A snowboarder slowly glides down the slope at Huaibei International Ski Resort. Photo taken January 27, 2015. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
Just a 90 minute drive from Beijing (traffic allowing), one can spend a day on the slopes of Huaibei International Ski Resort. Skiers who are used to the Swiss Alps or the Canadian Rockies will need to lower their expectations considerably, but for a low level skier, sliding down Huaibei's slopes is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Though the resort boasts eight runs, for now only three slopes are open: two beginner bunny slopes at the bottom of the mountain, and one intermediate slope, higher up. The intermediate slope is definitely on the easier side of intermediate, with an incline that is only slightly steeper than the others. As there isn't much to explore, a half day at Huaibei is enough for many skiers.
Two chair lifts and two conveyer belts were in operation, as the runs they lead to are currently just swathes of brown dirt. For the moment, all of the mountain's snow is manmade, which is not uncommon for the ski hills in the area: granular chunks of ice with some hard icy patches below: definitely skiable, but hardly ideal.
For people who want to get away from the congestion of Beijing, this hill can be a welcome escape. However, depending on when you go, you might only be trading the congestion of Beijing for the congestion of a ski hill. Weekdays are definitely quieter, with minimal line ups.
Sections of the Great Wall provide a beautiful backdrop to the ski hill, so visitors can enjoy historical sightseeing while carving down the hill.
Renting equipment and even ski apparel is relatively easy, though some visitors have complained about the lack of English signage or English speaking personnel.
Visitors should note that in Beijing, skiing is a reasonably new pastime so many skiers lack experience. All skiers are encouraged to hit the slopes, but to err on the side of caution, considering that many people on the hill aren't yet particularly skilled at slowing or turning.
Weekday price: 220 rmb/full day
Weekend price: 360 rmb/full day
Add: No.548, Hefangkou Village, Huaibei Town, Huairou District, Beijing 101408北京市怀柔区怀北镇河防口村548号 邮编101408
Booking hotline: 010-89696677
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