Because Russia spans a massive distance from both north to south and east to west, the difference in character throughout the country is vast. There is some of the best powder going at Krasnaya Poliana and with Sochi making an official bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian scene may well soon be booming. You won't find many state-of-the-art lifts just yet, and there's no one to hand you little bars of chocolate as you get on. What you will find though, is an unusual trip with uncrowded pistes and friendly people.

conditions

The region is so large that conditions vary greatly from one area to the next. Krasnaya Poliana, however, is an altogether different affair. When it comes to tales of limitless powder, it's up there with Japan.

when to go

The seasons are the same as in Western Europe, so skiing is from December to April.

off piste policy

You can generally go where you like, but make sure you're self-reliant as you can't expct the speedy rescue service you'd get in Switzerland or the US.

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