Ultimate Heli-Skiing Experience in a Remote Big Mountain Paradise -
The Great Caucasus Mountains
Where the Mountains are Big and Wild for Real
Heli-ski in Russia in the heart of the Great Caucasus Mountains is an exclusive opportunity to explore some the most beautiful, big, remote and unexplored mountains on planet Earth, and discover heli-skiing in a completely different format. 55 feet of snow every year, 1100 square kilometers of ultimate heli-skiing terrain, hundreds of valleys, exclusively accessed only be helicopter form a secret big mountain paradise for world-class heli-skiing. There is absolutely something out there in our backyard for every freeskier and snowboarder and it’s a must go place for every true explorer.
The Great Caucasus Mountains are a big mountain system that extends over 1200 kilometers between the Black and the Caspian Sea. These are volcanic mountains that were formed like the Himalayas in the era of Alpine folding about 28 million years ago. The Caucasus Mountains resemble Canadian Rockies, but they are much bigger and absolutely wild. It is a region with a large modern glaciation where 2050 eternal snow-covered glaciers cover 1400 squire kilometers, which is 70% of the total mountain terrain. The Great Caucasus Range reaches its maximum width of 180 kilometers in the area of Mount Elbrus meridian, which is the major glaciation center with a 17 km long Bezengi Glacier. Covered with eternal snow and glaciers, Mt. Elbrus (5642 m.) and Mt. Kazbek (5033 m.) are two the most famous peaks and the biggest dormant volcanoes in the Caucasus.
Over the past 200 years, only 50% of the Caucasus Mountains have been explored. Due to its geographical and political location, it’s still one of the most hard to access mountains on the planet, which keeps them truly wild and unique. The Caucasus is also an incredibly diverse region with more than 50 local nations and thousands of years of deep history that you can still see and you can still touch. Every nation has its own culture, its own language, and its own cuisine, and in some remote villages, the lifestyle of local people hasn’t changed in the last 100 years.
Heli-skiing in the Caucasus is a truly once in a lifetime cultural freeski experience.
Not just an ordinary week of Heli-Skiing
Our Heli-Ski Safari trip format is truly unique from any point of view. For today, there is no analog to this type of heli-skiing in the world. It’s not just a week of heli-skiing in one specific region from the same lodge. It is a way more complex program, that was exclusively developed by RMH Guides, which allows you to explore the most ultimate spots in the Great Caucasus Mountains with the best snow and to get the most out of your trip to the Caucasus in just 7 days.
The Great Caucasus Range is just huge, and of course, it is impossible to heli-ski it all, so we bring you to the most legendary 100% remote and epic areas only accessible by the helicopter with the highest quality snow, where no man has gone before.
So how does it all look like in practice? It’s all simple. The uniqueness and the idea of the Safari trip format is that we don’t have a fixed day by day schedule, and we don’t have to stay in one particular place and ski there the whole week no matter what. We don’t have to wait for the better weather or the better snow conditions in one area. There is only a point A, a point B, and your imagination. That’s all we have and that is the main distinctive feature of the Safari heli-skiing format. The main concept is HUNTING for the best snow in your life, and the DISCOVERY of the most mind-blowing spots and lines throughout the entire Caucasus Range. If the snow is not the best or the weather got bad in one area, we simply go to another one and so on, also skiing on the way from one area to another if there is a juicy spot or a sick line. There is absolutely no limit. This is more like a ski movie making format of heli-skiing where you feel yourself a real PRO, and not just a guest. This is much more than just an ordinary heli-skiing package. It is an ultimate heli-skiing adventure in a real expedition style.
On Safari we operate only in a private trip format with maximum 6 guests in a group, 2 mountain guides, and two B3 helicopters. Your Safari adventure can be organized and customized individually for your ability level and specific preferences.
Safari starts in the very heart of the North Caucasus Mountains, and then we go south-east to the Black Sea to the Olympic Village of Rosa Khutor, Sochi – home of 2014 Winter Olympics. In 5 days we ski in the most ultimate spots throughout the entire Caucasus Range wherever we want and have all 100% of flexibility every day in choosing the right terrain. Before your arrival, we carefully check the weather forecast for a coming week and determine the exact point A and all the best areas for heli-skiing accordingly.
First Stop - [ The North Caucasus ]
This is usually the first stop of the heli-ski Safari. Elbrus region is a small remote piece of paradise in the North Caucasus mountains, Russia’s big mountain Mecca, home of all 8 five-thousanders of the Caucasus. Mt. Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe and Russia and number 4 in the list of the Seven Highest Summits on each continent of the planet. It is a white giant dormant volcano with two summits – Western (5642 m.) and Eastern (5621 m.). Elbrus is an incredibly beautiful and powerful peak with 134 square kilometers of eternal snow-covered glaciers. Here the mountains are Big for real and the potential and variety of heli-ski terrain is classified like WOAH. Elbrus has been visited by the world’s most legendary ski icons such as Mark Abma, Kaj Zackrisson, Mike Douglas, Thibaud Duchosal and many others. Elbrus is located very close to the border with Georgia, where in the area of Mt. Ushba (4,710 m.), Samuel Anthamatten, Markus Eder, and Leo Slemett made their ski movie – “Ushba” together with The North Face. They said it was the best skiing experience they have ever had in their lives.
Stop 2 - [ The Western Caucasus ]
8000 squire miles of heli-skiing terrain. 50 feet of snow every year. Arkhyz is a mountain region situated right in the middle of the Western Caucasus Mountains. The land of lakes and glaciers. The are more than 75 beautiful high mountain lakes and more than 50 big glaciers covered with eternal snow. The highest peak of Arkhyz is Mt. Sofia (3637 m.) with big Sofyiskiy and Psyshskyi Glaciers. Arkhyz is surrounded by mountains from all sides and protected from the winds. Due to its unique location in the very heart of Great Caucasus Range, rich backcountry terrain from glacier cruising to steep alpine lines, and mild climate throughout the winter, Arkhyz offers some of the best heli-skiing in the Caucasus Mountains.
In Arkhyz, RMH offers an exclusive accommodation at the Mikhail’s Gorbachev Residence (former president of Russia and Soviet Union). The Gorbachev Gos Dacha sits in a remote river valley on the North Side of the Western Caucasus Mountains in South-West Russia. It’s everything you would expect – Soviet presidential mansion, pink bulletproof marble clad walls, oversized bedrooms, crystal chandeliers, secret passageways, and a room full of the properties of former tenants. Not a lot has changed since it was built in 1978. Information still slows over the shortwave radio and every room comes with a direct line to the Kremlin and a red phone.
Just 5 minutes down the road from the Gorbachev Gos Dacha is the town of Arkhyz. A relic of Russia’s communist past seemingly lost in time. Local people share the streets with soviet-era automotive technology. All of the residents here are of Muslim faith. Friendly, welcoming, and honest people just trying to make it through another Russian winter.
Stop 3 - [ Black Sea - Krasnodar Region, South of Russia ]
The Mountains of Krasnaya Polyana are located in the South of Russia, 38 km from the Black Sea coast at an altitude of 500 meters above the sea level, 64 km south-east of the city of Sochi in Krasnodar Region. Sochi itself is the biggest resort in Russia. Krasnaya Polyana is a modern, developed mountain complex, consisting of 4 mountain resorts (Gorky, Alpika, Rosa and Gazprom), which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Krasnaya Polyana is famous for its dry and deep Alaskan quality powder, steep alpine lines, and Japan style forest skiing. The climate and location of Krasnaya Polyana are unique, and the process of snow formation is different from the middle of the Caucasus Mountains. Due to the close proximity of the Black Sea, the climate is very mild and humid. The moisture-laden breeze air from the Black sea collides with the cooler, drier arctic masses of the Caucasus Mountains, and creates a unique environment for perfect powder, helping the snow keep it’s best qualities throughout the winter. What does it mean? The snow crystals form not into a classic snowflake shape, but into a round shape snowflake. Because of that, the snow stays like powder much longer and doesn’t shrink in separate snow layers as quickly as it does in the center of the Caucasus Mountains.
The quality of powder snow in KP is comparable to Valdez in Alaska and Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan. Krasnaya Polyana itself is a super developed Olympic mountain village and a paradise for Apres of all kinds.
All our heli-ski Guides are either European UIAGM or Russian RMGA professionals with decades of heli-skiing experience.
— Each Guide has a professional radio, latest Iridium satellite phone and a professional first aid kit in his backpack.
— Each guest will be given all the personal avalanche safety equipment, such as an ABS airbag system, avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe.
Perfect safety record.
Continually operate as rescue pilots.
Able to land in the most difficult to reach places – e.g. on the top of Mt. Elbrus (5642 m.).
Sunday: individual arrival at the airport, private transfer to the hotel. Welcome briefing with guides and presentation of the program for the next days. Equipment check after dinner.
Monday – Friday: Heli-skiing depending on snow-, avalanche- and weather- conditions. In case of bad weather we offer an alternative program in the ski area, which offers a variety of skiing.
Saturday: after breakfast individual transfer to the Minaralnye Vody airport.
• helicopter flights, ski passes, beverage, ski equipment, single room supplement
Additional helicopter hours: 2000 EURO / hour
Refund heli-ski hours:
• In case of bad weather or avalanche risk we refund 1500 EURO per hour
• helicopter flights, ski passes, beverage, ski equipment, single room supplement
Additional helicopter hours: 2200 EURO / hour
Refund heli-ski runs:
• in case of bad weather or avalanche risk we refund 1700 EURO per hour
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