Summer skiing in Kamchatka (Russian Far East): 8 days, 3 volcanoes

Join ACMG certified guide Grigory for this wonderful 8-day trip of summer skiing in Kamchatka Russia. Enjoy summer sun whilst skiing the deep powder snow of volcanoes!

 
 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

8 days

Mountain Range

Kamchatka

People per Guide

6 people

Trip Level

Sustained

Offer Period

Jun

Type of Trip

Group

Highlights

 
  • Delight in top ski conditions on three separate and stunning volcanoes

  • Discover the miraculous and expansive wild beauty of the Kamchatka region

  • Join certified, enthusiastic and highly experienced guides

 

Maybe you thought it wasn’t possible to ski in the summer, well here in Kamchatka there is still up to 5 or 6 metres of snow in June. Here’s your chance to ski volcanoes and mountains in one of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in the world!

This 8-day trip will see you skiing on volcanoes Viluchinsky, Mutnovsky and Gorely in Kamchatka, a 270,000 km squared region in Russia’s far east.

Here winter doens’t end until June begins and there’s still plenty of snow with an average 2-3 metre snow depth at 300-500 metres of altitude.

There are perfect conditions for corn skiing up until mid July and with bright blue skies and stunning views this is a magcal start to the summer!

We will meet in Petropavlovsk and head to Viluchinsky volcano with its wide slopes and gorgeous gullies. The panoramic views from the top reach 150km over mountains, glaciers and volcanoes!

Our accomodation here will be a cozy mountain hotel with hot thermal springs.

Next up is Gorely volcano, one of the most picturesque volcanoes in the world. There are five overlapping stratovolcanoes surrounded by the caldera and 11 cones with many craters also. Some of the craters are filled with acid lakes!

Our final volcano will be Mutnovsky which is a composit of many cones coming together to form one massif. Deep in antiquity the main cone collapsed and this formed a huge crater with glacier, fumaroles and bubbling mud volcanoes inside.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to ski down into this active volcano? Well that’s exactly what we will do, albiet safely, carving down the glacier stright towards the fumarole fields!

If all this amazing skiing wasn’t enough, we will end the trip by heading to the shore of the Pacific Ocean where we have additional activities available, including: sea kayaking in Avachinskaya bay, King Salmon fishing, surfing, barbecue and stunning scenic walks.

This is such a rare opportunity to ski in summer and to do it in areas that few people have ever set foot, let alone seen! Sign up now and I’ll be waiting to lead you out on an unforgettable experiece!

All pumped up and raring to go? Well check out this 8-day ski tour on Kozelsky and Viluchinsky Volcano in Kamchatka, summit Kozelsky and enjoy amazing views! Or consider coming to Georgia and join me on this epic 7-day heli assisted ski tour in the wonderful Caucasus mountains of Svaneti in Georgia!

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Price per person

 
Group of 1
1980 EUR

 

Price includes

 
  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • Half-board meals during trip
  • Transport during the trip
  • Luggage transfer during the trip
  • Group equipment
 Not included in price: International and domestic airfares Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on 7th day. Meals in Petropavlovsk Travel insurance/travel cancellation insurance Wine and spirits
 

Itinerary

 
  • Day 1Petropavlovsk

    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 Snow Valley mountain hotel, by bus and snowmobiles, accommodation, gear and clothing check and avalanche training.

    Rest time and hot thermal springs.

  • Day 2Skitouring Viluchinsky

    Skitouring on the slopes of Viluchinsky volcano and surrounding mountains.

    We will use a snowmobile or 4WD vehicles for daily  approach.

  • Day 4Gorely - Mutnovsky Volcanoes

    Moving to the south. Ascension on Gorely volcano.

    Skiing in the crater of Mutnovsky volcano and on nearby slopes.

    Accommodation in the mountain hut. On day 6th we return to the hotel and spend another night there.

  • Day 7Petropavlovsk return

    Transfer to Petropavlovsk, and then to Pacific Ocean coast.

    Enjoying the scenery, Ukha (famous Russian fish soup) and salmon barbecue. Surfing option is available. Accommodation in the hotel.

  • Day 8Departure

    Transfer to the airport for your departure.

 
 

Other details

 
Skill level required

Intermediate

Fitness level required

Fit

Meeting point

Petropavlovsk

Accommodation

Mountain hotel Snow Valley

The mountain hotel Snow Valley, situated 10 km from Vilyuchinskiy volcano, and surrounded by mountains. Accommodation is in a small chalet with rooms for 4 people and en-suite bathrooms. TWIN or DBL rooms are also available for extra cost. The hotel contains several outdoor pools with hot thermal water, a banya (traditional Russian bathhouse), restaurant and other facilities.

Mutnovsky volcano mountain hut

Mountain hut on the foot of Mutnovsky volcano is surrounded by mountains and has a nice view on the valley. Hut is simple, but spacious and warm (heated by wooden stoves). The hut has a capacity for up to 12 people, but in our programs we limit it with maximum 6-8 persons per hut, to provide the comfort and more space.

More info

Program Logistics:

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.

Meals:

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 camp cooking and will provide meals that are tasty, healthy and nutritious.

There are three 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.

- 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.

Terrain

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.

Skiing

This time of year in Kamchatka, we are mostly looking for corn (spring) skiing. Second only to powder in the "favourite snow conditions" category might just be corn, that delicious grainy Spring snow created by the perfect mix of slope aspect, warm temperature and sunshine. Skiing the Kamchatka corn snow is definitely some of the best Spring skiing on Earth. Hard, cold morning snow melts on the surface with the first light of sun, creating the ideal gliding surface at noon. We find smooth, soft skiing - like skiing powder and carving at the same time.

Volcanoes’ ascends

One of the famous things to do in Kamchatka – ski from the top of volcano. But is it always possible? Of course, not always, and there are some reasons for it. First is the weather, and we can’t do any if it not allows us to ascend the summit. But also there is another reason, safety. Here is some explanation about it.

There are two types of skiing/snowboarding activities – skitouring and ski-mountaineering. Its means different types of terrain and different types of techniques, used to achieve the goal. Obviously, ski-mountaineering is more technical and requires not only special gear (such as boot crampons, ice-axe etc.), but also special skills for using it (rope use for belay etc.) For the guided groups another difference is guide:guests ratio. To provide high safety standards and best possible experience, this ratio should be not more than 1 guide:2 guests. And this is international standard for all qualified mountain guides. In our skitouring programs guide:guests ratio is 1:6 maximum, so obviously we can’t do lot of ski-mountaineering, and we are able to use such a technique only for very short and not very technical sections. It does not mean that you have a bad or worse skiing, skitouring on the volcanic slopes is amazing stuff already by itself. Still, in very good snow conditions sometimes it is possible to climb the volcano in group of 6 and do it in a safe manner.

So, please keep in mind, in our standard skitouring/splitboarding programmes we do not guarantee the summit of most of the volcanoes, and the final decision will be up to your guide, who base it on weather, snow conditions, group abilities etc.

If you are keen to climb the volcano and ski from the summit, we can offer you a private programme, focused on the ascend and skiing from the summit. Don’t hesitate to ask us about such a programme or any other questions regarding skitouring and ski-mountaineering.

Weather

Although Kamchatka lies at a similar latitude to Great Britain, cold Arctic winds from Siberia combined with the cold Ohotskoe sea current cover the peninsula in snow from October to late June.

Winter months are known for their low temperatures and strong winds, which is why volcano skiing is not enjoyable then. The Spring months bring more comfortable weather - warmer, but still bringing snowfall which transforms into light powder until the end of April, or even the beginning of May up high.

Where we hold our skitouring programme, the night temperature in June is usually about minus 0 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature is around plus 10-12 in the shade - but it feels significantly warmer in the sun. In general, the weather is identical to conditions in April-May in the Alps.

As everywhere, bad weather happens. But generally the weather is stable in June and cyclones don’t last long. In fact last year’s statistics show we were skitouring/splitboarding about 90 percent of the time.

Visa

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 copy of your visa in 1 months before arrival. This is official government rule, because of border proximity. So, please apply for visa in advance. But even if you decide to come in a last moment, this question can be solved personally.

Insurance

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. In the area of Vilyuchinskiy volcano the best connection provides Megafon. Snow Valley hotel has a WiFi. There is no mobile connection on the Mutnovsky volcano area. 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.

Language

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.

Money

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.

Moscow transit

There are three international airports in Moscow; Domodedovo (DME), Sheremetyevo (SVO), and Vnukovo (VKO). Depending on your flight plan, you might need to change airports which can be a time consuming. If you do need to change airports, we strongly recommend you allow at least 2 hours for your airport-to-airport transfers.

Gear:

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 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.

Clothing:

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 warm to minus 5C, for bivouac.

Mid-Insulation Layer Top - Polartec 100 or analogue

Base Layer Top and Bottom, mid or warm – 2 pieces each

Light weight socks - 2-3 pairs

Hat

Sun cap

Light gloves

Insulated gloves or mittens

Bivouac shoes

Ski gear:

Skis or Splitboard

Skins. Glue should be in good condition, renew if necessary.

Touring Boots

Ski crampons

Telescopic Poles

Ski helmet

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.

Avalanche gear:

Transceiver (two antenna minimum), extra batteries.

Probe

Shovel

Personal equipment:

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)

Ski goggles

Headlamp with extra batteries

Personal toiletries, light towel.

Sun/Cold and Lip Cream

Gear for the Mutnovsky hut:

Sleeping bag (comfort temperature 0/-5 C). Synthetic is preferable.

Sleeping pad

We provide dishes and utensils.

 

About the Guide

 
 

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.

 
 
FROM 1980 EURper person
 

 

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