Moscow might not be the French Alps, but low altitudes don’t mean an end to your dreams
of hitting the slopes this winter. Whether you’re a seasoned snow-bunny or someone looking
to make the most of a Russian winter, here’s our round-up of the best resorts in the
region. Every complex offers equipment rental for both snowboarders and skiers.
Ideal conditions for cross-country
Just outside the city limits in Odinstovo is a
relatively new park in a remarkably pristine
country environment. The parkland — 465
hectares, or about 1,150 acres — is a nice mix of
forests and fields with a large pond. Most of it is
left in a pristine state for outdoor fun, but they
also maintain some paths and routes for crosscountry
skiing — a total of five tracks, ranging
from just over a kilometer to four kilometers.
The tracks vary in width from three to six
meters, making them comfortable for both fast
and slow skiers. You can rent skis there or bring
your own, and they have trainers on hand to
help improve your style. Check out the site for
upcoming events, like the 30K race on Feb. 12.
Head out this week and start getting in shape
Leonid Tyagachev Club
Where stars are born
Another out-of-town resort, the Leonid Tyagachev Club can boast of being the oldest ski
resort in Moscow, as well as the training base
for many Olympian skiers from the Soviet era.
In fact, to this day, the Russian mountain skiing
and snowboarding teams still train here.
The complex, 40 kilometers north of Moscow, is
home to nine ski runs, several cross-country ski
trails that remain well-lit into the night, and
all the amenities of a country getaway: chalets,
a hotel, a spa, tennis courts and an ice rink. The
decor hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years
or so from the looks of it, but that just adds to
its old world charm.
Something for everyone
Lisya Gora, or “Fox Mountain,” is a picturesquely
named complex, seven kilometers
from Moscow, that offers five slopes catering to
both beginners and confident skiers. The most
advanced slope is 400 meters long with a drop
of around 95 meters. Snowboard and ski jumps
offer the more adventurous a chance to dabble
in some free styling practice when they tire of
the slopes. As with most other resorts, tubing
is an option if balance isn’t your strong point.
All runs are open until midnight if you prefer nighttime skiing, and the adjacent forest provides
the perfect spot for cross country skiing if
you harbor a fear of heights.
Out-of-town professional resort
While this resort might not quite be the slice of
Switzerland in Moscow that its website boldly
proclaims, it does boast some of the most modern
facilities in the region. Fifty kilometers outside
of Moscow, the resort offers 10 slopes, the
highest of which is 225 meters, and a variety of
different runs depending on your ability. While
the longest of them is more than one kilometer
in length, you can speedily get back to the top
with the help of Austrian and Italian manufactured
double and quadruple chairlifts. Little
ones can take lessons from friendly instructors
on the baby slope or enjoy a spot of tubing. The
resort keeps its slopes topped up with artificial
snow, meaning you can enjoy winter sports
through mid-April, whatever the temperature
fluctuations over the coming months.
Slopes in the city
Kant, just a five minute walk from Nagornaya
metro station, is the best option if you’re looking
to enjoy an afternoon of boarding or skiing
and don’t own a car. Nicknamed the “Moscow
Alps” by its management, Kant had an unlikely
start in life as a city dump and takes its name
from the sportswear brand that runs both
the shop and slopes. Now an artificial hill, the
complex offers 11 ski runs including one trail
exclusively for beginners and a number of drag
lifts to take you back to the top. The surrounding
views of Soviet high-rises aren’t exactly
alpine, but the runs themselves are well-maintained,
lit up at night and open late. Popular
with Muscovites for its accessibility, Kant also offers tubing facilities, a cafe and instructors for
Volen and Stepanovo
Volen, 60 kilometers to the north of the city,
is one of the best-known ski resorts in the
Moscow region. A short 15-minute bus ride
away is Stepanovo, a smaller complex but still
worth a visit if you’ve made the trip. With
Austrian manufactured ski lifts of around 500
meters, a number of different difficulty runs
and high quality slope maintenance, you won’t
regret the trek out of the city once you’re here.
Both resorts are well-lit for nighttime skiing
or snowboarding and top up their runs with
artificial snow as and when needed. With an
alpine-themed hotel and Russian and Finnish
bath houses on site, you could easily make a trip
here into a weekend getaway with friends and
family. What’s more, this January, Volen opened
a new, steeper slope catering to daredevils into
Skiing just a metro ride away
If you aren’t quite up to a trip outside the city
for some cross-country skiing, hop on the
metro and get off at Sokolniki Park. The huge
park has some of the best skiing in the city.
Besides a 2-kilometer track, you can go off it to
zip around part of the 45-kilomoter ski route.
If you have your own skis, it’s open 24 / 7 for
some early morning or moonlight ski trips. You
can also rent equipment for the reasonable fee
of 150 rubles for two hours (plus a 1,000 ruble
deposit). That’s available 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.
either at the intersection of 6th Luchevoi and
Maisky Proseki, or at 11 Mitkovsky Proezd.