Eskimo Freeride

Overall Rating

Eskimo Freeride

Eskimo Freeride 4.4/53
Eskimo Freeride 4.4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Classic Dolomites Ski Safari Inspired Italy
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing at Shar-planina, Macedonia.
Ride deep powder at Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
Awesome ski terrain at Eskimo Freeride.
Eskimo Freeride terrain includes tree skiing.
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
The Shar-planina has quality steeps for expert Eskimos!
Deep powder for snorkeling Eskimos!
Wide open bowls for cruisey Eskimos!
Eskimo Freeride has 7 comfortable snowcats.
Eskimo Freeride base at Hotel Bora (1750m elevation).
The food is a feast for the senses and your appetite!
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
Cat ski camping and night riding is unique to Eskimo Freeride.
Brilliant night skies and remote mountains at the cat ski camp.
Eskimo Freeride cat skiing.
The wine barrel hot tub will break down any barriers!
Ski back into the sunset at Eskimo Freeride, Macedonia.

Eskimo Freeride

Overall Rating

Eskimo Freeride 4.4/53
Eskimo Freeride 4.4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews

Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing

Eskimo Freeride is Europe's longest established and best cat skiing operation. Located in the Sar Mountain (Shar-planina)range in north western Macedonia, the 12m annual snowfall combine with great terrain to create a powder skiing and snowboarding nirvana the envy of any Eskimo!

Operating out of Macedonia's premier ski resort, Popova Sapka, Eskimo Freeride has 7 snowcats to prowl the expansive terrain and enough seats to ensure groups are well matched to ability and terrain.

When you cat ski or ride with Eskimo Freeride, you are in one of the last European wildernesses. There are no mountain huts serving beer and soup, no lift stations, villages or groomed pistes in sight anywhere when out skiing. The land still has bears, wolves, and the ghosts of the forest ..... lynx. Despite this, you can still expect great culinary and local cultural experiences.

Family Friendly

Eskimo Freeride sets itself apart from most other cat ski operations in the world by providing family friendly opportunities. Children and families are welcome and perfectly provided for. Expansive terrain for lower intermediates, expert guides plus fat powder skis allow adults with children to experience the thrill of cat skiing powder together....,.... or separately - you choose! The large number of snowcats at Eskimo Freeride allows for specific groups with lower abilities to have their own guide and snowcat to learn to ski powder with no pressure from other guests. 

Lodging & Food

Meals and accommodation are included in all Eskimo Freeride packages. The operation is based at the Hotel Bora, making a convenient staging point for all guests. Meals, particularly dinner, are a real treat. A wide range of traditional local vegetarian and meat based dishes will tantalise your taste buds. Local wines and beer complement the meals perfectly. Lodging includes access to a classic wine barrel hot tub - a great place to get to know your fellow skiers or snowboarders.

Get a taste of the cat skiing experience from this video........

Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Packages

Eskimo Freeride provides amazing cat skiing holiday packages that will create ever lasting memories. Choose whatever dates suit you best and come toenjoy the thrill of cat skiing powder in a beautiful part of Europe. Cat ski trips with Eskimo Freeride can be for one day or as many as you want - they are fully customisable. 

In Spring you can also experience the Eskimo Freeride cat ski camping, where unlike anywhere else in western Europe, the night sky can be seen in its true brilliance. Cat ski camping also includes night riding sessions with illumination from the snowcats and powerful headlamps - unique in the world!

Where is Eskimo Freeride, Macedonia?

Eskimo Freeride is located near the premier Macedonia ski resort of Popova Sapka.

Popova Sapka is situated in the north west of Macedonia (or FYROM - former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia), 21km by road west of Tetovo and 70km west of the capital, Skopje.
Eskimo Freeride can organise transfers for all of their guests. Alternatively you can arrange your own transport from Skopje to Popova Sapka.

Travel from Skopje to Popova Sapka can be achieved by taxi, bus or train via Tetovo. Buses from Skopje are regular and take an hour to Tetovo for the cost of around €2. Train travel from Skopje to Tetovo is possible once a day for around €3. From Tetovo, a taxi ride is necessary to Popova Sapka and will cost about €10.  Using a taxi for the entire journey from Skopje is the most efficient mode of travel.

Eskimo Freeride can organise direct private transfers from the airport to their cat skiing operation base at Hotel Bora by taxi or van for €20/person. 

Flights into Skopje Alexander the Great Airport

The Skopje Alexander the Great airport is a modern facility 23km by road east of Skopje in Macedonia. During winter, flight destinations include all major cities in western Europe, England and Scandinavia plus Dubai and Doha in the Middle East and Istanbul, Turkey.

Daily flights to Skopje from any one origin city are limited. Daily flights exist from Vienna, Austria and offer the most convenience if travelling to Macedonia whilst already in Europe. Other useful airports include Zurich, Doha and Dubai if travelling from other international origins. See flight map here for Skopje origins and destinations.

To search for a great deal on a flight to Skopje, use one of our recommended flight search engines.

Bus and taxi transport from the airport into Skopje is excellent. Vardar Ekspres runs regular bus services direct to the centre of Skopje for a princely sum equivalent to less than €3. Taxi services from the airport are provided by the Airport taxi company and are heavily regulated with fixed prices to most destinations to avoid any issues for passengers. A taxi journey to Skopje will cost around €20.

The Skopje airport is well served by 14 car rental and hire companies. Vehicles should be checked to ensure they are set up for winter driving (i.e. 4WD/AWD, snow tyres, chains).

To search for and book a rental car use our recommended rental car search engine.


Eskimo Freeride Cat Ski Terrain

The Eskimo Freeride terrain is mainly high alpine meadows with few base obstructions, meaning even in poor snow seasons (lets face it  - it happens everywhere in the world!) the skiing is excellent. But with a annual snowfall of around 12m, there is little chance of that. The terrain includes beautiful mellow terrain for intermediates through to steeps and chutes for experts, plus tree skiing in the lower reaches.

There's a whole spectrum of options available - wide open terrains, tree riding, couloirs, cliffs, banks, natural pipe canyons placed on total of 32 square kilometers. From adrenaline rides down the 50° bowls, or chilling in a safe fluffy 30° slope, there is terrain for everyone.

Locally called Shar-planina or Shar (Sar) mountain, the cat ski area spreads for an amazing 1600 square km, raising up to 2747 m at Tito's peak. Pine wood forest extents from below 1700m and above that lie approximately 550 square km of high pastures. This is the largest compact area covered with pasture on the European continent making it a perfect playground for backcountry addicts! Shar Mountain is by evolution considered "old mountain" as opposed to the European Alps which are "young mountains". Because of this, Shar Mountain is the perfect shape for safe, fun and unlimited freeriding.

Eskimo Freeride's operation extends onto the best part of the mountain range from Tito's peak to Jelak and Popova Sapka base at 1687 m.

The average daily vertical covered is 4000m per day, which can be dependent on conditions, daylight hours and the speed and ability of the group.

Skiers and snowboarders must be at least an intermediate level skier or snowbaorder. Lower intermediates can be easily catered for and are encouraged if part of a larger family group.

Cat Ski Camping & Night Riding

In Spring you can also experience the Eskimo Freeride cat ski camping, where unlike anywhere else in western Europe, the night sky can be seen in its true brilliance.

Cat ski camping also includes night riding sessions with illumination from the snowcats and powerful headlamps - unique in the world! check out the video below for a taste!


The Powderhounds will be reviewing Eskimo Freeride in January 2019. Yay!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are in winter 2018/19 & to get our impressions of Eskimo as it happens!

Safety at Eskimo Freeride

The operators of Eskimo Freeride take the safety of their guests and staff so seriously that they became and associate member of HeliCat Canada - the world's finest associations mechanized freeride operations.

Eskimo follow the high standards and procedures of the HeliCat Canada Association. The guides are professional and experts in the local terrain and snow conditions.

Terrain options exist for every type of snow and avalanche risk condition. Packages include full avalanche gear (with airbag).

Absolute Horror Show DO NOT BOTHER

Tim Chadwick19/03/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Ability
    Expert
  • Country
    UK

Absolute Horror Show DO NOT BOTHER

Tim Chadwick19/03/2019
Booked with Eskimo for 6 days cat skiing and just returned 18/3/19. What an absolute horror story. Firstly lets start with the snow which was next to non existent first day was skiing across brown mud and sludge listening to the Cat scratch and grumble rolling across the rocks. It was about as worse conditions as I have ever skied in and the poor chaps who had been there for a week already said they had zero fresh snow in 7 days. The temps were very high and everywhere you looked it was bleak. Fortunately for us we timed a 20cm dump which covered a multitude of sins but with zero base meant constantly skiing over rocks and earth. A cursory plant of the pole and you could see how thin the snow cover was. Being that its rolling hills with no gradient it gets scraped by the wind which is a double edged sword depositing snow and removing at the same time. We skied 5 days and every single day was on the same side of a mountain, given how much room they have it was rubbish even when we had the fresh powder. Last four days were scorching and slushy mush returned. Snow was that poor we left two full days early and returned to Skopje.

The hotel is Hotel Arena don't be fooled by the pics its a complete dump booking a single room gave me a room with 4 single bunk beds ( I am 1,85 so just a touch cramped...) and a walk in wet room that was so small you could barely wash in the cold water. No curtains on the windows and no hangers in the wardrobe. Outside a pack of feral dogs number 20 or so were constantly prowling and making noise from about 430am when the light got up. Whilst friendly to humans we saw them constantly scavenging and rip another dog to pieces. These dogs tended to come up to the hotel looking for scraps so I would never advise taking a child to this place.

The hotel was dirty and I saw a mouse one day just casually moving down the corridors but the constant feeling of being dirty just never left me. I am well used to skiing off the beaten track with destinations in the Middle East and Africa under my belt not to mention stays in mountain huts but you expect that not when you're supposed to be staying in a hotel.

We were fed Pork at every single meal whilst not unpleasant after 2 days it was just rubbish and we walked up to the other hotel which is far better equipped and the food is excellent.

When it snowed it was a great powder day but for the rest of the time its a filthy hole with nothing to do. The cats are poorly maintained inside and some of the guiding leaves more than a little to be desired. One day my binding broke and the guides had all skied down leaving me at the top of the mountain. Fortunately it was a binding and not a limb but this is just not cricket. Cant say this surprised me after the very poor communication when booking but such is life.

My advice is to avoid this like the plague and if you simple have to go time it with a dump do 1 or 2 days and stay at the other hotel and other cat skiing operation. It's very expensive for what it is and you're better off spending money elsewhere. I dread to think what would happen if you had an accident.

If anyone from PH wants to email me for pictures or feedback in greater detail please feel free to do so.

So much fun!

Louise31/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Ability
    Strong Intermediate
  • Country
    UK

So much fun!

Louise31/03/2018
We had the BEST time in Macedonia with Eskimo - fresh tracks on 8 out of 8 days, the guides were brilliant and always knew the best places to take us to find fresh snow, and safety was always a top priority. We didn't stop smiling from start to finish!

No people amazing offpiste

Christoffer Sørensen17/11/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Ability
    Advanced
  • Country
    Danmark

No people amazing offpiste

Christoffer Sørensen17/11/2017
I have visit Eskimo more than 5 times and I absolutely love it. Great people and amazing terrain. There are so many possibilities, and there are no one else.

Friendly and really professional mountain guides.

Can totally recommend it :)

Eskimo Freeride

Tom Norfa17/11/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Ability
    Advanced
  • Country
    UK

Eskimo Freeride

Tom Norfa17/11/2017
Very cool adventure, recommend it
select
Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing 4 to 8 Day Packages DETAILS
Price p/p From price based on 4-day package which includes 3 days cat skiing & 3 nights lodging in high season (Jan 20 to Mar 20)
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 855

ESKIMO FREERIDE CAT SKIING PACKAGES
4 to 8 Days | 3 to 7 Nights | 3 to 7 Days Cat Skiing

Location: Europe | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Price p/p From price based on 4-day package which includes 3 days cat skiing & 3 nights lodging in high season (Jan 20 to Mar 20)
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 855
Eskimo Freeride offers 4 to 8 day cat ski packages with 3 to 7 full days of cat skiing and snowboarding powder inclusive of accommodation and all meals. Choose your own dates & fully customise your cat-ski tour. All packages are family friendly! More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
Custom Booking Period
Min Days
Price
Availability
Custom Booking Period: Dec 15 - Apr 27, 2019
Min Days: From 3
Price: Enquire
Availability: Available
DETAILS
1Total Results: 1Total Pages: 1