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The correspondent of “RG” checked how the only ski base in Crimea works KXan 36 Daily News

Date: March 24, 2023 Time: 09:34:45

We left at 7 am from Sevastopol. The way to Yalta took an hour and 20 minutes. Then another half hour – up Ai-Petri, 20 km along a winding mountain. Downstairs there isn’t a speck of snow, but as we went up it got more and more in the woods. The path itself has been cleared. Halfway there was a road service post. The attendant said that four-wheel drive cars were allowed upstairs. Ours was lost.

On the plateau is the mountain village of Okhotnichye. There are several dozen private houses and a couple of cafes. But we have to go further.

From Okhotnichy to the ski base 4 km. The path to the plateau is not clear, you can see it as soon as you leave the village. Cars compact the snow, it is possible to drive, but it is dangerous to go off-road – you will get stuck in a snowdrift. The Crimean authorities have repeatedly tried to find an investor who would build an entire ski resort in Ai-Petri, and have even tried to include the construction of roads and engineering networks in the mountains in state programs. But the bandwagon hasn’t moved yet, and enthusiasts are developing skiing on Ai-Petri.

Sevastopol businessmen rented a sloping piece of land at the 26th kilometer of the Bakhchisarai-Yalta highway. Previously there was a homemade elevator that ran on diesel. A few years ago, some businessmen brought electricity to the base and installed a modern trailer 500 meters long. On the slope there are three routes of medium difficulty with a length of 600, 700 and 800 meters.

There is no specific place to park, cars are left along the road on the side of the road. At 9 in the morning there were already about a hundred cars. Worth the rental line. A set of skis or a snowboard costs 1,000 rubles for the whole day, a lift costs 1,500 rubles, and a single lift costs 100 rubles. On weekdays, the base is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on weekends the elevator starts an hour earlier and shuts down an hour later.

A set of skis for rent for the whole day will cost 1000 rubles. Photo: Ski resort “Cloud Heights”

We were lucky with the weather. Sunny day, enough snow to ski, but not to block the road. In the mountains in the morning -12 degrees. We rent material and go to the track. An employee of the base helps to land on the elevator, delivers a yoke. We got up. The slope is rolled, it is clear that it is not level. Everything is in its natural state. Tracks didn’t look difficult, rideable. Around – beauty. Crimean pines in the snow caps, from the top you can admire the snow-covered Ai-Petri plateau.

I ask the skiers what attracts them so much here.

– This year there was snow throughout the Crimea, but it never happened in Sevastopol. We came to show the child the snow, to ride the “buns”, says Tatyana Leonova from Sevastopol. -I was afraid to get in my car, I have no experience driving in the snow, he is risky. Some guys brought us in an SUV, 1500 rubles per person. I would like to learn to ski. Frozen. We thought there would be a cafeteria where you could warm up.

The ski season in Ai-Petri is short, about two months

At the base you can take coffee, tea, a small snack. Pilaf, shurpa and shish kebab are prepared in the open air. There was also a cafe here, but it did not even have time to work for a year: there was a fire, everything burned down. There is still nothing to build a new one, employees say.

Pilaf, shurpa and shashlik are prepared in the open air. Photo: Julia Krymova

There are also guest houses in Ai-Petri where you can spend the night. In Okhotnichy for a triple room they ask 4,000-5,000 rubles, and a house with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room is rented for 7,000-10,000 thousand rubles per day. There is a problem with water on the mountain, it is brought from Yalta, so the prices are the same, – explained one of the owners of the houses. It is more profitable to stay in Yalta, where in winter you can find accommodation for two from 1500 rubles per day, and find those who will take you to the ski lift and back. Prices – from 800 to 1000 rubles. But, as a rule, everyone comes to ride for one day.

The ski season in Ai-Petri is short – no more than two months. But the main problem is not even a lack of snow, but a bad road. Traveling to Ai-Petri from Bakhchisarai is prohibited.

“We have plans for the development of skiing, a project has been developed,” Kirill Radionov, manager of the Cloud Heights base in Ai-Petri, told RG. – We want to install snow cannons and lighting on the slopes, open a cafeteria, rent gazebos, develop summer tourism. But all this is useless as long as there is no path. We pay rent for the plot throughout the year, and we work hard for two months. When it snows, the road is blocked. From the Yalta direction, they start cleaning late, the road is closed for half a day. And then they don’t clean the plateau at all.

According to Radionov, the season is changing in time. If earlier it snowed in Ai-Petri in early December, then last year the base worked from January to March. The snow can melt. Artificial snow will solve the problem, this can be done if the investment is adequate.

By the way

What will happen to the path?

Drivers say that most of the problems are caused by those who drive Ai-Petri in unprepared cars. If there is no post, they rise on ordinary cars with low seats and front-wheel drive. As a result, they get stuck in the snow. But the people here respond, they withdraw. But there is a bottleneck. You can wait several hours.

Everyone is waiting for a road repair. The authorities of the Republic of Crimea have already prepared a project and a plan to start work in 2023. The restoration of the Bakhchisarai-Yalta highway will take two years. Popular objects are located in it: the Grand Canyon of the Crimea, the Silver Jets and Uchan-Su waterfalls, and the Ai-Petri peak. And tourists are now transported on broken asphalt. From the Bakhchisaray side, the road has long ceased to be repaired, according to the documents, it is closed. But people keep going.

Infographic “RG” / Alexander Chistov / Alexander Belyaev

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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