Top Seven Ski Resorts in Russia
While you may be tempted to use winter as an excuse to hibernate, it’s a great time to improve your fitness through exhilarating winter sports like downhill skiing. Russia’s ski industry has been booming ever since Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and offers up a number of epic ski resorts in places like the Northern Caucasus.
Russia of course shares the same winter season as Europe and North America, offering up fresh powder usually between December and April. Whether you want to tackle Mount Elbrus, Europe’s tallest peak, or simply wish to learn the basics of skiing, we thought we’d introduce you to the best ski resorts in Russia.
So get ready to engage your core and shed some of that added holiday weight by checking out some of these great Russian ski slopes.
KANT Sports Club or Nagornaya
If you live in Moscow and want to go skiing or snowboarding, then you just can’t miss the “KANT” ski center in the southern part of the capital. Just 20 minutes from the Red Square, they’re easily Moscow’s most accessible ski slopes and perfect for travelers who are limited on time.
There are numerous trails, with a total length of 3.5 kilometers. Trail lengths range from 80m to 350m, with 6 available lifts. There is an onsite sporting goods store and tubing facilities. KANT’s slopes are actually found on an artificial hill just five minutes from Nagornaya metro station, which is why locals nicknamed the slopes Nagornaya.
Skilled skiers can choose the “Freeride” marked trails to practice your skills and there is a trail for cross-country skiing as well as a snowboard park.
Stepanovo Ski Resort
Stepanovo is a small ski resort located in the Dmitrovo district. There are 5 trails, of which a few are considered spacious and comfortable “green” trails for beginners. The total length of the two trails is more than one kilometer.
Stepanovo is also convenient because you can see the surrounding slopes at a glance. If you are skiing together as a family or as a corporate function, you will be within sight of each other. Moreover, there are not only “green” slopes, but also technically difficult slopes if you have more advanced skills. The snow park has a rental office, a school with instructors, and a storage room.
Stepanovo offers up some of the longest runs in the Moscow region, with beginners finding the runs to be some of the most comfortable. Hotels in the area offer additional ski schools and saunas for relaxing after a day on the slopes.
Sorochany Ski Area
Offering up ten trails and five lifts, the Sorochany Ski Area mainly caters to advanced skiers, but there are suitable trails for younger individuals and beginners. The Sorochany Ski Area is situated roughly 60km from Moscow, making it a great day-trip skiing destination.
You can maximize your time skiing due to the fact the slopes are lit up at night until around 2-3AM. They also have snow making facilities which means you’ll have fresh powder even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. You can expect longer trails here than those found closer to Moscow.
The Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort
Situated along the Aibga Ridge of the Western Caucasus, Rosa Khutor was brought to the world’s attention when it hosted alpine skiing events during the 2014 Winter Olympics. It has a long ski season, offering up around 140 days of skiing annually and is the largest of the four Krasnaya Polyana ski resorts.
Rosa Khutor is popular with both skiers and snowboarders, with three different terrain parks to choose from. There are roughly 90km of slopes which are serviced by 26 lifts. You also get to ride the Olympic gondola to reach the Olympic Village where the ski runs start. You can tackle competition runs, beginner and intermediate runs, or the off-piste area.
You’ll also find a ski and snowboard school which offers classes for young children, as well as dining, shopping, and ice skating opportunities.
Cheget Ski Resort
Also located within the Caucasus Mountains near Mount Elbrus is the Cheget Ski Resort. With a peak elevation of 3260, it offers skiers a challenging high altitude location where 20km of trails welcome them. Cheget also usually offers an extended ski season running from around mid-October to mid-May.
While most of Cheget’s ski trails are geared towards advanced and expert skiers, there is one green run that is suitable for less-skilled skiers. Cheget’s black run is a true challenge, and makes for a top location where skiers train. There have been a number of international ski competitions held here.
Metallurg-Magnitogorsk Ski Centre
Located near lake Bannoye in the southern Ural Mountains, the Metallurg-Magnitogorsk Ski Centre is a favorite of both skiers and snowboarders. The slopes are enveloped by beautiful forests and offer 7km of trails along with a 60m half-pipe with 16° decline.
Because this is one of Russia’s newest ski areas, it sports new technology like its 1700m long speed elevator which can accommodate nearly 3,000 skiers every hour. Skiers also have access to luggage lockers, first-aid, and ski repair on site.
Gazprom Mountain Resort
You know a ski resort must be good when it gets the tick of approval from the Russian President. Gazprom Mountain Resort is said to be the ski resort of choice for Vladimir Putin and is actually partially government-owned.
It should come as no surprise that Gazprom Mountain Resort is one of Russia’s most exclusive ski resorts and trips don’t come cheap. However, the experience is worth it, with 21km of beautiful trails winding through beech forests and 14 state of the art lifts that cut down on transport time between runs. Gazprom hosted the cross-country skiing and biathlon competitions during the Sochi Olympics of 2014.
Ready to take your own ski trip to Russia? Check out Russian travel visa requirements at Visa Express.