Photo: Mike Weyerhaeuser

Krasnaya Polyana

When we first visited Krasnaya Polyana in February 2002 for an article in Ski and Board Magazine there wasn’t much there – a few chickens and cows running around the unpaved street, a couple of old beaten up chairlifts, a heli-pad and one or two hotels. It was rough round the edges to put it mildly but what we found up the mountain blew us away – a never ending succession of superb, wind sheltered slopes, magnificent forests of perfectly spaced silver birch trees and industrial quantities of Black Sea powder. Aided by its proximity to Europe it soon became one of our most popular destinations.

With the announcement that Sochi had the 2014 Olympic Games and that Krasnaya Polyana would host the ski events, things changed immeasurably in a very short space of time. A new road opened, hotels and restaurants sprung up overnight, new ski lifts were built and before long the once inaccessible heli-ski terrain became very accessible. And when the authorities pulled the plug on the only reliable helicopter operator, that was that was that. No more heli-skiing in Krasnaya Polyana.

A few years have now elapsed and we are happy to report that Krasnaya Polyana is back on the map.

What can I say, the most amazing trip ever....

John Van Marle


The Lowdown

World Class Tree Skiing

The terrain around Krasnaya Polyana was made for heli-skiing. In particular the tree skiing deserves a special mention. It is as good as it gets. If the skies are clouded over and the helicopter can’t fly there is world class powder skiing in the forests just off the ski lifts.

Ease of Access

Getting there is quick and easy from most European cities.

Local Ski Resort

Since the Sochi Olympics Krasnaya Polyana has undergone some massive development. Whether or not much of this is good is arguable but for days when you are not heli-skiing there are plenty of good options to get knee-deep in powder right off the lifts.

Prices & Dates

Russia is waiting

If you wait, all that happens is you get older

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