EASTERN China, where little snow falls and temperatures are rarely below zero for long, may not seem the obvious place for fun winter sports such as skiing but artificially made snow is now widely used so there are skiing opportunities in the mountains in east and south China.
There are a dozen or so ski resorts and indoor centers in East China now. And for residents of Hangzhou, more used to greenery and flowers, snow and ice provide a refreshing change.
Today, Shanghai Daily introduces three large ski resorts near Hangzhou that are ideal for a weekend visit by car.
Anji Jiangnan Tianchi Resort
The small town of Anji in Zhejiang Province is renowned for its bamboo forests and was the location in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” for the famous gravity-defying swordfight among the bamboo.
While the bamboo attracts tourists in spring and summer, Anji’s newest attraction is the Anji Jiangnan Tianchi Resort, including skiing facilities and a hot spring, which attracts visitors in winter. Here visitors can spend the day skiing, and then ease all their aches and pains in the hot spring.
Covering 20,000 square meters — the largest outdoor skiing area in East China — it is surrounded by bamboo and pine trees. Navigating the bamboo can be dangerous as some are hidden beneath the snow, so skiers must keep their speed down in these areas.
Yet gentle slopes, 150 meters wide, with a 700-meter run and a drop of 40 meters, are also suitable for beginners. For skiers looking for something a bit more challenging, there is a narrower, 40-degree slope.
And after their exertions, skiers can relax in a hot spring high on the hill peak, where natural snow is sometimes found. The resort also has restaurants and a hotel.
Price: 190 yuan (US$30.65) per person during weekdays; 260 yuan per person during weekends; 310 yuan per person during holidays. Ticket includes the rental of skis, snowshoes and ski poles.
How to get there:
From Hangzhou: Changshen Expressway — Hangchang Expressway — S201 provincial road— S205 provincial road — follow the signs to Jiangnan Tianchi
From Shanghai: Hukun Expressway — Hangzhou Raocheng Expressway — Hangchang Expressway — S201 provincial road— S205 provincial road — follow the signs to Jiangnan Tianchi
Shangliang Hill Ski Club in Fenghua
Part of Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, Fenghua attracts tens of millions of tourists every year, due in large part because it is the birthplace of Chiang Kai-shek, the late Kuomintang leader.
Attractions in Fenghua include a villa owned by Chiang and his wife Soong May-ling, rock climbing, fishing, cycle tracks, a 1,000-meter high peak, and in winter, a skiing area, complete with restaurants, inns and hotels.
The skiing is designed for beginners, with the 500-meter slope between 40 and 80 meters wide and the steepest gradient 18 degrees.
Besides skiing, other winter fun on offer includes skating, snowball fights, snowman building and ice slides.
Price: On the slopes it’s 138 yuan for one hour or 199 yuan for two hours of skiing during weekdays and 218 yuan for one hour or 308 yuan for two hours at weekends. The ticket includes the rental of skis, snowshoes and ski poles.
How to get there:
From Hangzhou: Hangyong Expressway — Yongjin Expressway — Xikou East exit — Xuedou Mountain direction — Shangliang Hill
From Shanghai: Hukun Expressway — Shenhai Expressway — Yongjin Expressway — Xikou East exit — Xuedou Mountain direction — Shangliang Hill
Daming Mountain Ski Field in Lin’an
Daming Mountain, to the southwest of Hangzhou, is listed as one of the top 10 scenic areas in Zhejiang Province. Natural attractions include waterfalls, forests, striking rock formations, along with valleys and creeks. Its skiing facilities are another draw.
The skiing area covers 60,000 square meters with a choice of slopes. The longest run is 1 kilometer long and the slopes can accommodate 3,000 skiers at one time.
Daming Mountain itself is 1,100 meters high, with cable cars taking skiers to the top and providing a bird’s-eye view of the mountain, lake and forest.
Visitors can rent skis and chair lifts that will take them to the top of the various slopes. There are restaurants and hotels for those who want to stay longer. The peak also offers great panoramic views of the surrounding area.
For those seeking light-hearted fun, there is a 20,000-square-meter play zone where visitors can throw snowballs and build snowmen.
Price: 185 yuan for one hour, 225 yuan for two hours, 295 yuan for three hours per person. The price includes the rental of skis, snowshoes and ski poles.
How to get there:
From Hangzhou: Hangrui Expressway — Hebai Line —Dada Line — Daming
From Shanghai: Hukun Expressway — Hangzhou Raocheng Expressway — Changshen Expressway — Hangrui Expressway — Hebai Line — Dada Line — Daming