In this article we will tell you about the best places for freeride in the Ukrainian Carpathians. We will tell you about logistics, accommodation, terrain and weather conditions, as well as give the contacts of rescuers and guides.
Locations: Dragobrat, Zastozhye, Gendarme, Bliznitsy, "British Columbia", Turbat
Dragobrat is situated 7 kilometers from Yasinya village in Zakarpattya region.
Ukrzaliznytsia is glad to launch new and comfortable trains, which come directly to the railway station Yasinya (look at the train schedules on the website of Kiev-Rakhiv, Mykolaiv-Rakhiv, Odessa-Rakhiv, Kharkiv-Rakhiv directions).
The people of Kiev who prefer to travel by car are recommended to take the route via Ternopol and Ivano-Frankivsk (the roads in Ternopol region are paved with new asphalt this season). When you arrive in Yasinya, you can park your car at the paid parking lot at the bottom of the turn to Dragobrat (about 50 UAH/day).
The way to the Dragobrat is a separate adventure, off-road and while the new road is only at the construction stage, to get to the hotel you have to use off-road vehicles - GAZ66, "tablets" and jeeps, which are happy to meet tourists right at the train cars, bus station or gas station.
Transfer contacts: 0972187874, Ruslan
Dragobrat is a starting point for almost every freeride route on the Svidovetsky Ridge, so we recommend you stay here. There's a wide range of accommodations at the resort, with the price range from 600-2000 UAH/night. All offers usually include two meals a day (breakfast and dinner). Golden Ride has been based at the private farmstead "At the Crane" for the second year already. Here, in our favorite cafe "Cinnamon", we also hold our lectures, grill parties and discussion of "the line, the drop, the descent," which made this the best powder day in memory. And the owner of the place, as well as guide and instructor, Misha Zhuravel can hold a tea ceremony, play the vargan and tell the Dragobrat's unfounded stories.
Here is a list of proven hotels that we can recommend.
Dragobrat still has 4 different skipasses, so here is information about each of them:
Dragobrat is rightfully considered to be the mecca of Ukrainian freeride, because you can start freeriding here right from the top stations of the ski elevators. And there are really unique locations with untouched snow in walking distance (bootpacking - when a rider gets to a point on foot) from the resort - the Zhandarmy and Bliznitsy mountains, Zastozhye, "British Columbia". One of Dragobrat's trademark freeride features is pine-tree skiing - when the weather conditions, low visibility and wind don't allow skiing in the alpine zone, you can always go down and ski among the trees below. True, this does not mean that trees = safety! Mountain rescuers regularly conduct searches for lost skiers/snowboarders who, without knowing the terrain and in bad weather conditions, get lost in the fir trees or on the back side of mount Stog.
Separate mention should be made of Ketskiing - when getting to the location and ascent after the descent is carried out on the RatTrack! This kind of skiing, popular all over the snow world, is also available in the Ukrainian Carpathians. You can roll out Svidovetsky ridge, make first line on the virgin slopes, discover wild mountains and ski far away from ski infrastructure on the natural virgin land which you will never learn on the perfectly groomed slopes.
If you have enough off-piste skiing experience and haven't tried Ketski freeride yet, we highly recommend it!
You can book your ski tour here.
Ski touring is actively developing in all popular freeride locations in Ukraine. We are sincerely glad about this trend as we ourselves are the admirers of this type of skiing. Honestly deserve the descent, feel every meter of it, climb into the real mountain world, where you can't even see the traces of other riders. The beauty of ski touring is in its freedom! Freedom from elevators, groomers and infrastructure.
Where is it interesting to skate on Dragobrat and its suburbs? Popular skiing locations are: Backside Bliznitsa, Svidovets polonina, Steryshora polonina, Kračunjaska, British Columbia.
Dragobrat already has skiing equipment rentals.
The Svidovetsky Range has its own microclimate. It is located between two rivers - Teresva and Kisva from the west and the Black Tisza from the east. Moist air masses, getting inside the mountain range, are delayed and, not being able to leave, they are completely devastated. There is often snow here when there is no snow anywhere else, and spring skiing is a special kind of pleasure, which in some seasons lasts until May inclusive.
The relief on Dragobrat is relatively calm - there are almost no rocky drops and not many places with characteristic terrain traps. You can roll out rolling fields on Zastozhye, roll 35 degrees Gendarme corners, drop from one of the "tits" of Bliznitsa and take an adrenaline rush on descents from "Herring".
However, anyone who has ever been on Dragobrat in winter knows that it can be very capricious and windy. And if it blows, watch out! In poor visibility and strong wind it is easy to get lost and freeze.
If the weather does not allow to ski in the open areas, we always recommend to go lower and to roll out a good snow in the fir-trees. And one of the locations in the herringbones is affectionately nicknamed "British Columbia" among ourselves for its characteristic snow pillows.
Head of the rescue service: Evgeny Evminovich Gasparovich, 067 7627403
Probably the most important point in the whole description. The fact is that locale guides observe the weather for weeks and months, know exactly how the snow cover has formed this season, know the region's weaknesses and strengths, and where to find the best snow and roll it out safely. The guide is responsible for your safety and for making sure you have the most fun with the least amount of risk.
Golden Ride School Guides:
Pilipets and Podobovets - both resorts are located within the mountain range Borzhava, Transcarpathian region. On both sides of the massif is surrounded by rivers Viche and Rika, and on the southern slopes starts the river Borzhava, which later flows into the Tisza.
Locations: Gemba, Magura Zhide, Veliki Wierch
In order to get to Pilipets or PDB you can use the services of UZ, residents and guests of Uzhgorod, Mukachevo or Mezhyhirya can come by bus or get by car.
Good news for those who do not like to walk - you can freeride in Pilipets and Podobovac directly from the upper stations of the elevators! Be careful with the weather and if visibility is limited, postpone your outing to the next day - it's quite easy to get lost on the Boryva, and it's difficult, unclear and dangerous to get back out.
Skitouring, bootpacking. If you have time, strength and inspiration, be sure to try to go beyond the "knurled fir trees" - your efforts will be rewarded with great descents, beautiful views, wide fields and even a waterfall Shipot for a snack.
In Podobovets interesting freeride routes start to the right of the top point of the elevator, on foot to get to the start of the descent will take from two hours, on skitura from one hour.
In Pilipets you can also ski from the upper stations of the elevator, from Gemba in the direction of the forest and Shipot waterfall, or reach the top of the Borzhava ridge and be rewarded with a long and exciting descent with beautiful snow. By the way, the experts say that the Borzhava snow is one of the best in Ukraine! For the powders - to Borzhava.
What's important to know? With poor visibility it is easy to get lost on Borjave and go down to the southern wild slope instead of the northern one. Unfortunately, even experienced freeriders get lost here, so treat freeriding on Borjave as responsibly and competently as possible. Here is an axiom repeated by Nikolaj Drobotenko, who is engaged in mountaineering and mountaineering for dozens of years and knows these places like the back of his hand: "From any point near the mountain Gemba you by mistake did not get to the south - ALL streams and rivers from the south side of the Borjava ridge in the area between the tops Velyky Verkh-Gemba-Magura-Grab lead to the village Berezniki. And there are no exceptions to this rule." We recommend reading the Borzhava chronicles from Nicholas here.
On Borzhava is interesting and varied - there are fields, and riding in a fairy tale forest and bright drops, and couloirs, and steep riding for the most experienced. And Shipot waterfall is a special place, which in winter and summer has its own special voice and the strongest energy. After the cool ride we recommend to recharge and clear the loop of the city emotional chaos near the waterfall, which will certainly whisper its secrets to the attentive listener and bless him for new achievements.
The weather in Borzhava, as elsewhere in the Carpathians, is different. Separate mention should be made of the Borzhava fog, when the probability of getting lost increases many times.
If you compare with Dragobrat, which is much higher, here is a milder climate, not such winds, but there can be problems with snow - in bad and snowy years, unfortunately, here is not for freeride.
Phone Mezhgorskogo mountain search and rescue paddock: 0314622345, mobile tel. (097) 8476041
If you have decided to freeride, and especially in a region you do not know well, we recommend always to contact an experienced guide-local. Few people know Borzhava better than guides from Anton Ski School and, of course, Anton Yakovina personally +38 066 344 03 53 - we recommend it!!
Locations: Pop Ivan Marmarosky, southeastern slopes of the ridge, the polonina Lisicha
One of the most difficult questions in all of Marmarosa history. But for someone who is looking for real adventure and is ready for a hard freeride, all the questions will find the right, though not always trivial, answers. For example, in order to get to the place of residence and the start of freeride routes, you need::
For several seasons now, for all winter skiing and hiking enthusiasts in Marmaros, the Marmaros Rescue Hat, a voluntary mountain rescue station on the Strunga valley, has been available. It's a very cozy and soulful place - we sincerely recommend it! There is also a freestanding bathhouse.
As a leisure activity you can help the hospitable rescuers to chop wood 🙂 A real Carpathian bath will be a great dessert after a long day in the frosty air and will help, if not to do without crepation, then to ease its manifestations!
If you're going to the Marmaros, you can't do without a good ski kit. The most interesting locations can be reached exclusively on skis, bootpacking is practically irrelevant (the snow is too deep and the distances are long). For advanced freeriders there are routes with elements of real ski mountaineering - with ice axes, systems and ropes.
Marmarosa is wild and beautiful! The beauty and freedom of this place really takes your breath away. Colorful sunsets, virgin lines on slopes of varying difficulty levels, views of the Romanian Carpathians, no people - that's what real freeride is like.
Decided to conquer Marmarosy in winter? Be prepared mentally, but especially physically. For the day you can make 1-3 descents, and the ascent will take most of the time and effort.
Some routes require very advanced skiing skills - slopes with an angle of up to 45 degrees are serious!
You should monitor the weather and choose the best option, with good visibility, stable avalanche conditions and, preferably, no wind.
+38 098 57 79 740
If you have any questions, we recommend contacting Marmaros Rescue Hat directly +38 098 57 79 740, and the guys from Fun Karpaty.
Locations: Hoverla and Petros, Ribs and Spits, Dzembronya and Pop Ivan
There are two ways to get to Hoverla:
Through the tourist base Zarosliak. Need a transfer from the train station in Vorokhta, 20 km, of which most of the way on dirt. The route is more suitable for hiking.
Through the village. Kozmeshchik, which is located 9 km from the village Lazeshchyna. There are two variants of the route:
The ideal entrance to Petros would be the route through Kozmieszczyk. For the especially intoxicated, the 15/20km trek from Svidovets/Yasinya is possible, but we won't consider it.
Transfer contacts: Pavlo +38097 565-49-29 - GAZ (14 places) +38 (067) 261-67-84, +38 (067) 302-53-03, Vanya +380673456104 - UAZ Bukhanka.
The hosts of the gardens also have transfer options, so we recommend to clarify this question with them in the first instance.
Keep in mind that there is no connection in the village, so it is better to book accommodation in advance.
Both Vasil and Mikhail have a bathhouse.
Today there are no elevators on Hoverla/Petros 🙂
The most popular route to Hoverla is the blue route (steeper, 3.7 km) and the green route (flatter, 4.3 km). Timing to the summit - 3-4 hours.
The best way to get to Hoverla or Petros from Kozmeshchik is to take a skitur. You can climb Hoverla either through the Kozmeshka mountain valley and Hoverlyana (Small Hoverla), or classically through the Gropa mountain valley. The timing to the summit is 6-7 hours.
The routes themselves are beautiful and pleasant, through the Carpathian forest with access to the alpine zone. From the tops are available quite interesting lines of 30+ degrees. There are avalanche-prone areas: couloirs and walls, there are small rocky ledges (for example, on Hoverla in the cirque with Bretzkul), but in general the lines are quite even. Also a lot of forest riding on the chubby. There are peculiarities that you should be ready for: if from Petros you can get all the 10 km to the village, then from Hoverla to Kozmeshchik you will have to climb a skitur and walk 800 m to go down. However, the freeride itself is interesting.
Possible variants of descents.
Weather in the Carpathian highlands in winter is often windy, so the snow is blown and spoiled, there are not comfortable for skiing ice and snowdrifts.
The most popular gentle and safe routes for skiing are along the ridges along the blue and green markers, but they are more exposed to the wind.
Good, but also avalanche-prone snow lies in the cirques on the leeward slopes. There are kinks.
Contacts for proven guides:
Goldenride.com.ua - we also conduct freeride programs on the Chernogorsky ridge.
Ture.ua - our colleagues from the camp "White Elephant".