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Sochi vs Sheregesh: where are the steeper mountains?

The two most popular mountain resorts in Russia are Sheregesh and Krasnaya Polyana. Someone prefers Sochi for the opportunity to go down from the mountains and walk in an autumn coat along the coastline of the sea, while someone rushes to master the slopes in Siberia, starting in October. Why are both resorts so attractive and where should you go? In the first part of our series of publications Sochi vs Sheregesh we will tell you about all the advantages of a gurney in the Siberian village of Sheregesh, which has long become a kind of mecca for sincere meetings of snowboarders and skiers from all over the country.

Our guide to Sheregesh

Sergey Turikov (his friends affectionately call Kamikaze). Co-founder of the Mountain Patrol company, athlete, head coach of the Novosibirsk Federation of Alpine Ski Freestyle. He started training on the ski slopes of NSO and Novosibirsk. Skiing experience over 20 years. He started in tough disciplines. In 2002, he began to take a great interest in the new, interesting discipline for himself Freeski (which at that time was not recognized as official in Russia). In the same season I came to Sheregesh for the first time. From this period he began to master off-piste skiing. One of the pioneers of Russian freeskiing beyond the Urals. Multiple participant, prize-winner, initiator and judge of Freeski competitions.

Sochi vs Sheregesh: where are the steeper mountains?

Photo: Fischer

Beginning and end of the season

By Sergey Turikov : The season always starts at different times. It happens that we open it at the end of October, and once it happened on September 26. However, the official opening usually falls in mid to late November, when the first heavy snow falls. We also close the season at different times. Sometimes at the end of May there is still snow, and sometimes at the end of March it is barely enough for skiing. However, here you can see a pattern and a certain cyclicality. As a rule, one of four seasons ends earlier than usual. For example, the 2016/17 season began very early (in mid-October we were already skating with might and main), but it also ended early (by mid-March, the mountain had almost melted). Most likely, this season will be quite long.

High season

The peak of visits to the complex is divided into two periods. The first is from November 20 to December 15, and the second is from February 15 to March 15. It is these dates that are considered high season in Sheregesh.

How to get to Sheregesh

For those who come from far away, it is most convenient to get from Novokuznetsk airport by taxi or minibus, having ordered them in advance. Usually tourists use Avito or the Bla-bla-car app. There are always many profitable transfer options to be found.

Sochi vs Sheregesh: where are the steeper mountains?

Photo: Fischer

Infrastructure and atmosphere

As for the local infrastructure, there are some nuances, as elsewhere. However, in general, everything you need is there. Hotels, cafes, bars, rentals, baths, shops in the village, there is a 3D cinemap, so after the ride you will have something to do. To significant disadvantages, I would attribute the absence of a single ski pass on the mountain. You constantly have to carry a bunch of cards with you. Let me tell you straight: Sheregesh is not the best resort in Russia, but people choose it not for its service, but for its special, Siberian atmosphere and snow. The local atmosphere is unique in that during the season the maximum number of riders from all cities of Russia and abroad accumulates here. This all gives Sheregesh a special flavor. Everyone comes here for fluffy and soft snow, as well as fun and carefree skiing. People come from all over Russia and recently there have been a large number of groups with foreign riders.

Trails for beginners and experienced freeriders

In general, Sheregesh is one of the best places for snow quality in the world. That is why riders from all over our country come to the opening of the season right here. There are enough places for skiing. During or immediately after snowfalls, you can ride directly under the lifts. If you walk a little, there are excellent meadows and a forest very close. In general, not particularly experienced riders will be quite happy to ride near the complex. In order to start mastering off-piste skiing in Sheregesh and feel comfortable, you need to confidently ride on a prepared slope. Sheregesh is a great place for beginner freeriders. If you approach training wisely, go through a freeride school, or use the services of a certified instructor, then a person will quickly adapt to the conditions and receive the necessary information about safe routes.

trails in any case are not worth it - it's just dangerous. For experienced riders, I advise you to ride with locals, and for beginners, I strongly recommend taking an instructor, or enrolling in a freeride school. It is better to devote time to exploration and determine the most comfortable and safe options for descending.

Still, you should not overestimate your strength, it is better to prepare and read about the features of the relief and snow on the Internet before the trip.

About traces. The difficulty of the slopes in Sheregesh is varied. On the Internet, you can easily find a map of trails and lifts, it will help beginners navigate the mountain without any problems. The green area is divided into several sectors: Sector A, Panorama, Sector E. For beginners, the roll-out of Sector A, Bulochka (lifts of the Kaskad company) and the bypass slopes of Panorama are more suitable for beginners. '

Sochi vs Sheregesh: where are the steeper mountains?

Photo: Fischer

Choosing skis for freeriding

The main difference between freeride skis and conventional piste models is the overall width, availability rocker (although recently this technology has also been used in piste models) and a long ski length. Freeride / ski-touring skis usually come with a waist of at least 105 mm. When choosing a size for a beginner, we make a plus for the height from + 5-10 cm and up to +20 cm for the height of an experienced rider.

If there is no desire to carrytake your inventory, this is not a problem. There are many rental shops in Sheregesh with good inventory. Every season new freeride models come in for you to try out on site. You can also book your skis in advance by paying.

To choose the right model for freeriding, you must first understand in what conditions the skis will be used. If you want a more versatile shell, then you need to take skis with a waist from 105 to 110 mm. If you are going to mainly ride on the fields of bottomless virgin soil, then the waist should be at least 112 mm and a rocker in the toe of the ski is desirable. The place in which you are going to use the skis will play a very important role. If you correctly take into account all the factors, then you will not have to buy a second pair of skis later and you will be able to save a significant amount of money and nerves. Be sure to consult with experienced specialists when buying, then you will surely get the shell that you really need. '

Most of the time I ride the Fischer Ranger 122 . It is this model, for the first time in many years, brought to its best embodiment. Not a single year skated on its predecessor, the Big Stix 122, which was constantly lacking something. Either weight, or design, or geometry. And the Ranger 122 has everything in balance. A maneuverable, punchy and reliable model - a steam locomotive! Just what I need.

In the next article in our series, we will consider all the advantages of recreation and skiing in a ski resort in Sochi, study the specifics of Olympic tracks, compare prices for ski passes and infrastructure. Where are you going to ski this winter?

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