If you like skiing and you are in China, you will love Bei Da Hu. Definitely my favourite place to ski in China.
Bei Da Hu id located 50km outside Jilin city in the Jilin province in China’s north east.
Depending on the date and who you speak it to, Bei Da Hu has at least 15 slopes, 9 lifts and one gondola. The break up of slops is 6 blue runs, 6 red runs and 3 black diamond runs. Plenty of runs to cover all skill levels and the harder runs have no crowds making them ideal for adrenaline junkies and speed freaks.
The height of the mountain is 1405 meters with a vertical drop of 870 meters to the resort at 535 meters.
The slopes are well maintained with a good mix of mogul fields and groomed runs. The lifts are modern and efficient and the gondola is a delight. Crowding was never a problem, even on weekends in peak season. There are relatively few beginners and they tend to stay within the safety of the easy runs at the base of the mountain. Runs are long and give great views of the surrounding country side. Excellent photo opportunities.
The gondola takes around 6 minutes and holds 6 people which gives you plenty of time to warm up your hands, eat chocolate, talk snow with the locals and watch the hapless beginners below tumbling down the mountain with skis and poles flying in all directions. The gondola stops half way up the mountain for the faint hearted to disembark while the foolhardy continue to the peak.
Getting there is tricky and if you go there, I recommend you stay there for at least two days. You can join a group using a travel company (my preferred option) based in Jilin City (or the neighbouring Chang Chun city), you can take a train to Jilin city then taxi to the mountain (no public buses), ot fly into Chang Chun airport then taxi to the mountain.
Staying at the resort is pricy so you may want to stay at hotels in Jilin city and taxi back and forth or stay in the small hotels outside the resort.
The BCTS Travel Service are very good and you can find them on their website www.bacts.com
The mountain can be incredibly cold in the middle of winter with temperatures on the slopes hitting -20C I was skiing twice on the mountain this year at temperatures below -20C. If you are not prepared, skiing will not be fun so make sure you are well dressed and well prepared. Good thermals are a must. You can see from the photo the sun is shining but the temperature is at least -15C I’m wearing thermals, hat, goggles, face protection, good quality snow jacket and pants and STILL feeling a little cold.