Sochi Adler Airport - 1 hour
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So what's it like?
Everyone’s talking about Sochi – so get out there and ski it, it’s a phenomenal resort
Wow – what an Olympics, on snow we won our first medal and our first gold medal in the Paralympics. It was a time for Russia to forget some of the controversy that surrounded the games and just showcase Sochi for the incredible new ski resort it is. If you want to see what over fifty billion dollars buys you then take a trip to this shiny new ski resorts and test it out. Don’t let some of the stats fool you though, even with its low elevation its very snow sure and some of the terrain, spread across four ski resorts, is steep as it gets.
It’s not actually all about steep and deep skiing but given the challenge of getting there (you currently have to fly via Istanbul) and the visa we get the impression it’ll be those with a sense of adventure, after some of the tough steeps, cornices and bowls, or who want to set a time down the Olympic downhill run that’ll make their way over to Sochi. And you’ll be pleased with what you find – it now has a number of villages, created from nothing over the last four years, with brand new hotels. The village of Rosa Khutor has to be the most impressive, they moved a river to build the resort and it’s the largest ski area out of the four. Alternatively Grand Hotel Polyana is at the base of Gasprom ski resort, and is one of the top hotels in the area. Getting between the four resorts isn’t ideal currently as they are all on different lift passes and there’s no public transportation – you have to use taxis. But half of the charm of this new ski destination is that it’s still in its infancy as a resort, combined with what’s known as the hangover year after an Olympics expect the resort to yourself.
Images courtesy of Chrigl Luthy
Ski Information Beginners
For absolute beginners Sochi would be an interesting place to start skiing. The ski schools are actually pretty good having copied what is offered in the alps, although the level of English is not always the best. The resort of Gasprom has the most beginner terrain on offer.
Ski Information Intermediates
Gasprom and Rosa Khutor Ski Resorts have a good range of intermediate blue and red runs. With around 1700m of vertical drop although there isn’t a massive amount of runs many are so long you need a quick vodka before doing another. Mountain Carousel has some easier runs too, but not a huge amount.
Ski Information Advanced
Rosa Khutor ski resort is the place to base yourself for the best access to harder runs, this is by far the largest of the ski areas and has a good mix of terrain including large number of red runs and some surprisingly steep blacks, some with a vertical drop of over 1km. Although Gasprom has some good red runs to shoot down it doesn’t have anything incredibly testing but Mountain Carousel is definitely worth visiting for a day or two with some really testing bowls at its peak.
• Nightlife in Sochi tends to be quite quiet during the week but can liven up on the weekend when the Russians come to ski
ice skating, jeeping, spas, Russian baths
• Rosa Khutor has a range of restaurants • the village of Krasnaya Polyana is nearby and accessible by taxi which also has a good number of places to eat
Other information - Cities
You can get between the four ski resorts by taxi at an additional local cost, they are only a few minutes apart from one another. Each ski resort is on a different lift pass.
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