Jundushan Ski Resort - A review

created: 2009-12-08

The first thing that strikes you on a visit to Jundushan Ski Resort is the facilities: the main building is large, clean and modern, and their payment system is well organised. There is a long row of ticket kiosks just to the left of the entrance where you can pay for your ski pass and any rental equipment needed. You are handed a yellow card which needs to be swiped when you take out your equipment. Prices are good. It costs 220 yuan for a full day's skiing, or 180 for half a day. Rental is 30 yuan for anything you need, plus a 30 yuan deposit. As with other ski resorts, goggles and gloves are not available to rent, but there are plenty of shops where you can pick them up.

The equipment itself is not bad. The ski jackets and trousers are comfortable, warm and relatively modern. However, my trousers did have a strap missing, which presented the possibility of them falling down mid slope – potentially dangerous and, more importantly, very embarrassing. But the kind staff, some of which speak a little English, were on hand to help me improvise a belt and solve the problem. Finding snowboard boots to fit my large feet (size 48) was not a problem, and the snowboard itself had good straps and the staff were ready to adjust the footing there and then.

Most people change into their equipment on the benches by the lockers, however, for those that want a little more privacy, the resort provides a couple of tents that serve as changing rooms. It is also worth noticing here that the toilets are clean and well stocked with soap.

Venturing onto the slopes you quickly realize that, despite the resort's claim that it covers as much as 150,000 square meters, there are not that many slopes. Of the seven that are available, only one leads down from the top of the mountain. This is the only "black" slope, and is relatively challenging for the advanced skier. The other slopes mainly cater for beginners. Only two of the slopes are serviced by chair lifts – the rest use a one-man pulley system which requires you to put a mushroom shaped seat between your legs that pulls you to the top of the slope. Fine for skiers but very tricky for snowboarders.

As is the norm for ski slopes in Beijing, all the snow is produced artificially. But don't let this put you off. Aside from lacking fresh powder, the quality of snow was really not so bad, with only a little ice at the very top of the slope.

Despite the lack of slopes, on the two days that we visited at the very start of the season, queuing was not a problem for any of the lifts, so you didn't get too cold waiting to be transported to the top of the slopes. This situation may change at the peak of the season, but one nice option here is the possibility of night skiing, which usually attracts less people.

While Jundushan may not be the biggest ski slope in Beijing, it still offers a good day of skiing for great value with superb facilities. Go check it out!

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