The West’s influence has taken over and Russia is not the place it used to be. Although snowboarding is now on the scene it’s still very much in its infancy here, however the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 is massively raising its profile as a destination.
The capital city Moscow, where everything is freely available at the right price, has a few snowboarding areas. ‘Moscow’s 3 Hills’ are all within half an hour of the city centre via the extremely efficient Metro. Alternatively get on a suburban elektrichka train, pay less than a buck, and head out of the city for more resorts and enter a whole new Russia. The people are friendly and everything is dirt cheap. Okay you get basic lifts, food and accommodation, but you’ll see the real Russia and snowboard on uncrowded slopes. The Caucasus Range to the south of Russia is home to Europe’s highest mountain in Elbrus. At 5642m it’s larger than the west’s best by a few hundred metres.
Snowboarding is possible from mid-November to late April but be prepared for temperatures as low as -25c in mid February. At the resorts equipment hire is occasionally available but it is highly recommended to take your own. English is spoken by some Russians in Moscow, but very few in the southern mountains so learning a few words of Russian will make things a lot easier.