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.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for Russia

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)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(713m — 820m)

snow report today

1 cm
today
clear cloud part cloud cloud cloud
Mid station 766 m
0m 350m 650m 0m 0m

(1918m — 2504m)

snow report yesterday

12 cm
yesterday
clear clear part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 2211 m
550m 1500m 2400m 1950m 2050m

(1500m — 2050m)

snow report 13 days ago

15 cm
13 days ago
4
1
4
part cloud light snow cloud clear light snow
Mid station 1775 m
2250m 500m 0m 900m 800m

(300m — 517m)

snow report 14 days ago

1 cm
14 days ago
1
cloud cloud part cloud part cloud cloud
Mid station 408 m
1450m 0m 0m 0m 0m

(1620m — 3005m)

snow report yesterday

18 cm
yesterday
clear part cloud part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 2312 m
700m 2300m 2250m 1850m 2300m

(530m — 1004m)

snow report 11 days ago

12 cm
11 days ago
3
part cloud clear light snow part cloud clear
Mid station 767 m
2450m 2100m 700m 650m 1650m

(102m — 590m)

snow report 8 days ago

2 cm
8 days ago
clear cloud thunderstorm cloud clear
Mid station 346 m
250m 1650m 1450m 950m 1700m

(785m — 905m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
yesterday
2
cloud part cloud part cloud clear cloud
Mid station 845 m
1150m 1000m 600m 600m 2950m

(856m — 3456m)

snow report 7 days ago

4 cm
7 days ago
2
cloud clear part cloud clear cloud
Mid station 2156 m
0m 0m 0m 0m 0m

(370m — 890m)

snow report today

2 cm
today
14
16
18
light snow part cloud cloud snow showers light snow
Mid station 630 m
0m 0m 0m 0m 550m

(2311m — 4750m)

snow report 8 days ago

11 cm
8 days ago
2
light snow clear part cloud clear cloud
Mid station 3530 m
0m 450m 200m 300m 0m

(920m — 3456m)

snow report 8 days ago

16 cm
8 days ago
cloud cloud part cloud clear clear
Mid station 2188 m
0m 750m 600m 850m 600m

(960m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 53 days 10 cm
yesterday
clear clear cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 1580 m
700m 2750m 2150m 1700m 2750m

(167m — 600m)

snow report 8 days ago

3 cm
8 days ago
light snow cloud part cloud clear clear
Mid station 384 m
0m 700m 650m 700m 550m

(2100m — 3550m)

snow report yesterday

13 cm
yesterday
clear clear part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 2825 m
800m 1950m 1850m 1400m 1550m

(3203m — 5642m)

snow report yesterday

2 cm
yesterday
clear clear part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 4422 m
850m 2100m 2200m 1750m 1950m

(2340m — 3800m)

snow report yesterday

11 cm
yesterday
clear clear part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 3070 m
850m 2100m 2200m 1750m 1950m

(575m — 2320m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 46 days 7 cm
yesterday
clear clear cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 1448 m
650m 2700m 2200m 1700m 2700m

(669m — 1270m)

snow report 2 days ago

5 cm
2 days ago
1
11
10
part cloud cloud part cloud clear light snow
Mid station 970 m
2400m 500m 0m 800m 600m

(123m — 2173m)

snow report 3 days ago

3 cm
3 days ago
7
3
light snow cloud part cloud clear clear
Mid station 1148 m
0m 900m 950m 950m 400m

(139m — 189m)

snow report 7 days ago

1 cm
7 days ago
cloud light rain light rain clear part cloud
Mid station 164 m
2000m 1000m 900m 0m 2600m

(430m — 862m)

snow report today

4 cm
today
3
part cloud part cloud cloud light snow cloud
Mid station 646 m
0m 0m 500m 0m 0m

(550m — 2238m)

snow report yesterday

7 cm
yesterday
clear clear cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 1394 m
700m 2750m 2200m 1700m 2750m

(17m — 200m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
yesterday
1
cloud part cloud light rain clear clear
Mid station 108 m
0m 1200m 850m 0m 0m

(547m — 1800m)

opens in 46 days
clear clear cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 1174 m
650m 2750m 2200m 1700m 2750m