Russia is a huge place and for much of the year a very snowy country. This means the potential for Russia snowkiting is huge. Europe’s Eastern fringes slowly transform into Mother Russia and from there it continues to loom over Asia until the Northern Pacific finally puts a stop to it. It takes up a staggering 8% of the world’s total inhabited landmass and is undisputed in its status as the largest country in the world.
Russia also happens to be a very bizarre place for the standard westerner to visit, a place where life is fascinating in it’s juxtapositions. Old world rural communities meet the anonymous cities, the spectre of communism exists side by side with the hyper-capitalist lifestyles of the infamous oligarchs – in this sprawling country surprises wait around every corner.
Surprises aside, one thing that you will expect (and you’d be right!) is that most of the year there’s snow everywhere – and with only 143 million Russians you might find a bit of space to yourself. As would be expected from a snow covered country 70 times larger than the UK there are a whole lot of potential snowkiting spots, and most of them are unexplored. Let us, though, start reasonably close to home.
There is a large stretch of frozen lake lying on a stumpy peninsula a few miles east of Finland that is hailed as the best snowkiting in Russia. The flat frozen lake spends most of the year under several feet of powder snow, and is such a fine snowkiting destination that an enterprising Russian snowkiter, Nicholas Rakhmatov, decided to open a snowkiting park there in 2011.
The snowkite park called ‘Mogoochi’ is a collection of ramps, boxes and rails spread out over the flat tundra – a welcome distraction as it turns out it’s possible to even get bored of carving up powder. This frozen lake is an inherently flat spot, so if you grow tired of this and long for a few lofty hills and even the odd mountain or two then venturing out into the lofty heart of Mother Russia is probably the right thing to do.
There’s more to Russia than just a murky communist past and dangerous amounts of vodka. It’s a fascinating and strange place to get lost in, a challenging change from standard holiday destinations and home to one of the last great wildernesses. So put your best adventuring face on and go have an explore.