Russia – Ski Touring Week in the Altai Mountains
Deep in the Altai Mountains there is a hidden valley that can only be reached by the Trans-Siberian Railway, where from the beginning of November you can already find great powder.
Price: 2090 EUR
There’s isolated. And then there’s Altai.
The Trans-Siberian Rail crosses the Altai Mountains between Novokusnetzk and Abakan, leading through a wild and unspoilt mountain landscape. Way off the beaten track there is a small train station. No road. No planes. No other vehicles. Only the small train station, a smattering of cottages, but not many signs of civilisation. But there is snow. Enough snow to make this an amazing ski touring location. In Altai winter already takes hold in October and by December there’s already more than three metres of snow.
In December 2017, we made our first trip to this region. We were taken aback by the landscape, the fantastic Siberian powder, and everything that this region had to offer. At the beginning of December 2019 we are thrilled to be able to offer two more dates in Altai.
On Friday we will fly from central Europe to Moscow and then take a second, four-hour flight to Abakan. We will reach Abakan on Saturday morning and then drive to Biskhamsh by minibus. It’s here where we will quite literally find the end of the road. Here, we will board the train, which will take us into the Siberian wilderness. Two hours later we will reach the small train station, and by snowmobile we will be brought to our cosy lodge. The next six days will then be all ours to explore this mountainous region on ski. We will spend most of our time in the forests; this is where we find the best Siberian powder.
Due to the short December days, we often have to set off in the darkness at 8:30. The daylight pours quickly in and the landscape is coloured a soft pink. We will take a short break for lunch in a sheltered spot and then usually make a second ascent to enjoy one more run in the afternoon light. After skiing, we will be served with hot soup, tea, and coffee. The Russian sauna will be preheated – just what we need to revitalise ourselves. Over a freshly cooked evening meal, we can look back on the happenings of the day.
On Saturday we will return via the Trans-Siberian Railway to Abakan. Saturday afternoon will be spent in Abakan, where we can also enjoy a fine dinner. We will fly back to central Europe via Moscow the next morning. The memories of this journey and the experiences that we share will be some of which that hopefully stay engraved in our minds for a long time to come.
We will be staying in a cosy Lodge, where we will be well taken care of. We will be provided with a generous breakfast, a post-skiing lunch, and an evening meal. The rooms here are simple and functional, with four beds per room. Please note: single rooms will not be available during this trip. The lodge has central heating and provides warmth even in the bitter cold. Next to our lodge is a sauna, called the Russian Banja. We can buy non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages at the lodge, including beer, wine, and vodka. We will still have use of our mobile phones, including the use of 2G. We always have a satellite phone with us as a backup and for emergencies.
Runs and Terrain
In Altai we will be exclusively in forested areas. Our lodge and the small train station are situated at a height of 400m, and the highest peaks hit a height of around 1200m. It should never be forgotten that we are deep in the heart of Siberia – in a place where -30 °c is not an unusual reading. We bare this in mind when planning our ascents, all of which are feasible, even if we have to make fresh tracks. We have the choice of a variety of runs, some of which leading through steep, somewhat open forests.
- Ski touring experience
- Good physical fitness and endurance for ski touring ascents up to 1400 each day
- A good skiing technique, especially in deep snow
- The ability to find pleasure in the simple life
Normal ski touring equipment and a warm change of clothes. Down jackets, or a similar kind of warm insulation layer, make for extra comfort. The temperatures in December range between -5 ° C and -30 ° C in the Central Altai, on the summits we can expect sharp minus temperatures. You will receive a detailed packing list prior to your trip.
We will fly via Moscow to Abakan. We’re happy to provide assistance with your booking and visa application. We will travel from Abakan via minibus and train to Altai.
We offer this trip to a minimum number of 5 and maximum of 7 participants.
Included in Price of 2090 EUR
- 7 Nights in the lodge in a four-bed room, all inclusive. There are unfortunately no single rooms available.
- 1 Night in Abakan in a hotel, including breakfast
- 8 days accompanied by a UIAGM certified mountain guide
- 6 days of skiing with a UIAGM certified mountain guide
- Transfers to and from Abakan
- Flight to Abakan via Moskau (from 450 EUR)
- Visa for Russia
- Evening meal in Abakan
- Travel or cancellation insurance
Meeting Requirements and Fitness Level
A realistic self-assessment and an appropriate fitness level is required to join our trips. In order to enjoy a long day of skiing and to reduce the risk of injury, it is important to get in shape and possess a good level of fitness.
For travel to Russia both a passport and a visa will be required. We are happy to assist you in your application with the use of a visa agency.
Current Country-Specific Information, Vaccines and Health
Please contact your own ministry of foreign affairs for current information about your destination.
Please note that there is a potential risk of injury on skiing trips. In addition to travel cancellation insurance, comprehensive medical and accident insurance that cover the costs of search and rescue, as well as transport costs, are imperative. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are insured before departure.
Comprehensive medical and accident insurance that covers potential costs of search and rescue operations as well as any medical costs is mandatory for all of our trips abroad.
It is required that you state this information during registration in our registration form in order to ensure 24h emergency assistance.
Links to Insurance Companies:
Please also check your credit card policies as it is possible that these already include insurance.