From Greenland to Georgia, four adventurous places to go skiing

After an alternative to the Alps? Take your pick of these destinations for an out-there experience on the slopes.

By Abigail Butcher
Published 6 Dec 2020, 08:04 GMT
Ski touring in Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, Greenland

Ski touring in Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, Greenland.

Photograph by Getty Images

Kamchatka, Russia

Why: This remote Russian peninsular has been almost entirely inaccessible until comparatively recently. Kamchatka is home to Klyuchevskaya Sopka, the highest active volcano (15,584ft) in the Northern Hemisphere. Here you can ski well into the summer months.
How: Heliski Russia offers seven-night trips from early March to mid-May from €6,990 (£6,205) including full-board accommodation in a three-star hotel, guiding, safety equipment and heliskiing. 

Adjara, Georgia

Why: In the southwestern corner of Georgia, the Adjara area of the Lesser Caucasus enjoys some of the highest snowfalls in Europe. Cat skiing here has only been available since 2019, when Swiss company Powder Project built a mountain hut at 7,874ft to provide exclusive access to this remote area. Touring skis and split boards are still required though, because “not all peaks can be reached by cat”.
How: Powder Project offers seven nights in Adjara including airport transfers, full-board accommodation and five or six days of cat skiing from €2,300 (£2,037). 

Kulusuk, Greenland

Why: A pristine wilderness area the size of Western Europe, Greenland is one of the most isolated environments on the planet. Guides decide where to ski with the help of local Inuits. Accommodation is in a lodge overlooking the fjord, from where skiers travel to the start of ski tours by snowmobile and dog sled. 
How: 40 Tribes offers nine days in Greenland during the first half of May, with six-and-a-half days’ ski-touring/split-boarding from $5,795 (£4,324). 

Alay, Kyrgyzstan

Why: The only other tracks you’ll come across in this pristine environment, in the foothills of Peak Lenin (23,406ft) in the Pamir Mountains, will be of fox, wolf or snow leopard. British IFMGA mountain guide Nick Parks is offering exploratory ski touring in the southern Osh Province on the borders with Tajikistan, China and Kyrgzstan. Here, horseback travel is still very common, and skiers stay in local guest houses and homestays to complete the cultural immersion. 
How: Nine days with Grimentz Zinal Backcountry Adventures, including guiding and accommodation, starts at £1,995. 

Published in the Winter Sports guide, distributed with the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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