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Ski Russia in remote Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Ski Russia in remote Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Ride powder at Kamchatka. (photo - 9Vallees)
Ride powder at Kamchatka. (photo - 9Vallees)
Uncrowded ski slopes in Russia, Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Uncrowded ski slopes in Russia, Gorky Gorod ski resort.
St Basils in Moscow is a must on any ski trip to Russia. (photo - RMI)
St Basils in Moscow is a must on any ski trip to Russia. (photo - RMI)
Heliski Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Heliski Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Steaming vents are common when skiing Kamchatka (photo - 9 Vallees)
Steaming vents are common when skiing Kamchatka (photo - 9 Vallees)
Modern lifts area at most Russian ski resorts including Gorky Gorod.
Modern lifts  area at most Russian ski resorts including Gorky Gorod.
Go big in Russia at Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Go big in Russia at Kamchatka. (photo - Snow Valley)
Ski in hotels at Rosa Khutor ski resort in Russia.
Ski in hotels at Rosa Khutor ski resort in Russia.
Huge skiable vertical at Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Huge skiable vertical at Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Fresh powder via snowmobile at kamchatka. (photo -Snow Valley)
Fresh powder via snowmobile at kamchatka. (photo -Snow Valley)
Pristine piste in far eastern Russia on Sakhalin at Gorny Vozdukh ski resort.
Pristine piste in far eastern Russia on Sakhalin at Gorny Vozdukh ski resort.
Major base area infrastructure at Russia's Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Major base area infrastructure at Russia's Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Trees and powder at kamchatka. (photo - 9 Vallees)
Trees and powder at kamchatka. (photo - 9 Vallees)
Modern apartments at Rosa Khutor ski resort.
Modern apartments at Rosa Khutor ski resort.
Ski Russia, Gorky Gorod ski resort.
Ski Russia, Gorky Gorod ski resort.
New gondolas at on the flanks of Europe's highest mountain, Elbrus.
New gondolas at on the flanks of Europe's highest mountain, Elbrus.
Elbrus backcountry above the ski lifts is amazing (photo - Tyler Reid)
Elbrus backcountry above the ski lifts is amazing (photo - Tyler Reid)
A visit to St Petersburg is a great way to end a ski trip to Russia. (photo-RMI)
A visit to St Petersburg is a great way to end a ski trip to Russia. (photo-RMI)
Ski Russia, Rosa Khutor.
Ski Russia, Rosa Khutor.

Russia

Ski Russia

Its time to Rush-in to ski Russia! Gather up your rubles and rush over to experience skiing and snowboarding in the world’s largest country. Put on the map during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia’s northern Caucasus mountains not only have some world class ski resorts but are crowned by the highest mountain in Europe, Elbrus at 5,642m (18,510ft). Contrast that with the isolation of the taiga in Siberia and the far east on the Kamchatka peninsula where smoking perfectly conical volcanoes smoulder as far as the eye can see and helicopters drop you right on top of the powdery goodness.

Whilst it is still not quite the ‘family ski holiday’ destination, Russia has plenty going for it when it comes to a value for dollar (or euro, or pound) ski adventure in a culturally diverse nation. Put politics (and the Crimea!) aside and travel to ski Russia now, cos the ruble is sure to rise and you will only be a year older if you don’t!

The Powderhounds will be looking to ski Russia in early 2019.

Russia Ski Resorts

Apart from the high adventure of freeriding in Siberia and in the far east at Kamchatka, skiing in Russia is centred on a small number of modern (and some not so modern) ski resorts in the Northern Caucasus. To the west near Sochi are three excellent ski resorts all clustered at the head of the valley near the delightfully named Krasnaya Polyana - Rosa Khutor, Gorky Gorod and Gazprom (Mountain Resort that is, not the petrochemical company that funded it!).

In the Greater Caucasus to the east of Sochi, Elbrus has some gargantuan and challenging skiing on its flanks. The summit, despite its height, is relatively easy to ski mountaineer in the early summer months. Across the valley is the decaying Mt Cheget ski resort with its substantial top lifted point near 3100m.

Between the Sochi resorts and Elbrus is the new and expanding ski resort of Arkhyz. The Arkhyz resort is one to watch over the next few years as new lifts are put in place to reach ever higher up the mountain.

In the far east, a smallish but interesting ski resort is near the main city on Sakhalin Island, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. A gondola extends directly form town into the Sakhalin ski resort, known in Russian by charmingly pronounced, Gorny Vozdukh.

The real ski adventure is to the east. There is cat skiing in western Siberia and all sorts of freeride backcountry options in Kamchatka, where skiing and snowboarding is on the sides of smoking volcanos and among active vents and fumaroles. No major ski lifts exist in Kamchatka other than helicopter and snowmobile. Nothing wrong with that, but it does come at a price.

Ski lift trail and hotel infrastructure have undergone serious improvements in recent years, partly as a direct result of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. At Mt Elbrus, the old cable cars and chairlift have been fully replaced by modern gondolas all the way up to 3847m, which is by our estimations the second highest ski lift in the Europe behind Zermatt Switzerland and just above Chamonix’s Aiguille du Midi in France. In contrast, near Elbrus, the old resort of Mt Cheget has got its original ski lifts from the 1960s and repairs and maintenance is reputedly not the greatest!

Cat Skiing Russia

At least one well establish cat skiing operation operates in the vastness of Russia. The Pri Freeride Company is based in western Siberia near the tiny town of Priiskovoe (or Priiskovy). Stay tuned for more information on their operation!

Heliskiing Russia

Heliskiing is all the rage in Russia. Big lumbering Mil helicopters and smaller A-Stars operate around the massive summit of Elbrus and the volcanic wilds of Kamchatka. More information on heli skiing Russia is coming soon.

Where are Russian Ski Resorts & Heliskiing?

Russia is the largest country in the world………… by a very long margin! The vastness of Russia can be gauged by the distance between some of its most popular ski areas. From the premier Russian ski resorts in the northern Caucasus near Sochi to the far east adventure destination of Kamchatka is around 7800km, or almost a third of the way around the northern hemisphere! The distances dictate that flying is the only real travel option to reach the various destinations.

Sochi and its associated ski resorts are in the northern Caucasus, close to Georgia and 1400km south of Moscow. Istanbul in Turkey is only 950km away! Elbrus is only 200km east of Sochi as the crow flies, but is a hellish 12hr drive if one has the spirit to attempt it.

Kamchatka is in the far east of Russia, effectively in Asia. The peninsula is north of Japan, 6700km east of Moscow and 2230km north of Vladivostok. Los Angeles in the USA is actually closer to Kamchatka than Moscow!

Travel to Russia

Regardless of where you ski in Russia, flights into the country will generally be via Moscow, and in some cases St Petersburg (LED). Moscow has two airports and one may need to use both. The main international airport, Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) is north of Moscow, with the more regionally focussed Domodedovo Moscow Airport (DME), I hr drive to the south on the other side of the capital. Most flights to Kamchatka go via Vladivostok (VVO) and can avoid Moscow if coming from the Americas or Asia.

Gateway airports for Russian ski areas are as varied as the landscape. The Sochi International Airport (AER) services Rosa Khutor, Gazprom and Gorky Gorod. It can be reached directly via Moscow and Istanbul (IST).

For Kamchatka, the classically Russian named city, Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky (airport code - PKC), has an airport only 60km north of the main heliskiing area, Snow Valley. It can be reached via Vladivostok and the other far east city of Khabarovsk Novy (KHV)

The best airport for Elbrus is a 3hr drive north at Mineralnye Vody (MRV).

To search for a great deal on a flight to Moscow or other Russian airport, use one of our recommended flight search engines.

For more detailed information see our Travel to Russia page.

Russia Ski Accommodation

Any traveller to Russia will quickly note the variety and differences in quality of Russian hotels and other accommodation. In general, but with some exceptions, accommodation is one or two stars less than their western European equivalent. Moscow is one exception. Some excellent hotels exist for prices that should make most western hotels ashamed.

See all Moscow Hotel Accommodation here >>>

At the premier ski resorts, it is hard nowadays to stay in anything less than an ostentatious Russian 5-star hotel. But at the base of Elbrus in the villages of Azau and Terskol lodgings are more basic, even austere. In Kamchatka you will get what you are given!

See all Sochi Ski Resorts Accommodation here >>>

See all Elbrus Ski Accommodation here >>>

See all Kamchatka Accommodation here >>>

Reasons to Ski & Snowboard Russia

Why ski Russia? Why not? If not now, then when?

  • It is different, sometimes challenging, but high adventure and fun;
  • Lift tickets for a tad over €20 in modern ski resorts;
  • Deep, consistent snow packs in the Caucasus and the far east;
  • High end hotels for bargain prices near Krasnaya Polyana;
  • Ski and climb Elbrus - one of the ‘seven summits of the world’;
  • Cat Skiing in Siberia;
  • Ski and board remote Kamchatka via helicopter or snow mobile;
  • Diverse cultural experiences in the cities and countryside;
  • And did we mention adventure ........... and vodka!


Tours in Russia

Backcountry Skiing Tours
Ski Mt Elbrus DETAILS
SKI MT ELBRUS, RUSSIA
13 Days
From price based on bunk room style accommodation.
Base/invoice currency is USD
*Display price may vary due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 5,100
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ski one of the Seven Summits. Mt. Elbrus is a stunning volcanic peak located in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia and at 18,510′ (5642m) it is Europe’s, as well as Russia’s, highest peak. On this 13 day ski mountaineering expedition, we’ll attempt a ski descent from the summit.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Russia here
Heli Skiing Tours
Heliski Kamchatka Volcanos Russia DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE HELISKI ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 6,438
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Helski on volcanos in one the most stunningly beautiful places in the world. Enjoy 6-8000m vertical a day with single descents of up to 1600m. Stay in wonderful accommodation with its own hot springs. Join the "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Russia here

Ski & Snowboard Holiday Package Quote
Moscow lodging & accommodations for Russia.
Hosted Ski Tours & Multi-Resort Safaris
Sochi Ski Resorts

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Elbrus Ski Resorts

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Kamchatka

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Russia Ski Resorts

Elbrus
Gazprom
Gorky Gorod
Kamchatka
Rosa Khutor


    Rosa Khutor Ski Trail Map
  • Rosa Khutor Ski Trail Map

    Gazprom Ski Trail Map
  • Gazprom Ski Trail Map

    Gorky Gorod Ski Trail Map
  • Gorky Gorod Ski Trail Map

    Elbrus Ski Trail Map
  • Elbrus Ski Trail Map