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


Top Rated

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Russia Ski Resorts

Gorky Gorod
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

Ski Russia

It’s time to Rush-in to ski Russia! Gather up your rubles and rush over to experience skiing & 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!

Reasons to Ski 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, Siberia and the far east;
  • High end hotels for bargain prices near Krasnaya Polyana;
  • Ride one of the highest ski lifts in Europe on Elbrus;
  • Ski and climb Elbrus - one of the 'seven summits of the world’;
  • Cat Skiing in Siberia;
  • Ski and board remote Kamchatka via helicopter, skinning or snow mobile;
  • Diverse cultural experiences in the cities and countryside;
  • And did we mention adventure ........... & vodka!

Russian Skiing & Snowboarding

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 with Pri Freeride from October to June. All sorts of freeride backcountry options are in Kamchatka, where skiing & 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 established cat skiing operation is in the remote vastness of Siberian Russia. The Pri Freeride Company is based in the tiny town of Priiskovoye (or Priiskovy) & provides a delightful haven during its long 7 to 8-month ski season.

Heliskiing Russia

Heli skiing 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 Areas?

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, or in some cases St Petersburg Airport (LED). Moscow has two airports and one may need to use both. The main Moscow international airport, Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) is north of the city, with the more regionally focused Domodedovo Airport (DME), 1hr drive to the south on the other side of the capital. Most flights to Kamchatka go via Vladivostok Airport (VVO) and can avoid Moscow if coming from the Americas or Asia.

Once in Russia, the gateway airports for the ski areas are as varied as the landscape. The Sochi (Adler) Airport (AER) serves Rosa Khutor, Gazprom & Gorky Gorod. It can be reached directly via Moscow & Istanbul Airport (IST).

For Kamchatka, the classically Russian named city, Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky (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 airport of Khabarovsk Novy (KHV)

The best airport for Elbrus is a 3hr drive north at Mineralnye Vody (MRV), whilst the only option for cat skiing in Siberia is the Krasnoyarsk (or Yemelyanovo) Airport (KJA).

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 on travel document requirements & the best ways of getting there, see our Travel to Russia page.


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.

Search & book all Moscow Hotel Accommodation here.

At the premier Russian ski resorts near Sochi, it is hard nowadays to stay in anything less than an ostentatious 5-star hotel. There are a range of very fancy Sochi ski resort hotels to choose from. 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!

Ski Tours in Russia

Heli Skiing Tours

Abkhazia Classic Heliskiing Day
1 & 2-Day
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Abkhazia near Sochi is the best place for heliskiing in the Caucasus. A huge territory, varied terrain, great snow! From wide endless powder fields to excellent tree skiing or steep narrow couloirs. Explore the amazing Western Caucasus by helicopter. Join a small group day tour from mid-Dec to mid-April.
Price p/p From price based on a single day heliskiing in a group of four.
Base/invoice currency is in EUR incl taxes.
AUD 1,607
View Details
Abkhazia Heliskiing 5 Day Package
6 Days | 5 Nights | 5 Heliski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Abkhazia near Sochi is the best place for heliskiing in the Caucasus. A huge territory, varied terrain, great snow! From wide endless powder fields to excellent tree skiing or steep narrow couloirs. Over 5 days explore the amazing Western Caucasus by helicopter. Join a small group day tour from mid-Dec to mid-April.
Price p/p From price based on 5-days of heliskiing in a group of four.
Base/invoice currency is in EUR incl taxes.
AUD 8,002
View Details
Heliski Kamchatka Volcanos Russia
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
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.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
From price based 12 people in a group.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 9,009
View Details
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Russia here

Cat Skiing Tours

Pri Freeride Cat Skiing Packages
8 Days | 7 Nights | 7 Days Cat Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Pri Freeride offers 8 day cat ski packages in Russia with 7 full days of powder cat skiing & snowboarding inclusive of accommodation, transfers & all meals from Oct to May. Start your Siberian cat skiing adventure here...
Price p/p From price based on 8-day package
Base/invoice currency is in EUR inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 2,272
View Details
See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Russia here