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Skiing is catching on in China

By CRIENGLISH 21 Jan 2015

With Beijing and Zhangjiakou vying to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, winter sports such as skiing are catching on in the country.

In the Northern suburban county of Yanqing, a tourist is trying to catch a breath from his skiing stunts at the Ice and snow Fun Park.

"Skiing is fun and exciting. It brings you outside and closer Mother Nature. I think it's a charming sport."

Beijing's suburban towns, Yanqing, Miyun and Huairou all have ski resorts. On weekends and public holidays in Winter time, these ski resorts are packed with people. During the recent New Year's Day, Miyun's Yunfoshan ski resort had accommodated over 2000 skiers.

"Too many people here today, maybe it's because this is a public holiday. Last year, when we were here, there weren't as many people, probably because we came after the New Year holiday."

"I just want to enjoy some Winter fun. Beijing rarely snowed this past year."

The trails here mostly run 1,000 meters long each, enough for beginners and medium level skiers.

While smaller skiing resorts around suburban Beijing can cater to the needs of those who just want some winter fun, more picky skiers want a bigger and better stage.

Chongli, a small county in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province turns out to be that big stage they've been craving for.

Covering an area of more than 30 square kilometers, Wanlong Ski Resort in Chongli has got more and longer trails, 24 trails altogether. The longest one is more than 3,000 meters. Every year, it is the earliest to open to skiers due to its geographic location high in the mountains, where the weather is influenced by cold air from Siberia.

Chongli County has got 4 skiing resorts. They are all built on mountain slopes and can cater to beginners as well as medium and skilled skiers.

Although Chongli is more than 3 hours' drive from Beijing, about 90 per cent of the skiers here are from Beijing.

Following Zhangjiakou and Beijing's joint bid for the hosting rights of the 2022 Winter Games, visitors to the ski resorts in Chongli are doubling.

Zhao Qiong, market manager of the Miyuan Cloud Top skiing resort says his skiing resort is looking for expansion of business.

"We have 35 skiing trails at the moment, with a total length of 24 km. In the future we'll have 87 skiing trails, running altogether 70 km's long. We also have 22 high speed cableways, with heating inside the cable cars."

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