There is many a reason to start thinking about taking up winter sports in Moscow right now. As many will know, the winter season starts very soon with the first winter tournament of the year: the world junior snowboarding and freestyle championships taking place in Vancouver at the end of August.
Or you could just want to go somewhere to escape the angry sun above us, a place where the air is cool and the land is still unburned. If so, the following are a few ideas of places in scorching Moscow where the sun will never rise.
Two ice skating rinks — one for children, one for adults — are situated on the seventh floor of the Yevropeisky mall with a great view from the panoramic windows onto Kievskaya Ploshchad, the Moscow River and a Stalin sister building. Professional instructors are available. Prices are cut by two-thirds during the summer, and skate rental costs 60 rubles ($2). The facilities are decent with individual lockers for skaters. Friends and family who only want to watch are admitted for free — just ask security for a pass.
Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and till 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Skiing and Snow Jumping
Russia’s first all-season mountain skiing complex is open all year round for skiing and snowboarding. The complex has a 400-meter slope that is 60 meters wide and has a drop of 65 meters from top to bottom. The snowboard park has a selection of trampolines and equipment for the more experienced snowboarder. The temperature in the complex is kept at a constant 4 to 5 degrees Celsius. The complex also has an outdoor area underneath the slope for rollerblading, skateboarding and BMX biking, as well as a fitness center, laser-tag area and children’s room.
An hour of skiing costs 500 rubles to 700 rubles ($17 to $24). A book of 30 trips on the ski lift costs 900 rubles. If you buy one hour of skiing between 2 and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, you get one hour free.
Hockey players can rent out the rink at this hockey complex on the third floor of the Gorod Lefortovo mall. The arena is used for training by the “Legends of Soviet Hockey” team and features a full ice rink of 56 meters by 26 meters. Rental comes with a set of referees and use of the electronic scoreboard. Friends and relatives can watch the games though the windows of the Czech restaurant on the second floor.
Rental: 10,000 rubles ($335) an hour.
Try curling at two ice alleys with the temperature constantly kept at 5 to 7 degrees Celsius. The alleys are behind glass, so friends and relatives can sit and watch the games outside in the warmth. Two teams of three to five players can play on each alley. A professional instructor can explain the rules of the game to newcomers. Shoes and all equipment needed to play are included in the rental price of 5,000 rubles ($170) an hour.