The 2022 heli-skiing season has officially kicked off in the scenic Kaçkar Mountains of Turkey’s Black Sea region, and will welcome 370 accredited athletes through the end of March. Perhaps better known for its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, Turkey is home to some of the best heli-skiing in the world, luring top extreme sports athletes from the US, Canada, Switzerland, France, Italy and Russia with its deep powder snow and long ski runs.
Located between the Rize and Artvin provinces of northeastern Turkey, the highest peak in the Kaçkar Mountains reaches nearly 12,800 feet in altitude. The more than 400 ski runs in the area range from about 11,800 to 4,000 feet above sea level, with vertical drops of 2,300 to 4,000 feet. With its excellent snow quality, highly stable snowpack and varied ski terrain, the Kaçkar mountain range is perfectly suited to heli-skiing. In addition to heli-skiing and snowboarding, the Kaçkar Mountains also offer rafting fans an adrenaline rush in the world-class rapids of the Fırtına Stream.
Based on the Ayder Plateau in Rize, the Kaçkar Mountains are home to a wide range of accommodations from boutique hotels, hostels to rental bungalows. The team on site consists of experienced professional ski guides, pilots, massage therapists, engineers, interpreters and tourist guides. All hailing from different alpine countries, some of the guides on Kaçkar Mountains are also professional helicopter pilots, renowned Himalayan specialists or members of professional rescue teams. The pilots on the team, all of whom are of Swiss descent, also work in Alpine conditions all year round doing heli-ski flights, rescue work or hauling loads. The massage therapists, available to offer relief after a day of leg-burning laps, are trained in physiotherapy, acupuncture and reflexology.
In addition to world-class sports, the Kaçkar Mountains are sure to delight those who would like to add some culture to their visit with historical settlements and churches. Located in Artvin and dating back to the Middle Ages, some of these structures sit perched atop mountains with stunning views of the Black Sea below. And not to be missed are the regional culinary delicacies of the Kaçkar Mountains is its gastronomy delicacies, including the famous hamsi (Black Sea anchovies, served either cured or fried) and the Black Sea regional variation of traditional Turkish breakfast, including Rize’s famous black tea, muhlama (a mixture of cheese, corn flour and butter), tursu kavurmasi (fried pickles), misir ekmegi (cornbread), a variety of pides (flatbreads), local butter and Anzer honey, which is locally produced on the green plateaus of the Black Sea.
A Safe Tourism Destination
Taking great precautions to ensure a safe stay, the resorts in the Kaçkar Mountains have all the necessary equipment and evacuation aids at their disposal, ranging from rescue mats with a winch cover, vacuum mattresses and defibrillators, to ventilation systems and first-aid kits. There to assist you in the event of an accident, all guides on site are trained in emergency snow procedure and the use of equipment.
In addition to heli-skiing safety, Turkey’s Safe Tourism Certification Program, the first of its kind in the world, certifies: accommodation facilities; food and beverage facilities; tour and transfer vehicles; culture, art, and congress facilities; theme parks, ski lifts and marine tourism facilities; and vehicles’ compliance with a total of more than 900 international health and hygiene criteria. Accreditation institutions that have been authorized to inspect these facilities, vehicles, parks and lifts conduct hygiene and health inspections at least twice per month. To date, more than 11,700 facilities in Turkey have been granted the Safe Tourism Certification. In addition, there are tourist protection and accommodation protection insurance packages covering the costs of an extended stay in Turkey in the event visitors develop COVID during their visit.For further information, please click HERE, HERE, and HERE.