Scouting South Korea
Welcome to South Korea
We know the 2014 Winter Olympics just barely wrapped up, but we're already excited about the 2018 Winter Games, which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea. Freeski slopestyle and halfpipe will return after their Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia. Pro skier Will Wesson and friends recently visited South Korea to see what kind of freeskiing potential the place had.
The Next Generation
Freeskiing in South Korea is not at the same level as much of the Western world yet, but with the inclusion of slopestyle and halfpipe skiing in the Olympics, young Koreans are skiing harder than ever, hoping to represent their country in 2018 at PyeongChang. That includes 13-year-old Kang-Bok Lee, shown here sliding a rail at Jisan Forest Resort.
Andy Parry (shown here), Garrett Russell and Will Wesson arrived in Korea at the very end of the winter season. Most resorts had shut down terrain parks or closed for the year, but Jisan Forest Resort kept the core skiers going with a decent terrain park and mogul and racing courses until the end of March.
The Olympic Venue
Phoenix Park Ski Resort, shown here, will host freeskiing and snowboarding events at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. It's located less than two hours by car from Seoul.
An Eating Tour
Andy Parry samples a freshly killed octopus at the Jumunjin Fish Market. The group tried many new foods in Korea, ranging from live squid to maggots, sometimes with a pleasant surprise and other times with regrets.
In contrast to the mellowness of the ski areas, here's a busy morning at Namdaemun Market in Seoul, which offers anything and everything for sale. Thousands of people roam the crowded streets daily visiting street vendors, restaurants and food carts.
Freshly caught live fish and seafood were preserved in salt-water tanks in front of restaurants lining the beach in Gangneung City on the coast of PyeongChang Province. The group had an octopus and fish butchered in front of them and served five minutes later.
The King Watches Over
On their first day in Korea, the group walked around Seoul for eight hours and visited all the typical tourist areas. This statue of King Sejong overlooking downtown is located in the middle of a huge open avenue with very busy multi-lane roads on both sides.
Seoul is a city of approximately 10 million people. This photo shows only a small portion of the 360-degree city view from Seoul's N Tower. On a clear day, tall buildings are visible in all directions as far as the eye can see.