Ski Russia

With so many of the ‘new rich’ Russians now filling top resorts in the Alps, most noticeably Courchevel, Kitzbuhel and St Moritz, it should come as no surprise that the world's largest country is home to more than 120 ski areas.

Most of these were internationally unknown until the end of the Soviet era in the 1980s, but subsequently the full range of Russian ski possibilities has become known and new privatised resorts developed. There are few, if any, countries on earth with a more diverse range of resorts.

To begin with, there are the dozens of small ski hills in and surrounding Russia’s major cities, particularly Moscow and St Petersburg.

Many can be reached by metro train services and during the Soviet era many operated rudimentary lifts and ungroomed slopes free of charge to citizens at weekends, if you were prepared to queue.

Now privatised, many of these slopes still exist and indeed some have become so exclusive in contrast to their origins that lift pass prices are reported to be among the world’s highest to price out most people. There’s also one of the world’s biggest indoor snow centres, snej.com, in Moscow.

Next is Russia’s world class terrain along its southern borders. Although Mont Blanc is sometimes reported to be Europe’s highest mountain, it is in fact Mount Elbrus on the border with Asia that’s higher at 5633m, and it can be possible for ski cats to take you above the height of the top lift, at 3800m, right up to 5100m for some huge descents.

This is also the area where the Russian government and several giant corporations have transformed the ski slopes close to the Black Sea city of Sochi in to several resorts for the 2014 Winter Olympics which, after billions of investment, boast the most state-of-the-art lift system to be found anywhere in the world.

Plans are now in place to develop five more world class ski areas in the region over the next decade, with a combined total of nearly 900km and guest capacity of 150,000 in a bid to help stimulate economic growth in the region.

Moving east in to Siberia more new resorts have been created but others from the Soviet era have been abandoned. As recently as the 1980s cities artificially created for mining up in the arctic saw no winter daylight due to their latitude and doctors prescribed skiing to some of the workers in order to help them keep fit and active in the harsh conditions.

But while those cities have closed, in the capitalist era new commercial centres have been created such as Kvan at the country’s main car making city, where a remarkable $30m ski slope has been built with a giant steel frame at the top of the hill that adds 100m of slope length and 20m of vertical.

On the North Pacific Coast, half-a-dozen time zones from Moscow, skiing remains a major attraction, this time in particular heli-skiing on the Kamchatka peninsula, world famous destination for this version of the sport.

Russia’s ski area development is not without its troubles; there have been helicopter crashes at Kamchatka and in the Caucasus which are also earthquake prone, and terrorist groups have shot tourists and tried to blow up ski lifts in recent years at Elbrus too.

But set against this is the determination of avid skiers and sometime political personas such as Vladimir Putin have been a driving force in the development of the Russian ski industry over the past decade.
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Russia: latest snow conditions round-up

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Russia. Fresh snow is forecast at 18 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Ski resorts of Russia, alphabetically

Resort
snow depth
top and bottom

on-piste

off-piste

Last Snow

Next 9 Days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

(713m — 820m)

clear part cloud mod rain part cloud part cloud
Mid station 766 m
4050m 3450m 3500m 3600m 3850m

(1918m — 2504m)

thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 2211 m
4750m 4550m 4450m 4350m 4300m

(1500m — 2050m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
yesterday
1
light rain light rain light rain cloud rain showers
Mid station 1775 m
2900m 2000m 1750m 2150m 1800m

(300m — 517m)

rain showers cloud rain showers part cloud part cloud
Mid station 408 m
1950m 2650m 2200m 2400m 2400m

(1620m — 3005m)

snow report 18 days ago

3 cm
18 days ago
rain showers thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 2312 m
4800m 4600m 4500m 4500m 4500m

(530m — 1004m)

snow report 23 days ago

1 cm
23 days ago
light rain part cloud mod rain clear rain showers
Mid station 767 m
3550m 3550m 3650m 3500m 4000m

(102m — 590m)

snow report 23 days ago

1 cm
23 days ago
clear clear clear clear part cloud
Mid station 346 m
2750m 2950m 3200m 3350m 3500m

(785m — 905m)

snow report 30 days ago

2 cm
30 days ago
rain showers part cloud rain showers thunderstorm clear
Mid station 845 m
3650m 3750m 3950m 3700m 3800m

(856m — 3456m)

snow report 4 days ago

3 cm
4 days ago
2
6
cloud cloud light snow light snow part cloud
Mid station 2156 m
1700m 2050m 2150m 1850m 2100m

(370m — 890m)

snow report 5 days ago

7 cm
5 days ago
light rain clear light rain cloud light rain
Mid station 630 m
3300m 3550m 3400m 2450m 2050m

(2311m — 4750m)

snow report 6 days ago

2 cm
6 days ago
6
14
4
snow showers snow showers light snow snow showers snow showers
Mid station 3530 m
1650m 2050m 2150m 1900m 2100m

(920m — 3456m)

snow report 3 days ago

3 cm
3 days ago
light snow light snow light snow cloud cloud
Mid station 2188 m
1850m 2050m 2250m 1350m 2400m

(960m — 2200m)

opens in 180 days
thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 1580 m
4650m 4450m 4400m 4350m 4300m

(167m — 600m)

snow report 22 days ago

1 cm
22 days ago
cloud cloud light rain part cloud part cloud
Mid station 384 m
1800m 1950m 2200m 1050m 2400m

(2100m — 3550m)

snow report 14 days ago

5 cm
14 days ago
rain showers thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 2825 m
4700m 4550m 4450m 4450m 4450m

(3203m — 5642m)

snow report today

3 cm
today
1
14
6
rain showers thunderstorm snow showers snow showers snow showers
Mid station 4422 m
4750m 4650m 4550m 4550m 4500m

(2340m — 3800m)

snow report 12 days ago

2 cm
12 days ago
rain showers thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 3070 m
4750m 4650m 4550m 4550m 4500m

(575m — 2320m)

opens in 173 days
thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 1448 m
4650m 4450m 4400m 4350m 4300m

(669m — 1270m)

snow report 16 days ago

6 cm
16 days ago
cloud cloud rain showers mod rain rain showers
Mid station 970 m
2850m 2200m 1800m 2100m 1800m

(123m — 2173m)

snow report 2 days ago

8 cm
2 days ago
light rain light rain light rain part cloud part cloud
Mid station 1148 m
1800m 2000m 2300m 1150m 2500m

(139m — 189m)

part cloud clear clear clear rain showers
Mid station 164 m
4000m 4050m 4100m 4100m 3850m

(430m — 862m)

part cloud thunderstorm light rain clear thunderstorm
Mid station 646 m
4100m 3400m 3400m 3700m 3850m

(550m — 2238m)

thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 1394 m
4650m 4450m 4400m 4350m 4300m

(17m — 200m)

clear part cloud rain showers part cloud rain showers
Mid station 108 m
4100m 4050m 3750m 3900m 3950m

(547m — 1800m)

opens in 173 days
thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm thunderstorm
Mid station 1174 m
4650m 4450m 4400m 4350m 4300m