Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who knew eh?

That being a Canadian, living outside of Toronto that the first time I'd go snowboarding would be when I get to Korea?
Its actually sad that the only time I've been skiing was on a field trip back in Elementary school (some odd 15 years ago) and I've never really had the opportunity to go back- or just never chose to.  Well finally, I had the ability to go away to Muju Ski Resort on one of my few free weekends.  A little hesitant at first, I thought about skiing because I figured it would be the easier of the two.  However, at the last minute I changed my mind and bought the snowboard rental instead.

I was incredibly nervous, and thought to myself "how could it be that hard?"
Fun-filled ice activities!
From Daegu there are no buses that go straight to Muju.  Our trek started by taking a KTX to Daejeon, then a bus from there to Muju.  If you can find a cab, it'll set you back about 25,000w to drive you to the resort or you can wait for the shuttle bus.  Waiting for the bus we came across a frozen pond where a variety of ice activities awaited us.  You could skate, sled, tube down the small hills, ice bike, or kneel on this small wooden sled-like device and use ice picks to help you glide along.  The kids playing on the ice were incredibly friendly, talking any English they could and raced amongst us. 

Alas, the shuttle came around and we hopped on for the two hour bus ride.  You can rent virtually everything you need for skiing/snowboarding from the goggles to the boots.  However, I rented the equipment from the resort itself so I just got the jacket, pants, board and boots and started the evening run.  The slopes are open from 6:30am-2am with a two hour break from 4:30-6:30.  There are no waivers to sign and no liability to anyone but yourself if anything were to happen either. For the cheapest room in the area, you get a small room with no bed and do what the Koreans do- sleep on the ondol heated floor.  If you're smart, you bring a burner and cook your meat.  If you see garbage cans in the middle of the hallway, don't move them!  They catch the leaks from the ceilings.  Yet, it sure beats traveling for about 3 hours to get there and then suffer another 3 hours to go back, making sure you don't miss the last bus.

Now I am a klutz.  I've ruined both my ankles doing the most random things, my knees are not the strongest- I can't ride a bike without falling or running into something, so I was preparing for the worst.  I got up the hill and with no surprise, I could barely stand up without moving and falling back down again.  Now I know when you boarding anywhere else in the world and fall down, you'd move to the side if you want to take a breather or go slow, but of course, nothing in Korea is ever common sense.  There'd be rows of Koreans sitting in the middle of the slopes waiting (for what seemed like forever) to get back up again.  But I loved snowboarding at night.  It wasn't that cold, and after 10pm means not so many people, and there's something that I love about snow at night- it makes me happy.
Koreans= Super cute animal family!

I'll give credit to my dad for this, but I started watching what the other new snowboarders were doing and tried to keep at it and learn how to board.  After much, much, much time had passed I was finally able to stand on the board without falling on my poor, sore butt and could move very slowly down the slopes while facing the bottom (board parallel to the base).  Around 12:30am, I couldn't last anymore.  My knees were sore and I could barely sit on my butt.
...and then I'm down!
Finally up and at 'em

However, I went back at it again the next day and decided to go on the bigger hills.  Of course, longer hills equals faster speed which means harder, bigger, and tougher falls, and falls I did!  By the end of the first run,  my knees were raw and I was losing upper body strength trying to get myself up all the time.  My second run proved much better however, and I could actually make it about a good couple of minutes without falling!  Of course I have to go back before the season ends, but this time I need to give myself more time to recover. 
Teacher Shaun helping me guide my toes

Doing what I do best!

1 comment:

  1. Shelley The Adventurer! loving it... a tad jealous too, but I'm glad you're 'living la vie!'