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.
Skitouring on the slopes of Viluchinsky volcano and surrounding mountains.
We will use a snowmobile or 4WD vehicles for daily approach.
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.
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.
Transfer to the airport for your departure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Insulated gloves or mittens
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 towel.
Sun/Cold and Lip Cream
Gear for the Mutnovsky hut:
Sleeping bag (comfort temperature 0/-5 C). Synthetic is preferable.
We provide dishes and utensils.
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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