SPONSORED POST: With the 2014 Winter Olympics fast approaching, billions of people around the world will be turning their eyes towards Sochi and the snow-based entertainment that lies ahead. For those who plan on watching as much of the Olympics TV coverage as possible, the dramatic, eye-catching surroundings and miles and miles of perfect powdery white snow will probably create an undeniable yearning to go skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling. The omnipresent TV coverage may perhaps give you the desire to take a snow-drenched vacation sometime soon, and if you want Russia to be your getaway destination of choice, then the following article might be able to assist you in picking where to spend your time.
Krasnaya Polyana is commonly referred to as “the Switzerland of Russia,” and offers a vast selection of skiable mountains that are topped with a dreamlike snowy goodness that may prove difficult for your skis to refuse. Much has been made of the influx of money flooding the area due to the Olympics, such as an article by The Guardian dating back to 2008 that stated, “Within the next five years, a large chunk of the $12 billion government Olympic fund… will develop three new areas, including Roza Khutor, a beautiful virgin valley where the helis currently drop small numbers of skiers each day. By 2014 there will be 40 pistes and 15 lifts.”
Found deep in Krasnodar territory, the Roza Khutor ski resort possesses almost 40 kilometers of ski run flawlessness that are suited to both beginners as well as seasoned pros, from safe green circle runs to treacherous black diamonds. The artificial snow machines create a magnificent skiable whiteness that lasts for up to half a year, providing nearly 250 acres of gorgeous skiing splendor.
Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, is situated in Prielbrusie, a region in the Central Caucasus that plays host to more than a quarter of a million skiers every year. Varying in length from 1,000 to 1,500 meters, 10 thrill-seeking runs are on offer. Located in a valley in the Caucasus (approximately 40 kilometers from Sochi), the Caucasus Mountain slopes offers a challenge for even the most experienced skiers. There is an annual snowfall of around one and a half meters, with snow starting to cover the slopes at the end of November and then sticking around until early June.
Situated 1,600 meters above sea level, the village of Dombai boasts approximately 20 kilometers of superlative ski runs, with numerous chances to travel through open woodland areas. Celebrated for these striking rural forest areas, daring free-riders have been known to visit Dombai expressly for a chance to ski with such uninhibited freedom (skidom?). With a drop of more than 600 meters on some runs, 6 complex routes have been created with only the most knowledgeable and dedicated of skiers in mind. Since it has an audacious vertical drop of roughly 500 meters, Mount Musa Achitara’s run is one of the highlights for many ski veterans.
Some of the longest ski runs in all of Russia are present in Sochi, plus the nearby beaches lining the Black Sea are excellent for those who want to ditch the snow for a little sun instead. Not only that, but there are many other activities to try if skiing is not your thing, including paragliding, hot air ballooning, and snowmobile rentals. And if traditional skiing has lost its allure, but you want to remain within the stunning snowy climes, then helicopter skiing and snowboarding are exhilarating options to consider as well.