Summer skiing on Viluchinsky, Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes

Skiing in Summer in Northern hemisphere? Yes, of course! Kamchatka is one of the snowiest places in the world, and at the end of winter (i.e. end of May) there is still up to 5-6 meters of snow in some places. With an average of 3m snow depth at 300-500m altitude, and a cool start to the summer, Kamchatka has perfect conditions for corn skiing until mid-July. However, July might be too busy with other summer activities, so we suggest taking your trip on three Kamchatka volcanoes in June. The snow and the bright warm sun, amazing views and perfect skiing make this the best start to your summer!

We start with skiing on Viluchinsky volcano. It has a dozen beautiful gullies and wide slopes, and a great panoramic view stretching 150km from the top. Accommodation in the mountain hotel in a cosy valley with hot springs. Ascension on the volcano one day, depending on snow and weather conditions. 

Gorely volcano is very picturesque, but yet skiing is nice and involves nice mellow cruising with great scenery. The volcano is built of five overlapping old stratovolcanoes, surrounded by the caldera. It has 11 cones and dozens of craters. Some of them are filled with acid lakes, the others feature intensive fumarole activity.

After Gorely we move to Mutnovsky volcano. This large volcano consists of several cones joined together as one massif. Thousands of years ago the main cone collapsed inside the volcano and formed a huge crater with glaciers, fumaroles and boiling mud volcanoes inside. And yes, we will be able to ski down the glacier into the crater of an active volcano, directly to the fumarole fields!

After great skiing we spend some time on the shore of Pacific Ocean enjoying the scenery, Ukha (famous Russian fish soup) and salmon barbecue. Surfing option is available.

And last but not least. For all summer skiing programmes, we offer few active options: Surfing on the Pacific Ocean, Sea Kayaking in the Avachinskaya bay and King Salmon fishing. Perfect idea to get more adventures on Kamchatka land! Please, contact us for details.

Booking

Dates 2018 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
May 27 - June 03
June 03-10
June 10-17
June 17-24

Custom dates are available

Price: 2090 EUR, per person.
Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All transportation according to the programme
  • Meals during active part of program: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in mountain hotel, 1st-4th & 6th days, quadruple room.
  • Accommodation in mountain hut on Mutnovsky volcano, 2 nights.
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on 7th day, TWIN
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent, stoves, cookware)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk
  • 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. Transfer to Snow Valley mountain hotel, taking about 3 hours; accommodation, gear and clothing check and avalanche training; rest time and hot thermal springs.
Day 2-3: Skitouring on Viluchinsky volcano with ascension in one day (depending on snow and weather conditions). Elevation gain for the summit - 1900 vertical meters. These days we will use snowmobiles for daily approach.
Days 4-6: 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 7: 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 8: Transfer to the airport; departure.

Depending on weather conditions and other factors, we can make slight 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 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.

The mountain hotel is 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. The hotel contains several outdoor pools with hot thermal water, a banya (bathhouse), restaurant, laundry and other facilities.

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.

Snow Valley mountain hotel and Viluchinsky volcano
Snow Valley mountain hotel, rooms.
Snow Valley mountain hotel, dining room.
Guiding &Group Size
Each group will be 4-5 persons. There is one guide per group.

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:
- Intermediate or higher level of skiing/boarding, in any snow conditions, with at least 1 year ski-tour /backcountry experience.
- Healthy and in 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 hard snow, with steepness up to 40 degrees).

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 1300-1500m, but it varies according to the group's abilities. It's good to know some figures, but pictures and movies tell you much more, so please check out our Media section for a better idea.

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. Close your eyes and start to carve endless volcanic fields: This is a skier’s paradise.

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 2-3 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 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 May-June 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 – Viluchinsky volcano 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.

We will need copy of your visa in 2 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/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 are 3 mobile operators covering populated areas of Kamchatka. In the area of Vilyuchinskiy volcano the best connection provides Megafon. There is no cell coverage on Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes.
We will not have WiFi during the trip, but in places with cellular coverage you will be able to use 3G/4G internet on your phone.We do not guarantee cellular coverage when we are in the mountains.

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 (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.

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 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:

  • 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 0/-5 C) Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad

We provide dishes and utensils.

 

Dates 2018 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
May 27 - June 03
June 03-10
June 10-17
June 17-24

Custom dates are available

Price: 2090 EUR, per person.
Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All transportation according to the programme
  • Meals during all program: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in mountain hotel, 1st-4th & 6th days, quadruple room.
  • Accommodation in mountain hut on Mutnovsky volcano, 2 nights.
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on 7th day, TWIN
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent, stoves, cookware)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk
  • 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. Transfer to Snow Valley mountain hotel, taking about 3 hours; accommodation, gear and clothing check and avalanche training; rest time and hot thermal springs.
Day 2-3: Skitouring on Viluchinsky volcano with ascension in one day (depending on snow and weather conditions). Elevation gain for the summit - 1900 vertical meters. These days we will use snowmobiles for daily approach.
Days 4-6: 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 7: 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 8: Transfer to the airport; departure.

Depending on weather conditions and other factors, we can make slight 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 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.

The mountain hotel is 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. The hotel contains several outdoor pools with hot thermal water, a banya (bathhouse), restaurant, laundry and other facilities.

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.

Snow Valley mountain hotel and Viluchinsky volcano
Snow Valley mountain hotel, rooms.
Snow Valley mountain hotel, dining room.

 

Guiding &Group Size
Each group will be 4-5 persons. There is one guide per group.

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:
- Intermediate or higher level of skiing/boarding, in any snow conditions, with at least 1 year ski-tour /backcountry experience.
- Healthy and in 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 hard snow, with steepness up to 40 degrees).

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 1300-1500m, but it varies according to the group's abilities. It's good to know some figures, but pictures and movies tell you much more, so please check out our Media section for a better idea.

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. Close your eyes and start to carve endless volcanic fields: This is a skier’s paradise.

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 2-3 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 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 May-June 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 – Viluchinsky volcano 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.

We will need copy of your visa in 2 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/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 are 3 mobile operators covering populated areas of Kamchatka. In the area of Vilyuchinskiy volcano the best connection provides Megafon. There is no cell coverage on Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes.
We will not have WiFi during the trip, but in places with cellular coverage you will be able to use 3G/4G internet on your phone.We do not guarantee cellular coverage when we are in the mountains.

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 (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.

 

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 warm to minus 5 C., 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:

  • 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 0/-5 C) Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad.

We provide dishes and utensils.