Arriving in Petropavlovsk; Don’t forget to book a window seat – in good weather the view of the mountain ranges and volcanoes of Kamchatka is magnificent.
Transfer to your hotel.
Meet the guides, gear check, rest time.
Early morning drive to the base of Kozelsky volcano (about an hour), depending on snow conditions, a snowmobile will carry the group and gear, or just our gear.
An easy tour (about 3 hours) in a birch forest with a nice gully.
Set up a camp at 700m, avalanche training, skitouring on the nearby slopes.
Skitouring/ splitboarding on the slopes of Kozelsky volcano with possible ascend in one day (depending on snow and weather conditions).
Elevation gain for the summit – 1500 vertical metres.
Transfer to mountain hotel, in new touring region.
Luggage is transported by snowmobile.
Skiing/ snowboarding down to the road (about 1 hour), mostly downhill; transfer by bus to Termalny village (about 2 hours), and 2-hours drive to the mountain hotel “Snow Valley”
Lunch, rest time – relaxing in hot thermal springs.
Skitouring on the slopes of Viluchinsky volcano and surrounding mountains.
We will use snowmobiles for daily approach.
Sunday: Early morning drive from mountain hotel to the airport for departure.
Mountain hotel Snow Valley
The mountain hotel Snow Valley, situated 10 km from Vilyuchinskiy volcano, and surrounded by mountains. Accommodation is a small chalet with rooms for 4 people and en-suite bathrooms. TWIN or DBL rooms are also available at an extra cost. The hotel contains several outdoor pools with hot thermal water, a banya (traditional Russian bathhouse), restaurant and other facilities.
Winter tent camping.
Our base camp features a comfortable cooking/dining tent warmed by a gas or wooden heater, along with separate 4-season, 2-person sleeping tents. With a heater you will be able to not only warm up if you get cold but also dry the clothes and gear in cloudy days. Toilet is in a separate toilet tent.
In our modern world, with widespread mountain huts, not many people camp in the winter. But for places such as Kamchatka, it is essential as there is no other way to explore the mountains. Many of our guests, who have never experienced winter camping before, tell us it is way easier and more comfortable than they expected. With a spacious, heated dining tent, you have space to comfortably sit, chat with new friends and enjoy your meals in a comfortable and warm atmosphere. With your warm sleeping bag and mat, after a substantial dinner, you will sleep well in your tent and wake up in the morning to the smell of hot coffee from the dining tent. Life in a winter tent camp is probably easier than you imagine! There are several little tips to make life in a winter camp easier, and our guides will be glad to share their knowledge with you.
For private groups, who are keen to skitour on Kozelsky volcano, but can't or don't want to stay in the tent camp, we can organize a daily program, with early morning transfer from Petropavlovsk to Kozelsky volcano foot and snowmobile approach to the slopes. Please, ask us about such a possibility.
We do our best to make the meals, as well as the skiing, a remarkable part of your trip. We include traditional Kamchatka products, such as fish, seafood, reindeer meat and wild plants. Our chefs are all greatly experienced in winter tent camp cooking and will provide meals that are tasty, healthy and nutritious.
There are two hot meals a day. Here are some examples of the menu:
- Breakfast: cold breakfast - cereal/muesli with milk or yoghurt; hot breakfast - fried eggs, bacon/sausages, pancakes. Tea, coffee.
- Mountain lunch: Sandwiches,chocolate bars, dried fruits/ nuts.
- Aprés ski: Smoked salmon or other local fish, fruits.
- Dinner: Local salads; dishes with meat or fish; sides (pasta, rice, potatoes); stewed vegetables. And of course, desserts and herbal teas.
We don’t serve any alcoholic drinks, but you are welcome to bring a reasonable amount of beer, wine or spirits.
We can accommodate special dietary requirements and food allergies. Our guests are asked to complete a registration form, and mention any dietary needs so we can be fully prepared for your arrival. Please note that all food is purchased before the trip starts and we don't have another opportunity to buy anything or change the menu during the trip.
There are two daily flights from Moscow (SVO or VKO) to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC), by Aeroflot and Rossiya.
Also, there are few flights fom Vladivistok (VVO) and Khabarovsk (KHV), which can work for flights from Asia or Australia.
Please, check current flight information on the air-company's websites.
Transfer from airport to Petropavlovsk takes 40-50 minutes.
Most of the time we ski in the Alpine zone. Big, wide fields up to 38-40 degrees steep, classic Alpine couloirs and some nice cruising on a mellow snow fields are all types of terrain you will meet on Kamchatka's volcanoes.
On an average day the vertical drop is 1200-1500m, but it varies according to the group's abilities.
Visa and Insurance:
To travel to Russia, most foreign nationals are required to have an Entry Visa to Russia. Russian visas can be obtained at your local Russian Embassy or Consulate. In order to apply for a visa you will need proof of your forthcoming visit to Russia, which will be supplied by Skiing In Kamchatka on receipt of your final payment. Provided all the documents are ready, the process usually takes no more than 3-10 working days for a Russian Tourist Visa. It is also possible to ask special agencies for a full visa service.
We will need a copy of your visa 1 month before arrival. This is an official government rule, because of border proximity. So, please apply for a visa in advance. But even if you decide to come at the last moment, this question can be solved personally.
Being adequately insured is a condition of booking a trip with Skiing in Kamchatka. You must have travel and medical insurance, which covers backcountry skiing (skitouring/splitboarding), ski-mountaineering and helicopter rescue. For your peace of mind and to avoid any financial hardship that an unexpected cancellation could cause, we strongly recommend getting Trip Cancellation insurance.
Time in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky - GMT+12
Telephone and Internet:
There are 3 mobile operators covering populated areas of Kamchatka. On the Kozelsky volcano area all 3 are available. We will not have WiFi on Kozelsky volcano camp, but you will be able to use mobile internet on your phone. In the area of Vilyuchinsky volcano the best connection is Megafon. Snow Valley hotel has a WiFi. Please, keep in mind, we do not guarantee cellular coverage when we are in the mountains. Our guides always have satellite phones/messenger for emergency use.
Not many people in Russia speak a foreign language (more likely in big towns, less in the countryside). But people are helpful and will easily understand what you need. The alphabet is Cyrillic so reading can be difficult. If you wish to practice your Russian, we recommend you purchase a phrase-book in advance.
During your trip, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide. Some of our Ski Guides speak German and French as well, but our general language is English. For private groups, we can try to arrange the guide who speaks your language.
The Russian currency is the Rouble (RUB). No other currencies are accepted for payments. Cards are accepted in most big shops, hotels and restaurants, but this type of payment is still not as wide-spread as in Europe or North America. We strongly recommend that you have enough cash with you for the whole holiday. You can change money in banks (closed on weekends and national holidays) or use an ATM (there are plenty in all towns and cities). You might need some cash during program (for example – laundry/drinks in Snow Valley hotel), take it into consideration.
Please service your skis or board before arrival, or bring pocket waxes as there is no ski-service at our base. We have some repair parts and tools to fix most common problems which might arise, but we do not have equipment for hot waxing.
We advise you to carefully read the following list. You will not be able to buy or rent the equipment out here, so do bring everything with you. If you have any questions about equipment or items on (or not on) this list please don’t hesitate to email and ask for advice.
Here is an example of a set of clothes that we recommend. You can change it according to your preferences, but be sure that your clothes suit the weather and temperature during your trip.
Weather Layer Top - Gore-Tex/Softshell or other waterproof breathable jacket
Weather Layer Pants - Gore-Tex/Softshell or other waterproof breathable pants
Warm jacket – Primaloft or similar
Down/synthetic jacket and overpants warm to minus 10 C., for the camp.
Mid-Insulation Layer Top - Polartec 100 or analogue
Base Layer Top and Bottom, mid or warm – 2 pieces each
Mid weight socks - 2-3 pairs
Insulated gloves or mittens
Camp winter boots
Skis or Splitboard
Skins. Glue should be in good condition, renew if necessary.
Binding/Boot/Pole/Skin Repair Kit - tools and parts to fix your personal gear
Ski-mountaineering gear (we might need it for the short sections on the volcanoes):
Boot crampons, compatible with your boots. Aluminium or steel, 10/12-points
Ice axe, 55-65 cm.
Lightweight harness (Black Diamond Couloir or analogue)
Carabiner, pear-shaped – 2 pc.
Transceiver (two antenna minimum), extra batteries.
Backpack, 25-35 litres
Duffel, for carrying your stuff by snowmobile, water resistant.
Personal First Aid kit, blister kit
Thermos, 0.5-0.7 litres
Water flask, 1 litre
Sunglasses, plus extra pair (CE rated 3 or 4)
Headlamp with extra batteries
Personal toiletries, light synthetic towel.
Sun/Cold and Lip Cream (SPF30 or higher)
Winter sleeping bag (rated to -10C or warmer). Synthetic is preferable.
Sleeping pad, 4-seasons (R-value of 3.5 or higher).
We provide spacious 2-person tents, dishes and utensils.
If you prefer to sleep alone, or feel you may disturb your neighbour (snoring, etc.), we strongly recommend you bring a 1-person tent or let us know in advance and we will try to provide personal tent for you.
I am originally from Kamchatka and I have devoted my time to exploring the mountains of the region from childhood. I've been guiding in Kamchatka since 1999 and run guiding projects, organised avalanche courses and worked for the Russian Mountain Guides Association (RMGA).
I am one of few Russians who participated in the Canadian Mountain & Ski Guide Program, and the first and only Ski Guide in Russia to be certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG Ski Guide).
My travel and guiding experience includes many great destinations, such as Kamchatka, Siberia, Caucasus, Japan, South America, Canada, India and Antarctica to name a few. Even though I am based in the Chamonix valley now, I spend several months each year in Kamchatka and Siberia ski touring and skiing and I believe them to be one of the best mountains in the world.
CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2 diploma. Avalanche instructor, forecaster and safety consultant. Wilderness First Responder. Member of the RMGA Technical Committee, instructor-assistant at the Russian Mountain Guide School.
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