yes Accommodation : 300persons/night Travel : Beijing-Xuanhua-Zhangjiakou by car 4-5hours. Skiing cost : 60USD/dayContacts : Tel : 010-6442 3873, www.saibeiski.com, sales@saibeiski.comHuaibeiIs located at the Jiugukou natural scenic spot, 70Km from Beijing, about 1hour driving by private car, and is also known as being the part of Jiabianlou - the only rectangle tower of the Great Wall. Huaibei is the biggest ski resort in Beijing with the longest run, covering in total more than 30,000sprare meters. The ski trails at Huaibei International Ski Resort are more than 3,100 meters long in total, with a drop elevation of 238 meters. The ski trails are made up of two advanced trails & two intermediate trails, and another four beginner’s tracks. The cableway is 1,200 meters in total. Contacts : Tel :010-6966 1177, www.hbski.com, hbski@hbski.com


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