Over the last couple of years, the higher mountains next to SunMountain have been opened to the public with new resorts. The primary one is Yabuli Ski Resort where you can find advanced/intermediate runs that double as race courses when the area hosts international competitions.
Beyond Yabuli Ski Resort is the third and highest mountain that is still slated for future development but is not now open to the public except for non skiing sight seeing (it is strange to see people in street cloths and shoes heading up lifts that you cannot access wearing skis).
Yabuli Ski Resorts is divided into two sections, a lower “Primary Road” section serviced by a new detachable high speed bubble quad (interspersed with gondola cars for VIP tickets) that has one long beginners trail back to the base lodge and the upper mountain service by a gondola and several chailifts that takes you to advanced intermediate and advanced terrain coming off the top. These are really quite decent long runs with enough variations to keep it interesting for full days of skiing.
Yabuli Ski Reort Upper Trails
Yabuli Ski Resort Primary Lift
Yabuli Ski Resort Upper Lifts
Yabuli Ski Resort Main Gondola Trail
The problem with Yabuli Ski Resort is that if your party contains beginning intermediate skiers, they will soon get very bored with the Primary Road trail but be somewhat intimidated by the upper trails. It also needs to be noted that we were there at the end of January and some of the advanced trails were just being opened so early season advanced skiers might be disappaointed. Even this late in the season, the most advanced trail was not open to the public yet and it is unclear how often is is opened. (It is an additional chirlift up from the top of the Gondola). The base lodge of Yabuli Ski Resort is large but basic. It is also oriented towards the tour bus basic beginning skier.
The rental equipment is decent brands but the standard skis are well used and even the premium brands need to be checked for adequate maintenance. (the first pair of Fisher skis I took out were so railed that they were barely skiable.) The cost of the rentals are included in the lift ticket and there is no difference between the standard and best skis. English is also not widely spoken here. However, there are unofficial “guides” that speak enough English that will find you if you walk in and look around like you are lost. These “guides”, while seemingly sanctioned by the resort, will also bargain with you for a discount on the lift and rental tickets.
As with all Chinese ski areas, lift tickets are sold by the hour with discounts for more hours purchased. A full day of skiing on the full mountain with equipment is 480 RMB.
International Broadcast Center
While Yabuli Ski resort does not have its own hotel resort, the International Broadcast Center is located a short walk or quick shuttle ride away and offers 4 star accommodations when not in use by a major convention. Pricing runs similar to the Sun Mountain Resort but accommodation of non-Chinese speakers does not seem to be the priority it is at SunMountain.