Skitouring on Kozelsky and Viluchinsky volcanoes

This is our classic ski-touring programme. If you are in Kamchatka for your first time, and looking for high quality skiing, amazing views and a cultural experience, this programme is your best choice. It has moderate physical and technical difficulty, and suits intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders with skitouring/splitboarding experience.

We start on Kozelsky volcano, which is not difficult to ascend, but provides exciting skiing and impressive views. In good weather, you'll see the breathtaking panorama of the Pacific ocean and Avachinskaya bay, Petropavlovsk, volcanoes (Avachinsky, Vilyuchinsky, Mutnovsky, Zhupanovsky), and the Shipunsky mountain range.

After warming up on Kozelsky, we move to the mountain hotel in a cosy valley where we spend a few days, enjoying perfect corn skiing and relaxing in hot springs. Skitouring on Viluchinsky volcano is another "a must do" thing if you come to Kamchatka in May. In good weather, from the slopes you will see dozens of volcanoes and mountain ranges and the shore of the Pacific ocean. Then there is the perfect skiing in couloirs on the upper part and wide endless fields from mid-volcano height.

Booking

Dates 2019 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
April 28 - May 05
May 05-12

Custom dates are available

Price: 1980 EUR, per person.
Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All transportation according to the programme
  • Meals during the active part of programme: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in mountain hotel, from 5th to 8th days, quadruple room (TWIN or DBL rooms available for extra cost).
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 1st day.
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk
  • Wine and spirits
  • Travel insurance/travel cancellation insurance

Itinerary
Day 1, Sunday: 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 your hotel; Meet the guides, gear check; Rest time.
Day 2: Early morning drive to the base of Kozelsky volcano (about an hour); depending on snow conditions, a snowmobile will carry the group and gear, or just our gear; if there is no possibility to drop off the group, an easy tour (about 3 hours) in a birch forest and with a nice gully; set up a camp at 700m; avalanche training, skitouring on the nearby slopes.
Days 3 and 4: Skitouring/splitboarding on the slopes of Kozelsky volcano with possible ascend in one day (depending on snow and weather conditions). Elevation gain for the summit - 1500 vertical meters.
Day 5: Transfer to mountain hotel, in new touring region; while luggage is transported by snowmobile, skiing/snowboarding down to the road (about 1 hour), mostly downhill; transfer by bus to Termalny village (about 2 hours), and 2-hours drive to the mountain hotel “Snow Valley”; Lunch; rest time – relaxing in hot thermal springs.
Days 6 and 7: Skitouring on the slopes of Viluchinsky volcano and surrounding mountains. We will use snowmobiles for daily  approach.
Day 8, Sunday: Early morning drive from mountain hotel to the airport, departure.

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

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.

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.

Winter tent camping.
Our base camp features a comfortable cooking/dining tent warmed by a gas or wooden heater, along with separate 4-season, 2-person sleeping tents.With a heater you will be able not only warm up if you get cold but also dry the clothes and gear, in cloudy days (when it is sunny, it is easy to dry the stuff on the sun). Toilet is a separate toilet tent.
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.

For private groups, who are keen to skitour on Kozelsky volcano, but due to any reasons can't or don't want to stay in tent camp, we can organize daily program, with early morning transfer from Petropavlovsk to Kozelsky volcano foot and snowmobile approach to the slopes. Please, ask us about such a possibility.

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, seafood, reindeer meat and wild plants. Our chefs are all greatly experienced in winter tent 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: 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, fruits.
- 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
Unlike many other skitour operators, we keep group size relatively small, to provide best possible skitour and skiing experience. Maximum group size is 6 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 and skiing 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 1200 vertical meters per day.
- Beginner or intermediate level of ski-mountaineering (confident user of boot crampons and ice-axe) is appreciated and might help, but not obligatory. We might use ski-mountaineering gear for the short sections on the volcanoes.

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. Still, with a new storms coming, we might be able to ski some powder, especially on northerly aspects and high altitude.

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 May is usually about minus 3-5 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature is around 0 in the shade - but it feels significantly warmer in the sun. In general, the weather is identical to conditions in April in the Alps.
As everywhere, bad weather happens. But generally the weather is stable in 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 – Kozelsky volcano area, 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 1 month 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. On the Kozelsky volcano area all 3 are available. We will not have WiFi on Kozelsky volcano camp, but you will be able to use mobile internet on your phone. In the area of Vilyuchinskiy volcano the best connection provides Megafon. Snow Valley hotel has a WiFi. 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.

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 the camp.
  • 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
  • Camp winter boots

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 synthetic towel.
  • Sun/Cold and Lip Cream (SPF30 or higher)
  • Earplugs

Camp gear:

  • Winter sleeping bag (rated to -10C or warmer). Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad, 4-seasons (R-value of 3.5 or higher).

We provide spacious 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 2019 (dates of arriving to Petropavlovsk and departure from):
April 28 - May 05
May 05-12

Custom dates are available

Price: 1980 EUR, per person.
Group discounts available, contact us for details.

Price includes:

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All transportation according to the programme
  • Meals during the active part of programme: breakfast, lunch in the mountains and dinner
  • Cooking service
  • Accommodation in mountain hotel, from 5th to 8th days, quadruple room (TWIN or DBL rooms available for extra cost).
  • Group equipment (2-persons tents, kitchen/dining tent)

Extra expenses:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 1st day.
  • Meals in Petropavlovsk
  • Wine and spirits
  • Travel insurance/travel cancellation insurance

Itinerary
Day 1, Sunday: 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 your hotel; Meet the guides, gear check; Rest time.
Day 2: Early morning drive to the base of Kozelsky volcano (about an hour); depending on snow conditions, a snowmobile will carry the group and gear, or just our gear; if there is no possibility to drop off the group, an easy tour (about 3 hours) in a birch forest and with a nice gully; set up a camp at 700m; avalanche training, skitouring on the nearby slopes.
Days 3 and 4: Skitouring/splitboarding on the slopes of Kozelsky volcano with possible ascend in one day (depending on snow and weather conditions). Elevation gain for the summit - 1500 vertical meters.
Day 5: Transfer to mountain hotel, in new touring region; while luggage is transported by snowmobile, skiing/snowboarding down to the road (about 1 hour), mostly downhill; transfer by bus to Termalny village (about 2 hours), and 2-hours drive to the mountain hotel “Snow Valley”; Lunch; rest time – relaxing in hot thermal springs.
Days 6 and 7: Skitouring on the slopes of Viluchinsky volcano and surrounding mountains. We will use snowmobiles for daily  approach.
Day 8, Sunday: Early morning drive from mountain hotel to the airport, departure.

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

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.

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.

Winter tent camping.
Our base camp features a comfortable cooking/dining tent warmed by a gas or wooden heater, along with separate 4-season, 2-person sleeping tents.With a heater you will be able not only warm up if you get cold but also dry the clothes and gear, in cloudy days (when it is sunny, it is easy to dry the stuff on the sun). Toilet is a separate toilet tent.
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.

For private groups, who are keen to skitour on Kozelsky volcano, but due to any reasons can't or don't want to stay in tent camp, we can organize daily program, with early morning transfer from Petropavlovsk to Kozelsky volcano foot and snowmobile approach to the slopes. Please, ask us about such a possibility.

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, seafood, reindeer meat and wild plants. Our chefs are all greatly experienced in winter tent 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: 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, fruits.
- 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
Unlike many other skitour operators, we keep group size relatively small, to provide best possible skitour and skiing experience. Maximum group size is 6 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 and skiing 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 1200 vertical meters per day.
- Beginner or intermediate level of ski-mountaineering (confident user of boot crampons and ice-axe) is appreciated and might help, but not obligatory. We might use ski-mountaineering gear for the short sections on the volcanoes.

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. Still, with a new storms coming, we might be able to ski some powder, especially on northerly aspects and high altitude.

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 May is usually about minus 3-5 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature is around 0 in the shade - but it feels significantly warmer in the sun. In general, the weather is identical to conditions in April in the Alps.
As everywhere, bad weather happens. But generally the weather is stable in 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 – Kozelsky volcano area, 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 1 month 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. On the Kozelsky volcano area all 3 are available. We will not have WiFi on Kozelsky volcano camp, but you will be able to use mobile internet on your phone. In the area of Vilyuchinskiy volcano the best connection provides Megafon. Snow Valley hotel has a WiFi. 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.

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 the camp.
  • 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
  • Camp winter boots

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 synthetic towel.
  • Sun/Cold and Lip Cream (SPF30 or higher)
  • Earplugs

Camp gear:

  • Winter sleeping bag (rated to -10C or warmer). Synthetic is preferable.
  • Sleeping pad, 4-seasons (R-value of 3.5 or higher).

We provide spacious 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.