From here, it's almost all downhill

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From here, it's almost all downhill

It has yet to snow in Seoul, but several ski resorts have already reported natural snow conditions. Is there a better reason to head to the mountains this month? Well, here are a few: extreme thrills on steep hills, Kodak moments and either family fun or singles scouting.

Korea may not offer the world-class slopes or the apres-ski activities for which Europe is famous, but the peninsula has plenty of beautiful mountains with impressive resorts. Changes this year at the nation's 13 ski centers include earlier season openings and increases in lift-ticket prices, averaging 10 percent over last year. While prices are expensive compared with Europe's resorts, they're still cheaper than Japan's. Expatriates from Korea and other parts of Asia ski often ski here to avoid the jetlag and hassles of flying to Europe or North America.

Highlighted here are four of Korea's top ski resorts. Before you go, pack your most chic parka, sunblock and cash - ATM machines can be finicky. The weekend lines are dreadfully long, but at least the ski lift operators will greet you with gracious bows.






by Joe Yong-hee

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