russia kamchatka heliski

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2019 KAMCHATKA HELISKIING ON ICE & FIRE

FRESH TRACKS, at the end of the WORLD

Summary:

Fresh tracks at the end of the world dancing between fire and ice. This how we could sum-up your ski experience in Kamchatka!

 

The Kamchatka peninsula is located at the extreme north-east of Russia just across from Alaska. This region is one of the most picturesque places on earth and is famous for its active volcanoes, geysers, breath-taking views and long lasting season.

 

Flying amazing russian MI8, we will be dropped at the top of spectacular volcanoes such as Mutnovsky (2322m) and Vilyuchinsky (2173m), for long runs heading down to the pacific ocean shores. Sandwiched between the ocean and the sky, skiing in this region is all about pristine powder & total wilderness: away from cities or ski resorts you are in total isolation, with brown bears, tundra wolves, Arctic fox, lynx and eagles that are definitely more numerous than humans.

 

Coming here, is not something everybody does... it is for the real adventurer, the thrill seeker, the people open for life changing experiences. Not only the change in scenery is insane, but also the people, their culture, the food and this 'impossible but in a Hollywood movie' combination of volcanoes, snow and ocean all in one spot.

 

So the mix of landscape, (big) helicopter flying, the (big) virgin snow field and the quality of the snow will without doubt have you think: 'this is the best run of my life'!

 

Welcome to an unparalleled universe!

 

 

1.Departure Date:

Individuals, April to May 2019

 

Groups contact us (season runs from mars to may)

 

2.Duration:

8 days (7 nights)

 

 

3.Group Meeting Point:

Yelizovo/Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport (Russia)

 

 

4.Who can go?

a.Min age: adults only

b.Physical condition: must be fit and healthy. This ski trip involves 6 days of intense skiing.

c.You will need to:

  • To be a confirmed skier/snowboarder
  • To be able to ski Off-Piste
  • To carry a backpack while skiing
  • To be able ascend mountains with skins
  • Walk uphill for 4 to 6 continuous hours
  • Be a team player
  • Be mentally fit and strong
  • Be physically and mentally ready
  • Be well spirited and happy with unplanned changes

 

 

d.Group size: 12 pax + 3 guides

 

 

5. Trip overall Hardship Rating [where 1 is 'easy' and 10 'is very tough'] = 7 /10

Difficulty = 8

Isolation = 7

Danger = 6

 

 

6.This activity involves (%):

Transport: Skiing/skins = 60% Helicopter = 40%

Survival skills = 0%

Orienteering/snow reading = 50%

Group Autonomy = 20%

 

 

7.Schedule:

Day 1, Sunday May 1st - Arrival at Elizovo Airport.

Meet at the airport and transfer to the lodge. After you are settled you will meet the guides. Welcome briefing, checking of individual equipment and distribution of group equipment when needed. Dinner and night at the hotel.

 

Day 2-7, During your stay, every morning at breakfast the Guide, depending on weather and snow conditions, will decide which area the group will be skiing. Departure from the lodge is around 10am. In our experience, number of flights will depend on snow quality, weather and group skiing skills. Some days 4000 to 6000 vertical metres could be skied, in as much as 4 or 5 flights. On days with light fresh powder, 4 flights might be enough. And if snow conditions are difficult, 2 flights may be sufficient.

 

Day 8, breakfast and departure to the Airport. End of Journey.

 

 

8.Weather / local conditions / Terrain:

Although Kamchatka lies at similar latitudes to Great Britain, cold arctic winds from Siberia combined with the cold Yoshiro sea current see the peninsula covered in snow from October to late May. The climate is defined as a subarctic climate and is strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. The driest months are May and June but they interestingly are the ones in the highest 'relative humidity' of the air. The period during which we travel also is the period with the highest sunshine hours of the year. And precipitation though 3 times the average of Siberia, it sees most of it falling as snow between October and January. Temperatures in winter are much milder than in Siberia: a typical January day averages +3,4 °C with min and max average of +1,2°C and +6,6°C.

 

Kamchatka is flanked by large volcanic belts containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active, and with 19 active volcanoes included in the UNESCO World Heritage List sites. The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4,750m), the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemispher.

 

Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians make up the majority of the population that stays mainly in two towns; if you are interested Petropavlovsk's bay hosts the biggest active nuclear submarine base of Russia's Far East. Visit is not included in this journey but at your own risk should you want to do it!

 

 

9.Accommodation

Our lodge is located in the Verkhne-Paratunskaya hot springs valley at the foot of the volcanoes. It is 80km from the main town Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and 20km from the nearest settlement.

Recently built this hotel complex offers confortable rooms, a restaurant and a bar next to a natural hot spring swimming pool and a traditional russian sauna (Banya) which you will enjoy after a good day of skiing. Believe us you won't be bored there

We will stay 7 nights in our accommodation, considered as 3* equivalent. Rooms are Twin Share with shared bathroom.

Fully catered cottage are also available with extra charge.

 

 

10.Food

This journeys is full board at Snow Valley Lodge with hearty skier's breakfast, skier's lunch (or picnic on the mountain) and delicious dinner.

Our meals will be anchored in local food traditions, made of meat or fish, with potatoes, onions, often in stews and soup. Supplemented by local hearty Buuzy (big raviolis), pancakes with sour cream, or simply milky tea, mutton soup, house noodles and Salamat. Food in russia is good and filling but not necessarily refined. Drinking alcohol with locals in Russia is a 'dangerous game', as most westerners have none of the drinking tradition that russian have. In this regard, alcohol is not included in the price.

 

 

11.Transport

Airport pickups and drop offs are made in mini vans.

Heliskiing is made in MI8 helicopters. 8 hours of flight is included. See more conditions of use and cancellation in the 'inclusion section'.

 

 

12.What to expect

This is a unparalleled experience; and as Alf Anderson puts it in his article " I was laughing like a lunatic. Skiing really doesn’t get much better." And he ads :"Twelve of us had just shared a massive, wide open powder field set at the kind of angle that is exciting but not terrifying, surrounded by some of the most pristine mountain landscapes on earth and with not another skier for thousands of kilometres in any direction. Skiing really doesn’t get much better."

 

 

13.Safety and security

We take safety very seriously.

 

There are no major risks but the ones inherent to heliskiing and wild places (body injuries, weather, avalanches, etc.). We minimize these risks by preparing for them and choosing every the best possible itinerary. But the best is to act mindfully and carefully during the trip. The area is well known to your experienced guide, and the route could differ depending on local conditions. Should an incident happen, rescue protocols are well established and local rescue operators can be contacted via VHF and by mobile phone.

 

SAFETY KIT: we provide each participant with a next generation safety kit including shovel, avalanche probe, avalanche device and a AirBags Backpack System: it must be worn by each participant at all times when off-piste. If you have your own, please bring it. Indicate whether or not on booking form.

 

SAFETY AND RESCUE EQUIPMENT: Each guide will have all that is necessary for the safety of his group in his backpack: radio or mobile phone, first aid kit, tools for repair, space blanket, rope, shovel, avalanche probe...). The guide may ask you to carry such equipment in your rucksack. If you are an experienced mountaineer with your own equipment, bring it with you.

 

 

14.Notes:

  • There is no bank nor ATM at the lodge. Bring cash.
  • We do not provide portable HF radios

 

 

15.Cost:

per person in twin share for 8h of helicopter flight based on a group of 12 people

= from AUD9790 or AUD1224 p/day

 

For less pax please or dedicated group, contact us

 

 

16.Inclusions and exclusions

a.inclusions

  • helicopter: 8 hours of flight. No refund for flights not made by an individual due to fatigue, illness, injury or other causes, as an empty seat in the helicopter must be paid. If discontinuation of your week is justified, your personal insurance may refund the part of the week which you have missed.
  • Accommodation as per schedule and in twin share rooms
  • 3 qualified international mountain guides per group
  • transport and drivers to/from airport
  • safety kit (see above) with avalanche training
  • one Airbag backpack (ABS) provided to each participant

 

 

 

b.exclusions

  • mountain rescue insurance (compulsory)
  • cancellation insurance (recommended)
  • drinks: Often participants gather their money for wine at the dinner table
  • single room (+AUD50/night)
  • extra hours of helicopter flights (+AUD440/hours/member in a group of 12, paid directly to the guide)
  • international and domestic flights to 'meeting point'
  • personal expenses (entertainment, etc)
  • special powder skis such as freeride skis (+40AUD/day)
  • portable HF radios not provided
  • visa to russia: A visa is mandatory to enter Russia. We will provide you a proof of your forthcoming visit to Russia in order to apply for a visa at your closest russian consulat. Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks for the return of your visa
  • tips to local guides

 

 

pictures credits

9vallees | alfalderson.co.uk | tengsphoto.com | annecyguidesmontagne | taklamakan.net

 

 

Should you have any questions please contact us

iwanttogo@nolimitjourneys.com

credits: 9vallees

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