If you are tired of spending winter holidays in the American Rockies or the European Alps, you may want to give skiing and snowboarding in Russia a try. Russia is a winter lover’s paradise, complete with more than 200 ski resorts. Thanks to a history of excellence in winter sports, and most recently hosting the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia boasts world-class sporting venues available to starters and professionals alike.
Caspian News has collected some of the best snowy destinations Russia has to offer skiers and snowboarders, presented here.
The Rosa Khutor alpine ski resort is arguably the best option for those who dream of flying effortlessly down some of the longest ski runs Russia has to offer. Located in on the west of the Rosa Khutor plateau in the southwestern portion of Russia, this resort is considered the best in Russia not just for athletes but also for beginners.
The total length of Rosa Khutor’s runs is more than 102 kilometers, or approximately 63 miles. It is one of the few places in the world where competitions in skiing, snowboarding and freestyle are hosted. Rosa Khutor is also home to summer sports thanks to the region’s diverse climate.
The resort is equipped with the largest snowmaking system in Europe, allowing guests to enjoy skiing from mid-December until April. Once you are there, do not miss the chance to visit its snow parks where you can test out your snowboarding skills on multiple lines.
If you enjoy flying down a snow-covered slope, feeling the wind on your face, and soaking up beautiful mountain scenery then do not miss a chance to visit Bobrovy Log ski and fun park. Occupying an area of 80 hectares, the Bobrovy Log, or Beaver log, is considered the largest ski complex in Siberia, complete with an ice skating rink. There are 14 runs of differing complexity, with a total length of 9.7 kilometers (about six miles), available for skiing and snowboarding, and the drop on the slopes is 350 meters. If you love skiing, this is your place – the season lasts for six months!
In summer season the complex becomes a haven for horseback riders and extreme sports enthusiasts, children's clubs, gazebos for picnics, cafes and summertime restaurants.
Dombay Ski Resort
Located in the North Caucasus region, mountainous Dombay is a hub for mountaineering and skiing. Located about 65 km (40 mi) from Elbrus – the highest point in Russia and Europe – Dombay sits at an altitude of 1,630 to 1,650 meters above sea level, nestled in a mountain glade formed from the junction of the three main gorges: Alibek, Amanauz and Dombay-Ulgen.
Dombay’s wide, flat slopes create perfect opportunities for extreme sports fans for freeride and off-piste skiing. The skiing area is located at an altitude of 1,800-3,200 m, the length of the trails of varying degrees of complexity is more than 20 km, and the maximum elevation difference is 1,400 m.
Bolshoi Vudyavr, also known as Big Wood, is a true adventure. This ski resort is located north of the Arctic Circle at the foot of the Khibiny mountain range (1,700 km from Moscow). Once you decided to visit Bolshoi Vudyavr, do not forget to put on the warmest jacket you own, since Khibiny winters are rarely warmer than -35° C (-31° F) and the snow lasts more than 250 days out of the year!
There are plenty of routes for skiing, with a total height difference of about 650 meters. What is the highest mountain ski resort in the northwestern part of Russia offers 25 km (15.5 mi) ski runs targeted at both real pros and newbies.