First time lovers of the sport and seasonal ski buffs are constantly looking for an opportunity to hit the slopes. Real enthusiasts travel the world in search of the best snow covered mountains, but while you could go to lengths to shred ice in countries such as Iran and Chile, only a handful of people will ever be privvy to North Korea’s luxury ski resorts. But if you could, would you?
As one of the world’s most secretive and elusive governed countries, North Korea strictly controls inside visitors and any media which reaches the Western world. And with much of the globe on lockdown amid the pandemic, we’re travelling virtually and from our homes which is why I was immediately engrossed in 2016 footage of North Korean ski fields as it came across my desk this week.
The short 18-minute documentary follows New Zealand skier Sam Smoothy as he descends into North Korea during leader, Kim Jong Un’s birthday celebrations. After travelling through the city, Smoothly and his team arrive at the Masikyrong Ski Resort and checked into the a grand ski-side hotel – or castle, definitely reminiscent to a castle. We are taken alongside the skier as he casually shreds some ice – often a times on ski slopes to himself (the dream) – enjoys local cuisine and speaks with locals.
And if you’re wondering what the snow is like, according to Smoothy, he says it is “the stickiest snow in the world.” We’ll take that from the expert.
Watch the full adventure through DPRK below.