Krasnaya Polyana Snowboarding
The MOST popular snowboarding destination in Russia.
Tuesday 2 August 2016 06:10 GMT
Southwest of Volgograd and northeast of Sochi in the Caucasus Mountains, the Krasnaya Polyana ski area has eight runs served by four lifts accessing a maximum vertical drop of 1,380m. While only 5% of the runs are difficult, there is plenty of backcountry terrain to explore if you feel like doing some hiking. There are some world class freeriding opportunities here if you know where to look for them, but make sure to bring full avalanche gear. There are snowfields up high and glades off the lower runs, if there's snow.
If you are looking for some challenge, head to the top lift to the skiers right for steeps and chutes. Plus, there are some sweet glades to check out. There is a long 13km run that can be fun and there are some gladed areas down low.
The Krasnaya Polyana was the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics ski and snowboard events. The 3.5km Rosa Khutor downhill race course is worth exploring.
In addition to the Krasnaya Polyana ski area, there are three other adjacent but not interconnected ski areas. The Gasprom ski area has 21km of easy pistes served by 15 lifts. The Alpika ski area has 25km of moderate pistes served by 10 lifts. The Gornaya Karusel ski area has 20km of moderate pistes that are served by 11 lifts.
Note: Due to the relatively low base elevation of the Krasnaya Polyana ski area at 550m and its proximity to the Black Sea, it is known to have variable and sometimes unreliable snow. Make sure to contact them before going to confirm that it is open. Also, be aware that Krasnaya Polyana ski area is known for its long lines. Luckily, Krasnaya Polyana is known for a good apres ski scene.
Krasnaya Polyana is located about 25 miles northeast of Sochi. There is a high-speed train line from Sochi to Krasnaya Polyana (25 minutes). The best airport to use is Sochi, which can be accessed via international flights from Istanbul. An alternate approach is via Alder. There is an airport in Alder and then you can use either a bus or taxi to the ski area. Keep in mind that a visa is required to enter Russia from most countries, and the visa process can be quite lengthy.
Overall, Krasnaya Polyana is the 1st most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 23 snowboarding resorts in Russia.