- 04 February 2014
Who ever said 13 is an unlucky number? Day 13 was, without a doubt, one of the best on this trip. After a day of uninterrupted wicked fun I was fortunate enough to spend part of my last night in the Korean alps and at Yongpyong with Mr Park, the resort's GM. He assured me in no uncertain terms that some very cold temperatures were due in overnight and that the groomers would work their magic for peak snow conditions the following day. Sleep came easy and I dreamt it would be so.
My prayers were answered. Mr Park had been right. As the sun shone over the resort it was a no brainer where I had to go.
This was it. List was my last session for my northern hemisphere winter snow adventure. This was the last run of my month long expedition. I rocked up for the first gondola run up the mountain at 8.30am, the temperature gauge reading at a very brisk -15 C. Up top was colder still but I lingered to drink in the beautiful view for one last time, my skin burning as the wind whipped through my beanie and gloves. You know that feeling, when it hurts but it feels so good, because you are in the snow and because you feel so alive. Like when you breath in that cold air and your lungs sting?
I was pipped at the post by some enthusiastic ski instructors for the chance to lay claim to first tracks this morning. No matter, I was in no hurry (despite the very cold conditions). I cast my gaze one last time over the glorious snow capped peaks of this beautiful place and wound down Mt Balwang, one turn at a time. I would've taken it a little easier but for the fact that numbness was setting in and couldn't feel my face. Such a contrast to conditions 2 days ago. My run came and went in a blink of an eye and it was then that I knew. My job was done. My Krazy Korean Adventure was over and it was time to call it a day. It was the perfect run to end my amazing journey. So I packed up my kit, got an ear-warming coffee, set the GPS one last time and pointed the trusty Jeep south to Seoul. It was time to start heading home.
And so began the first of many goodbyes. Once back in Seoul, I managed to navigate the mental traffic back to Gangnam and the lovely Irene at JEEP Korea. Parting is such sweet sorrow, and I was sad to leave Jeep Cherokee. We had had so many good times together. Next stop, Myeongdong to see my mate Ji at B My Guesthouse. I love this place and I love this little corner of Seoul. It's constantly on hyperdrive! And tonight, on my final night in Korea I'm catching up with the Snowple crew for a send off. Wish me luck!
It's been an absolute blast! I've had the most awesome time and even managed to surprise myself along the way. We did it. 15 Korean ski resorts in 14 days, thousands of kilometres across the country and lots of snowboarding. And on top of all that, I've been so lucky and humbled meet some incredibly generous and fantastic Korean people along the way. I am one lucky guy. Now, time to celebrate!