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Skiing in The Urals, part 2
August 9, 2006 17:14


ABZAKOVO

Regarded as one of the best in the Urals, the Abzakovo ski center is located in the republic of Bashkortostan some 60 kilometers from the city of Magnitogorsk. It is also believed to be one of the best in the Urals.

Apart from the areal's natural beauty you will be fascinated by 13 trails with a total length of almost 18 kilometers.

The resort lies 800 meters above the sea level. The season runs from November till May.

The elevation change is 320 meters; the longest trail is 2.3 kilometers. There are two lightened pistes. Most of the trails are of red and black categories. The ski center boasts four FIS-certified slalom and giant slalom trials. Snow guns are futted on eight groomed trails to ensure good snow all season long.

The resort has 5 up-to-date rope tows and a two-seater chairlift operates from 9:30 till 17:00 and from 19:00 till 23:00.

How to get there

from Moscow board a plane bound for the city of Magnitogorsk. Then hire a taxi to cover another 60 kilometers.

ADZHIGARDAK

The Adzhigardak ski center is situated 300 kilometers from the city of Chelyabinsk in the town of Asha, right on the border with the republic of Bashkortostan.

The town of Asha enjoys a mild climate similar to one in Krasnaya Polyana with the average temperatures ranging from 7 to 12 degrees below zero.

Asha is a cozy rural town which looks like the city of Kirovsk in Russias North, although a greater amount of privately-run one-storey houses makes it even more desirable.

The ski center has 10 trails of various categories with the longest one being 3.5 kilometers. Total length is almost 12 kilometers and all the trails are certified by the FIS. There is no need for snow guns here as nature provides an abundance of powder each year.

Investors plan to develop the ski center and build 22 trails almost 65 kilometers long, a snowboarding park and another 15 kilometers of cross-country ski trails.

Apart from well-groomed narrow pistes running through the thickish forest you can try forest free ride. The ski resort is quite deserted on working days, which is not the case on the weekends.

The Asha forest free ride is a fascinating experience. There is so much snow that even 15-meter high birches could not stand it and bow down. Snow covered bushes magically turn to natural jumps. Sometimes you may easily find yourself in a trap which is possible to escape only if you creep.

How to get there?

Board a plane from Moscow bound for the city of Chelyabinsk or Ufa. Then travel another 300 kilometers in a hired taxi.

BANNOYE

The Bannoye resort lies on the shore of the Bannoye Lake, 40 kilometers from the city of Magnitogorsk and 24 kilometers from the Abzakovo ski center. The Bannoye Lake is one of the largest ones in the republic of Bashkortostan with the total area of 7.7 square kilometers.

The environment is well-preserved in this region famous for its mild climate . The lake is surrounded by picturesque forest-covered low mountains whose pistes are interesting both for beginners and experts. One of the peculiar things about low mountains is that you can always see whats happening down there. Besides, you can see the surrounding country.

The season lasts from November till May.

The ski resort has 7 trails whose total length amounts to 10 kilometers. The longest one is 2.5 kilometers; the elevation change is 450 meters. There is a short 60-meter half-pipe.

The trails offer exciting curves and are quite mean although they seem easy to master. Should you lose concentration the mountain will not forgive you. When the snow storm comes the temperature drops to 15 at the foot of the mountain and -22 at its top. Skiing can hardly be called comfortable but no one promised it would be. The wind blows away snow leaving bare ice, on the one hand, and makes heaps of snow and small jumps across the slope, on the other. However, these delights disappear by the next morning. Snow-cats lick them away.

How to get there?

From Moscow, fly to the city of Magnitogorsk; then hire a van to go another 40 kilometers to the Bannoye resort.

More info on Russia's skiing opportunities in:
- Skiing in the Urals, part 1
- Skiing in Russia's Caucasus
- Skiing in Russia's North

Artiom Ganin

See his other articles


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