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Winter in northern China can be cold and snowy but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season. For skiiers of all levels, check out the 114 on getting out on the trails around Qingdao and beyond.

Skiing in Qingdao’s Backyard: Jimo

Tiantai Holiday Hot Spring and Ski Resort 天泰假日温泉滑雪场
Being the closest to Qingdao, it’s a convenient and easy day trip, but with only two slight slopes of 350m and 240m long, Tiantai is more geared towards beginners, or those just looking to get some fresh air and share some laughs. Both slopes are equipped with platter-pulls, but walking may be a quicker option if lines are long, as they tend to be on weekends. The gear available (including skis, snowboards, boots and snowsuits) is basic and in decent condition. The season begins in December and should last until the end of February and possibly into March, depending on weather conditions.

After skiing at Tiantai you can loosen up your loins in the afternoon at a couple of hot spring resorts in the area. Kylin Hot Springs Resort is one of the better known resorts and they have everything from milk and mud baths, to pools filled with minnows that nip away at your dead skin. 98 yuan (RMB) will award you with an hour and a half of bathing time. Call ahead for more info: 8657-8888.

There is a shuttle bus that runs from Jusco which costs 30 yuan (RMB) round-trip if you purchase Tiantai Ski tickets beforehand. The trip takes a little more than an hour from downtown Qingdao. The bus price triples if you have not previously purchased ski passes. These trips may include stop-overs at hot-springs as well as a place to grab lunch. The number to order bus and ski tickets is 150-9223-1208. See here for more information on ticket prices (in Chinese). Contact Qingdao Shanshui 山水 Adventures for additional information or help setting up a trip.

Skiing in Qingdao’s Neighbor, Qingzhou

Tuoshan Ski Resort 驼山滑雪场
Qingzhou, located just west of Qingdao, is a historical town bordered to the southwest by mountains which are home to some of the earliest Buddhist relics found in northern China. Now you can find one of Shandong’s best ski resorts amongst their slopes. The resort is around 5 km outside of town and the slopes are a bit steeper and longer than Tiantai. Getting a train to Qingzhou and then a taxi or bus to Tuoshan is probably your best option for getting there. If you get bored after a morning of skiing, head over and visit the municipal museum and see the Lost Buddhas of Qingzhou (photos), half of which are currently circling the globe and being exhibited in some of the world’s best museums. Link here for more information on ski prices at Qingzhou.

Skiing in Qingdao’s Big Brother, Jinan

Crouching Tiger Mountain Ski Resort 卧虎山滑雪场
We don’t know much about this place other than they claim to have the widest ski slope in China, and well, it’s called Crouching Tiger, which is cool in itself!

Jinxiang Shan 金象山滑雪场Supposedly
Shandong’s best, but it’s likely all of the above mentioned resorts would be better enjoyed by snow-bunnies and butt-draggers, while shredders and rippers should probably look further than Shandong to get their white powder fix.

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Skiing Further Away from Qingdao

Duolemeidi Mountain Resort 多乐美地度假山庄
Located 226 kilometers northwest of Beijing, the first foreign invested ski resort in China is named Duolemeidi (a Mandarin transliteration of The Dolomites). Home to China’s finest and fastest ski lift as well as nicely groomed slopes and facilities, Duolemeidi makes for a perfect weekend getaway from Qingdao. There are seven slopes in total, two of which are over 1,500 meters long and plans for many more. They also have world-class ski equipment and the staff and services are very accommodating, including English speaking staff. Don’t miss the Glühwein (warm, spiced red-wine), hot-pot and pizza at the lodge. Getting away for the weekend is simple, head up to Beijing on Friday, catch the shuttle from around the third ring road, ski Saturday all day and Sunday morning than prepare to head back to Qingdao Sunday afternoon. Accommodations can be reserved for any time of the week, and ladies ski for free on Wednesday. See here for more information.

Nanshan Ski Resort 南山滑雪场
A little closer to Beijing is Nanshan, a snowboarding haven which hosted the Eighth Red Bull Nanshan Open. Given its proximity to Beijing, supposedly lines are the norm on weekends.

Yabuli Ski Resort 亚布力滑雪旅游度假区
A few hours outside of Haerbin by train, it is China’s largest ski resort and the training grounds for China’s Olympic ski team. Be prepared for a few days of travel and unless things have changed in recent years, loud techno pumping in your ears on the lifts and then squatter toilets up top. Also, snow making abilities may be an issue at times, so double check conditions beforehand.

Snow Season Qingzhou China

Relevant Links:
Kylin Hot Springs Resort
Crouching Tiger Mountain Ski Resort 卧虎山滑雪场
Jinxiang Shan 金象山滑雪场
Duolemeidi Mountain Resort 多乐美地度假山庄
Nanshan Ski Resort 南山滑雪场
Yabuli Ski Resort 亚布力滑雪旅游度假区
Qingdao Adventures Skiing & Snowboarding Photos

Photo Credits @ Qingdao Adventures

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