Cat-skiing in Siberia: A risky proposal for adrenaline lovers
There’s no better experience than sliding at high speeds through the snow, feeling the cold winter breeze hitting your face. Very few things in life are comparable to that feeling of freedom. That’s why, every year, millions of people around the world buy their own season pass to enjoy the services of a popular ski resort. However, many others think that that feeling of freedom can only be achieved by following their own path and not a prefabricated trail from a resort. If you’re an enthusiast of adventure and the unknown, you were born to cat-skiing.
Cat-skiing in Siberia is a backcountry skiing modality, where skiers are transported to the highest point of a mountain by snowcat vehicles. Priiskovy, a small village in the heart of Siberia is catching the attention of thousands of professional skiers and snowboarders for the complexity of its relief and the beauty of its natural landscapes. This hidden gem among the Kuznetsk Alatau mountains used to be home to several gold mines until 1996. Currently and during 11 years, the place has become a preferred destination for backcountry skiers from all over Europe.
At Priiskovy ski resort there’s a comfortable hotel with restaurant, spa and smoking club. A total of 5 Pisten Bully snowcats with a 14-passengers capacity each, can take you to any point of the mountain at very low prices. Before choosing your final destination, it’s advisable to analyze the weather conditions to prevent accidents. Depending on the distance from the hotel, prices may vary.
Resort services include transportation to and from Krasnoyarsk airport. The journey from the airport to the resort takes 6-8 hours on average, depending on road and weather conditions. The driver arrives at the airport at 10:00 am and half an hour later departs to the resort with the new visitors. During their stay, skiers enjoy a tasting of delicious local dishes such as venison soup and marinated bear claws. Breakfasts, snacks in the mountains and dinners are all included in the basic package. If you ever visit Priiskovy, you won’t escape from tasting at least a sip of the famous Siberian vodka that will keep your body warm even in the coldest winter.
Compared to other places, Priiskovy is relatively a low point, located at 800 meters above the sea, with typical drops between 300-400 meters in each run. Under the dense layers of snow, occasionally rocky structures emerge that increase the level of difficulty depending on the route chosen by the skiers. Fortunately, the avalanche risks in Priiskovy are very low, which is why most routes are safe for visitors.
The low temperatures of Priiskovy and the frequency of the snowfall guarantee a smooth surface free of imperfections, suitable for reaching high speeds in a short time. The perfect challenge to test the skills of the most experienced skiers and snowboarders. Freeriding is open to the public from 9 am to 7 pm, where you’re free to slide through the 7000 meters of slopes located between the Panfilovskaya, Gus, Zaozernaya, Ivanovskaya, Transvaalskaya, Stolovaya and Semeynaja mountains.
Obviously, after spending hours of fun in the mountains, many skiers and snowboarders return to the resort completely exhausted, ready to relax. For them there’s a spa available, with a sauna for 6-8 people and a Japanese outdoor hot tub known as furako, where 6 people can enjoy a relaxing hot bath while delighting with the white landscapes of the mountain. If necessary, visitors can hire the services of a professional massage therapist for a minimum extra charge.
At 11:00 pm lights at the resort are turned off so that visitors can enjoy uninterrupted sleep. However, the doors of the Makhorka micro club remain open for those who want to smoke, drink and have fun.