Russia is mainly a flat country; mountainous areas suitable for winter sport resorts are located further away from one another than, for example, in Europe. Throughout a major part of Russia's territory, the climate is more severe than in the Alps or Pyrenees. Nevertheless, good mountain-skiing is possible in many parts of Russia and is becoming a more and more popular kind of winter sports every year. Thousands of skiers from Russia and abroad who are eager to discover new slopes are attracted by the magnificent mountain landscape, the relatively low prices and the quality of services which are becoming more and more tourist friendly.
New mountain-skiing centres with equipped pistes, comfortable hotels and modern conveniences have been created in more moderate climatic zones (including the suburbs of St. Petersburg, for example) and in the Far East, as well as in the Khibins, Caucasus, Ural and Altai mountain sites. Among the many thrilling mountain views in Russia is the majestic Elborus in the Caucasus, Europe's highest peak, which exceeds the famous Mont Blanc by over 800 metres.
Fans of extreme sports may get a real thrill in their attempts at "skiing Russia". Ultra-long sharp descents from the amazing North Caucasus Cheghet, Dombay and Elborus, ideal snow powder in Krasnaya Polyana and the Far-eastern volcanoes of the Kamchatka attract fans of extreme skiing from all over the world. Russia's mountains are a free-rider's dream: the heliski adventure, where one lands on a wild off-piste peak and attempts to take on the challenge of an unbridled slope many kilometers long is increasing in popularity every year.