Backcountry Camp in Ganalsky range

The Ganalsky range is located 100km from Petropavlovsk, relatively close to the road. It stretches for 80km, with a width of about 20km. The average height of it is 1500-1750m with some peaks reaching 2000m. This range provides tricky and super interesting terrain for ski-touring and ski-mountaineering, as well as perfect powder skiing in treeline zone. Steep spicy couloirs and stunning peaks are the hallmark of this area. Many of the ski lines and slopes are still unskied and waiting for you. There are few mountain valleys, and depending on current snow conditions we choose one of them for our backcountry ski and splitboard camp and spend there 7 good days.

Booking

Dates 2018 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
April 15-23

Custom dates are available

Price: 2190 EUR, per person.

Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 7 days of guiding
  • All transportation from Petropavlovsk/to Petropavlovsk, by vans and snowmobiles
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals during all program: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 1st day, TWIN
  • Accommodation in Paratunka valley, 8th day, TWIN
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent, stoves, cookware, satellite phone)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk and Paratunka
  • Personal insurance
  • Wine and spirits
  • Personal expenses

Itinerary
Day 1: 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; accommodation in Petropavlovsk; meet the guides, gear and clothing check and avalanche training; rest time.
Day 2: Early morning drive to the Ganaly village (about 2-3 hours); load equipment onto snowmobile; depending on snow conditions, snowmobile carries gear and group in turns, or just the gear; if it is not possible to drop off the group, we will have a tour of about 3-4 hours in a birch forest with a nice gully; set up a camp; skitouring on the nearby slopes.
Days 3 to 7: Skitouring/splitboarding in Ganalsky range.
Day 8: In the morning we load our gear on the snowmobile and combine skiing and skinning, slightly downhill, to the road; drive to Paratunka valley, accommodation in the hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to the airport, departure

Depending on weather conditions and other factors, we can make changes to the programme.

Program Logistics
There is one daily flight from Moscow (SVO) to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC), by Aeroflot.
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/Paratunka takes 40-50 minutes.

Accommodation
Hotel in Petropavlovsk.
Our hotel is situated in the old centre of Petropavlovsk, close to the parks, Avachinskaya bay, historical monuments and the museum. Within 2-3 bus stops there is a good choice of cafés, restaurants and shops. Accommodation is in double rooms and the hotel is equipped with a kitchen which can be used by guests.

Accommodation in Paratunka valley is hotel with twin rooms or private chalet with twin rooms, depending on availability. Both places have outdoor pools with hot thermal water.

Winter tent camping.
Our base camp features a comfortable cooking/dining tent warmed by a gas heater, along with separate 4-season, 2-person sleeping tents. 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 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.

Camp food
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 and vegetables. Our guides are all greatly experienced in winter 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: Porridge with berries/ cereal with milk; fried eggs/ pancakes. Tea, coffee.
- Mountain lunch: Sandwiches,chocolate bars, dried fruits/ nuts.
- 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.

Guiding &Group Size
Each group will be 4 to 6 persons. There is one guide per group of 4 and two guides per group of 6..

Prerequisites
Because of the nature of the backcountry terrain, we ask our guests to meet a certain level of fitness, skiing and ski-mountaineering abilities. To join our groups, you should be:
- Advanced or higher level of skiing/boarding, in any snow conditions, with at least 3 years ski-tour/ backcountry experience
- Healthy and in very good physical shape.
- Able skin up at least 1500 vertical meters per day.
- Intermediate or higher level of ski-mountaineering (confident user of boot crampons and ice-axe on a hard snow, with steepness up to 40-45 deg.).

Terrain
Half of the time we ski in the alpine zone and half in the tree line. The terrain of the Ganalsky range is varied, and we can ski the wide snowfields, steep couloirs or beautiful birch tree forest.
In an average day the vertical drop is 1300-1500m, but this varies according to the group's abilities.

Skiing
In the second part of April, we can still ski some powder on northern and western aspects, but at the same time there should already be corn snow on eastern and southern aspects.

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, in April, night temperature is usually about minus 10-12 degrees Celsius, day temperature is around minus 5-6 in the shade, - but it feels significantly warmer in the sun. In general, the weather is identical to conditions in March/April in the Alps. In good weather, the afternoon sun is hot enough to dry gear such as boot liners, gloves etc.
As everywhere, bad weather happens. But generally the weather is stable in April-May and cyclones don’t last long. In fact last year’s statistics show we were skitouring/splitboarding about 90 percent of the time.

You can check the weather forecast for our skitouring zones here – Ganalsky Range area, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

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.

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/freeriding, skitouring/splitboarding etc. 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 is no cellular coverage in Ganalsky range. For the weather forecasts updates and emergency needs we use satellite phone. You will be able to make a call or send a text message during the trip, if necessary.

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. We recommend you purchase a phrase-book in advance. In Kamchatka, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking Ski Guide. Some of our guides speak basic French and Spanish, but our general language is English. However, if you want to learn some Russian words, our staff will be glad to help you!

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 Nort 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, 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.

Download gear list

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 and overpants warm to minus 10 C., for bivouac.
  • 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
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Dyneema sling, 120-180cm.
  • Cordelette  - 5 meters, 6/7mm. diameter

Avalanche gear:

  • Transceiver (two antenna minimum), extra batteries.
  • Probe
  • Shovel

Personal equipment:

  • Backpack, 30-40 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

Bivouac gear:

  • Sleeping bag (comfort temperature -10/-15 C) Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad, 4-seasons.

We provide 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.

 

Dates 2018 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
April 15-23

Custom dates are available

Price: 2190 EUR, per person.

Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 7 days of guiding
  • All transportation from Petropavlovsk/to Petropavlovsk, by vans and snowmobiles
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals during all program: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 1st day, TWIN
  • Accommodation in Paratunka valley, 8th day, TWIN
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent, stoves, cookware, satellite phone)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk and Paratunka
  • Personal insurance
  • Wine and spirits
  • Personal expenses

Itinerary
Day 1: 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; accommodation in Petropavlovsk; meet the guides, gear and clothing check and avalanche training; rest time.
Day 2: Early morning drive to the Ganaly village (about 2-3 hours); load equipment onto snowmobile; depending on snow conditions, snowmobile carries gear and group in turns, or just the gear; if it is not possible to drop off the group, we will have a tour of about 3-4 hours in a birch forest with a nice gully; set up a camp; skitouring on the nearby slopes.
Days 3 to 7: Skitouring/splitboarding in Ganalsky range.
Day 8: In the morning we load our gear on the snowmobile and combine skiing and skinning, slightly downhill, to the road; drive to Paratunka valley, accommodation in the hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to the airport, departure

Depending on weather conditions and other factors, we can make changes to the programme.

Program Logistics
There is one daily flight from Moscow (SVO) to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC), by Aeroflot.
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/Paratunka takes 40-50 minutes.

Accommodation
Hotel in Petropavlovsk.
Our hotel is situated in the old centre of Petropavlovsk, close to the parks, Avachinskaya bay, historical monuments and the museum. Within 2-3 bus stops there is a good choice of cafés, restaurants and shops. Accommodation is in double rooms and the hotel is equipped with a kitchen which can be used by guests.

Accommodation in Paratunka valley is hotel with twin rooms or private chalet with twin rooms, depending on availability. Both places have outdoor pools with hot thermal water.

Winter tent camping.
Our base camp features a comfortable cooking/dining tent warmed by a gas heater, along with separate 4-season, 2-person sleeping tents. 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 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.

Camp food
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 and vegetables. Our guides are all greatly experienced in winter 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: Porridge with berries/ cereal with milk; fried eggs/ pancakes. Tea, coffee.
- Mountain lunch: Sandwiches,chocolate bars, dried fruits/ nuts.
- 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.

Guiding &Group Size
Each group will be 4 to 6 persons. There is one guide per group of 4 and two guides per group of 6..

Prerequisites
Because of the nature of the backcountry terrain, we ask our guests to meet a certain level of fitness, skiing and ski-mountaineering abilities. To join our groups, you should be:
- Advanced or higher level of skiing/boarding, in any snow conditions, with at least 3 years ski-tour/ backcountry experience
- Healthy and in very good physical shape.
- Able skin up at least 1500 vertical meters per day.
- Intermediate or higher level of ski-mountaineering (confident user of boot crampons and ice-axe on a hard snow, with steepness up to 40-45 deg.).

Terrain
Half of the time we ski in the alpine zone and half in the tree line. The terrain of the Ganalsky range is varied, and we can ski the wide snowfields, steep couloirs or beautiful birch tree forest.
In an average day the vertical drop is 1300-1500m, but this varies according to the group's abilities.

Skiing
In the second part of April, we can still ski some powder on northern and western aspects, but at the same time there should already be corn snow on eastern and southern aspects.

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, in April, night temperature is usually about minus 10-12 degrees Celsius, day temperature is around minus 5-6 in the shade, - but it feels significantly warmer in the sun. In general, the weather is identical to conditions in March/April in the Alps. In good weather, the afternoon sun is hot enough to dry gear such as boot liners, gloves etc.
As everywhere, bad weather happens. But generally the weather is stable in April-May and cyclones don’t last long. In fact last year’s statistics show we were skitouring/splitboarding about 90 percent of the time.

You can check the weather forecast for our skitouring zones here – Ganalsky Range area, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

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.

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/freeriding, skitouring/splitboarding etc. 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 is no cellular coverage in Ganalsky range. For the weather forecasts updates and emergency needs we use satellite phone. You will be able to make a call or send a text message during the trip, if necessary.

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. We recommend you purchase a phrase-book in advance. In Kamchatka, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking Ski Guide. Some of our guides speak basic French and Spanish, but our general language is English. However, if you want to learn some Russian words, our staff will be glad to help you!

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 Nort 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, 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.

Download gear list

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 and overpants warm to minus 10 C., for bivouac.
  • 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
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Dyneema sling, 120-180cm.
  • Cordelette  - 5 meters, 6/7mm. diameter

Avalanche gear:

  • Transceiver (two antenna minimum), extra batteries.
  • Probe
  • Shovel

Personal equipment:

  • Backpack, 30-40 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

Bivouac gear:

  • Sleeping bag (comfort temperature -10/-15 C) Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad, 4-seasons.

We provide 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.

 

There is also a possibility to make a ski traverse around the Ganalskie Vostryaky area, the most impressive and stunning place in the range. We set up camp in one valley, ski the nearby slopes, and then move on to the next valley. And we carry on until we have moved around the range, skiing all the steepest and most impressive couloirs on our way. The passages between our camps are moderately difficult, requiring good physical shape and the ability to carry a backpack with your personal gear and part of the group kit (food, fuel etc.). There is no possibility of snowmobile support between the camps, but on the plus side, you stay in a unique place which has been skied by very few people.
We run this programme by request.