Saibei Ski Resort
- Location: On the forest-covered, snow-laden, rolling southern foothills of the Taihang Mountains on the northern fringes of the Hebei Plain, about 125 kilometers (78 mi), as the crow flies (see 'how to get there' below), northwest of Beijing, in the township of Sitaizui, Chongli County, Hebei Province
- Season: Late November – Late March
- Pistes: One intermediate (30°) slope (corresponding to the blue square (US) designion), 800 meters (? mi) long; and one 3-km (1.86 mi) wide but short beginner (12°) slope, or ramp (corresponding to the green circle (US) designion), that is sectioned into 9 "pistes" – it can serve hundreds of skiers at the same time
- Lifts: 1 double chair lift, 6 rope tows
- Snowboards: Yes
- Off-Piste: A toboggan run, a skating rink
- Total Capacity: 1000 persons
- Target Group: Fun-loving people – especially beginners – of all ages.
Saibei Ski Resort covers an area of 10 square kilometers (3.86 sq mi), about 60% of which is covered by forest and other natural flora. The word is that the ski resort is in fact a work in progress, in the sense that more slopes will be added later, as the resort grows in popularity (this is quite possibly the case at all Chinese ski resorts, especially the newer sites, where there exists untapped onsite potential, i.e., adjacent terrain that is suitable for conversion to Alpine pistes and Nordic trails – skiing in China is still in its infancy).
Saibei Ski Resort, whose lowest-highest altitude above sea level is 1600-2000 meters (1750-2190 yds), was developed as a “Dolomite-style” ski resort in conjunction with the Italian group behind the design of the Dolomiti Superski Ski Area in the South Tyrolean mountains of the Italian Alpes. The area surrounding Saibei Ski Resort, due to its northerly location at the juncture of the Heibei Plain and the Taihang Mountains, usually gets a good deal of snow (up to a meter (1.094 yds)), but because the snowfall pattern is somewhat erratic, the ski resort relies as well on its large fleet of snow-making and –grooming machines. Indeed, in this regard, Saibei Ski Resort is considered as one of the most well-equipped ski resorts in northern China.
The ski resort has a large staff of competent ski instructors who, though focused on helping neophytes learn the basics, can of course teach even experienced skiers a trick or two. The ski resort has over 1000 ski sets, hundreds of ski suits and dozens of toboggans and snowboards available for rent.
Saibei Ski Resort is about more than just enjoying the snow, which is equipped with a range of lodging choices, a swimming pool and a sauna, restaurants, bars, a music hall where one can indulge in karaoke, and a card-playing room for those who find that a good game of cards, and it is the perfect place for encouraging camaraderie among friends – including those you haven't made yet. The lodgings include the somewhat pricey Show Hotel (680-1880 Yuan per night), a number of villas ranging in price from 100-200 Yuan per night, and farmhouse lodgings that will set you back the modest sum of 60 Yuan per night. See China Highlights ski toursto ski in Saibei Ski Resort.
How to get there
Currently there are no flights between Beijing and the nearest regional city, Zhangjiakou, so the only way to get there is by bus/ shuttle. There is a bus from Beijing to Zhangjiakou that takes about 2 hours via the new Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway. The second, short leg of the journey via a shuttle bus from Jiangjiakou to the ski resort takes almost as long as the first leg, since it passes through more mountainous terrain on local, steeply sloped roads. In all, the trip from Beijing to Saibei Ski Resort takes between 4-5 hours, depending on local weather conditions. Additionally, there is a special skier's shuttle bus from Beijing to Saibei Ski Resort that operates on the weekend only. As Saibei Ski Resort develops over time, the transportation situation is likely to improve markedly, especially once a direct flight between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is established.
Continue to read China ski resorts.
I updated this article on November 6, 2013
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