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)
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue

(713m — 820m)

snow report 3 days ago

4 cm
3 days ago
1
1
light snow cloud cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 766 m
1750m 850m 2050m 2300m 2650m

(550m — 2238m)

3 cm
on 25 May
clear clear part cloud mod rain part cloud
Mid station 1394 m
3550m 3550m 3800m 2950m 2700m

(1918m — 2504m)

snow report 5 days ago

2 cm
5 days ago
clear clear part cloud mod rain rain showers
Mid station 2211 m
3650m 3550m 3750m 3000m 2900m

(1500m — 2050m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
15 days ago
4
4
cloud part cloud clear clear clear
Mid station 1775 m
2750m 0m 0m 0m 0m

(300m — 517m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
on 24 Apr
cloud light snow part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 408 m
0m 0m 0m 0m 0m

(1620m — 3005m)

snow report 5 days ago

18 cm
7 days ago
clear clear part cloud heavy rain light rain
Mid station 2312 m
3600m 3550m 3650m 3050m 2850m

(530m — 1004m)

6 cm
on 9 May
4
4
6
light snow light snow part cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 767 m
400m 0m 0m 500m 350m

(102m — 590m)

snow report on 14 May

1 cm
on 15 May
light rain part cloud part cloud heavy rain rain showers
Mid station 346 m
2400m 2450m 3350m 2150m 750m

(785m — 905m)

snow report yesterday

4 cm
29 days ago
3
light rain part cloud part cloud cloud light snow
Mid station 845 m
1250m 1200m 1250m 1100m 850m

(856m — 3456m)

snow report 2 days ago

1 cm
11 days ago
1
10
4
clear light snow cloud light snow light snow
Mid station 2156 m
800m 750m 550m 850m 1050m

(370m — 890m)

snow report 9 days ago

1 cm
9 days ago
8
3
9
light snow light snow part cloud light rain light snow
Mid station 630 m
450m 400m 350m 950m 700m

(2311m — 4750m)

snow report 2 days ago

5 cm
8 days ago
3
23
9
clear light snow cloud light snow snow showers
Mid station 3530 m
650m 600m 450m 800m 1250m

(920m — 3456m)

snow report 2 days ago

4 cm
11 days ago
2
4
5
clear snow showers cloud light rain snow showers
Mid station 2188 m
1000m 750m 850m 1300m 750m

(960m — 2200m)

opens in 71 days 2 cm
5 days ago
clear clear part cloud mod rain part cloud
Mid station 1580 m
3550m 3550m 3800m 2950m 2700m

(167m — 600m)

snow report on 16 May

3 cm
on 17 May
1
part cloud clear cloud light rain light rain
Mid station 384 m
950m 700m 600m 950m 750m

(2100m — 3550m)

snow report 5 days ago

13 cm
7 days ago
45
4
clear part cloud part cloud light snow light snow
Mid station 2825 m
3600m 3400m 3500m 3100m 2950m

(3203m — 5642m)

snow report yesterday

8 cm
7 days ago
51
12
part cloud clear part cloud mod snow snow showers
Mid station 4422 m
3600m 3500m 3650m 3100m 2900m

(2370m — 3800m)

snow report yesterday

9 cm
7 days ago
34
7
rain showers clear part cloud light snow light snow
Mid station 3085 m
3600m 3500m 3650m 3150m 2900m

(575m — 2320m)

opens in 71 days 1 cm
7 days ago
clear clear part cloud mod rain part cloud
Mid station 1448 m
3600m 3550m 3800m 2950m 2700m

(669m — 1270m)

snow report yesterday

1 cm
18 days ago
1
light snow snow showers cloud part cloud clear
Mid station 970 m
1450m 0m 0m 0m 0m

(123m — 2173m)

snow report 4 days ago

2 cm
3 days ago
4
6
9
light snow snow showers cloud cloud light snow
Mid station 1148 m
950m 700m 700m 1450m 700m

(139m — 189m)

2 cm
on 16 Apr
light rain cloud cloud cloud light rain
Mid station 164 m
2550m 2550m 2200m 1000m 750m

(430m — 862m)

snow report 3 days ago

2 cm
on 22 May
cloud cloud cloud cloud part cloud
Mid station 646 m
1600m 1800m 2150m 2400m 2650m

(17m — 200m)

8 cm
on 20 Apr
cloud cloud rain showers cloud light rain
Mid station 108 m
2850m 2600m 2700m 2750m 1600m

(547m — 1800m)

opens in 78 days 6 cm
on 24 May
clear clear part cloud mod rain part cloud
Mid station 1174 m
3550m 3550m 3800m 2950m 2700m