Kaçkar Mountains, Turkey

Dec 26, 2007
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Yes, skiing and snowboarding in Turkey. During the winter, a sea effect dumps snow on the 12,500-foot Kaçkar Mountains, making northeastern Turkey the most reliable place to find bone-dry powder south of the Alps. Founded in 2003 by a group of Verbier, Switzerland, mountain guides, Turkey Heliski imports three helicopters from Switzerland for the January–April ski season and takes over the tiny mountain village of Ayder (elevation 4,625). From there, the helicopters fly daily to slopes with runs up to 5,000 feet long. The company imports a masseuse, a ski tuner, and one guide for every four clients. And on clear days, the views from the Kaçkars extends across the Black Sea to Mount Elbrus and the Caucasus Mountains. $8,200 for six days of skiing or snowboarding, including lodging, meals, and Turkish baths; turkeyheliski.com