This year's early snowfalls have caused hassle for some Muscovites, but have put others in the mood for winter sports. Learn about great places to learn to snowboard in the Moscow area with Gazeta.ru.
The beginning of the winter season is a source of great excitement for Russian winter sports fans – and snowboarders in particular. Snowboarding arrived in Russia in the late 1990s and was quickly recognised as a competitive sport; however, it didn’t become popular until much later when snowboards and other equipment were made as widely available as skates and skis.
The 2014 Olympics in Sochi triggered a country-wide snowboarding boom across Russia. This lead to the national competition held in Abzakovo, Republic of Bashkortostan, being participated in by 150 children and teenagers.
Russia is no stranger to the fierce rivalry between snowboarding and alpine skiing. Although skiing has a longer history in Russia, being widely practised as early as the 1960s, both winter sports have fans amongst thrill seekers of all ages. So how do you choose between the two?
There aren't many places to snowboard professionally in Russia. Snowboard champion Alyona Zavarzina believes that a snowboarding career must start at an early age. “The best pro-skiers and snowboarders come from Austria and Switzerland as they live in or near the mountains and begin practising early. “In Russia, however, most snowboarders get into the sport when they are around ten and their body is much less agile, which leads to far more injuries. “It happens because there aren’t many available ski resorts,” Zavarzina explained in an interview with Eurosport. “The choice of snowboard training sites in Moscow is very limited."
However, Gazeta.ru has found several great snowboarding opportunities in and around Moscow aimed at both professional snowboarders and those who aren't planning to compete in the Olympics any time soon.
“The Moscow Alps”
Moscow’s largest ski complex, a short ride from the centrally located “Nagornaya” metro station, offers eight runs for every level of expertise, ranging in length from 80m to 300m, with a vertical drop of 55m. There are instructors who can teach basic skills to novices in any kind of winter sports. This place is ideal for both beginners and serious boarders.
Loza Ski Resort
The ski centre in Loza Village is an oasis of tranquility, situated away from the busy roads in the middle of a beautiful fir-tree forest near the scenic town of Sergiev Posad. Although the resort is fairly small, there are pistes of varying difficulty, including one for beginners.
Loza is located 70 km from the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) and may not be the most convenient choice logistics-wise, but the four slopes ranging from 250m to 400m and the fresh air are definitely worth the journey.
Lisya Gora Alpine Ski Resort
Situated just outside the Moscow Ring Road in Balashikha, Lisya Gora is a great place for honing your skiing and snowboarding skills. The resort provides beginner training and has a slalom sports club.
The sports complex is located in Krylatskoe, famous as one of the cleanest and most picturesque districts in Moscow. Lata Track has invested in high-quality snowmaking and grooming equipment to keep their slopes in perfect condition. Excellent for family outings.
This all-season indoor ski centre located in Krasnogorsk is the perfect place to try skiing in the suburbs and has enjoyed popularity among Muscovites for years. Learn your basic skiing or snowboarding techniques here and come back to train all year round.
Volen Sports Park
One of the largest resorts in Moscow Oblast, Volen has skiing facilities outside the town of Yakhroma, Dmitrovsky District, near Stepanovo Village. The area is great for both beginners and for advanced enthusiasts. The slopes are well-lit and are suitable for skiing and snowboarding after dark.
If you want to experience the North in winter, why not start with the North of the Moscow region? Sorochany is a modern sports resort in Dmitrovsky District, which features state-of-the-art Austrian and Italian chair lifts, well groomed trails, ten pistes and a children's training slope.