Khibiny – White Sea

3-8.02, 9-14.02, 15-20.02, 21-26.02
It won a prize in the regional government competition for the “Best tourist route”!

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Tour starts:
    • 03.02 - 08.02.2019
    • 09.02 - 14.02.2019
    • 15.02 - 20.02.2019
    • 21.02 - 26.02.2019
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Length of the route: about 600 km
  • People in group: up 8
  • Cost: 80000 rub.
  • Start of the tour: Kirovsk
  • Finish point: City of Kandalaksha
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Description

It won a prize in the regional government competition for the “Best tourist route”! It is bright, unforgettable, and full of breath-taking impressions!

The route:
Kirovsk – Khibiny – Lake Umbozero – Lake Lovozero – Village of Krasnoshelye– Village of Varzuga – Village of Kuzomen – White Sea – City of Kandalaksha

The trip starts from the largest mountain massif on the peninsula, the Khibiny. We’ll spend a day to explore the paths, to climb the peaks by snowmobile, and to race in mountain valleys. After the Khibiny you can view the Lovozero tundras, a mysterious mountain massif which could be the center of ancient Hyperborean civilization. Hundreds of kilometers of forest-tundra and huge peat bogs separate the village of Krasnoshelye (“red ravine”) from civilization. Expedition participants will spend a day there getting to know the life of this unique settlement from inside. In Krasnoshelye you’ll taste local delicacies that are not served in any of the restaurants!! The expedition will end in the old Pomor village of Varzuga, famous for its wooden churches that include the Church of the Assumption built in 1674 “not using a single nail”. And, of course, by the end of the expedition you’ll see the White Sea full of ice-drift. 

Points of interest along the route: distinctive life of indigenous northern people, reindeer herds, mountains, tundra, forests, lakes, virgin landscapes, fishing, mountain lakes, Pomor villages, the 17th century Church of the Assumption, the White Sea, the Village of Krasnoshelye, sauna with snow rolls.

You will have a good chance of seeing wild animals (partridges, grouse, foxes, hares, reindeer) and aurora borealis. 

Living arrangements:

The Kuelporr Guesthouse is a modern one-story building with a loft, and a large hall with a fireplace. The guesthouse has electricity and running hot water. Double rooms with private facilities (shower, toilet, cloth dryer). There also are 6-bed rooms with shared facilities. The guesthouse is within mobile phone coverage. Internet is available for an additional fee. Our guests describe the Kuelporr Guesthouse as a very atmospheric place. 

Yulinskaya Salma Guesthouse, a comfortable house with all the conveniences, 2-3 persons per room, shared facilities on the same floor. The guesthouse is cozy in a home-like way, good homemade meals, cheerful personnel, a great bathhouse. It is within the reach of mobile operators (Megafon and MTS).

Krasnoshelye The Krasnoshelye guesthouse is on the edge of the village and is surrounded by pine forest.

Accommodation is three persons per room. Warm, clean, and cozy. Common living room with a TV. Excellent local cuisine: moose, vendace, cloudberries, whitefish. Many of our guests said that they had never before tried anything that delicious!

In the daytime an outhouse is used while there are indoor facilities for the night. Washing basin is in the house. A large local design sauna combines the steam and washing section.

Varzuga The Varzuga Guesthouse. A small wooden wing of the main house. 2-3 persons per room. Unheated toilet outside and a warm one at the owners’ house. Very delicious Pomor food: salmon and pickled vegetables. There is a hot sauna. The house is on a small hill overlooking the village, and one can see the Varzuga River and famous Varzuga churches.

Our snowmobiles and equipment.

We use only the most advanced, comfortable, and reliable snowmobiles. We get new snowmobiles every year, and none of them are more than two years old. They are all kept in excellent technical condition.

We use four-stroke Lynx 49 Rangers made by BRP in Canada.

We strongly recommend that our guests ride ONE PERSON per snowmobile. Even though all of our snowmobiles have a passenger seat, it is tiring and cold to ride there, and presence of a passenger makes controlling the snowmobile much harder and more dangerous.

The organizers provide Reima and Scott overalls, helmets with double glass, and snowmobiling boots and gloves. The use of own equipment is allowed and encouraged.

Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Length of the rout: 600 km
Persons per group: 8
Age limitations: from 18

Cost per person, in roubles:

  • one rider per snowmobile -  80 000 rub.
  • 26-30.03 - 73 000 rub.
The cost includes the transfer from the Apatity train station to Kirovsk and back, meals, accommodation, sauna, reindeer rides, and the rental of Lynx snowmobiles with equipment.

5% discount for our repeat guests

All the tour participants will receive souvenirs and memorable diplomas from the Mountain School of Snowmobile Riding. 

Program

1 day. Meeting guests in Kirovsk, breakfast in a café, instructions and equipment at our snowmobile center, and the trip begins. The first part of the trip is in the mountains. We’ll stay for the night in the Kuelporr guesthouse. Lunch. Snowmobile circular route in alpine surroundings. In the afternoon we get back to Kuelporr and move on to the dinner. The daily distance travelled will be about 60 km.

2 day. Breakfast. We will go through two paths, Kukisvumchorr and Umbozero, after which we’ll go down onto the Umbozero lake ice and pass the Lovozero tundras along its southern foothills. We’ll stay for the night in the Yulinskaya Salma guesthouse at the edge of Lake Lovozero. The daily distance travelled will be about 110 km.

3 day. Breakfast. Start the east. The route passes through untouched landscapes of the central part of the Kola Peninsula. During the movement likely encounter with wild animals. In the case of favorable weather conditions, the route passes through the ridge Caves and reindeer team Semiostrove, in case of bad weather on Krasnoschelskomu winter road. Lunch on the way. Arriving in the village Krasnoshchelye, sauna, dinner. The daily distance travelled will be about 180 km

4 day. Late breakfast. Visit the village attractions, visit to the local museum, school, snowmobile excursion in the surrounding area, fishing through a hole, a dinner, a concert of local folk ensemble. The daily distance travelled will be about 40 km

5 day. Breakfast. Route Krasnoshchelye - Varzuga. The route of this day, double-crosses Varzuga River, as well as the Arctic Circle. Fishing for big perch in Lake Sergozero. Overnight in the ancient Pomeranian village Varzuga in the guest house. Dinner Pomor cuisine. sauna evening.The daily distance travelled will be about 130 km.

6 day. Breakfast. Varzuga tour through the village, visit the famous churches Varzuga, snowmobile trips to the mouth of the river Varzuga - Kuzomen inspection of the old village, a solemn exit onto the ice of the White Sea. Return to Varzuga. Lunch, end of route; transfer to a minibus in Kandalaksha at the railway / train station (250 km) or Murmansk Airport (480 km). The daily distance travelled will be about 40 km.

Notes: The route passes in both directions. Possible start of Kirovsk from Varzuga. The program of the day in the village Krasnoschelye can be slightly modified in the direction of improvement.

Start of trip from Kirovsk or Kandalachty.

Accomodation

Kuelporr

The Kuelporr Guesthouse is in the north of the Khibiny in the picturesque Kuniyok River valley. One can snowmobile or ski there in the winter.

The Kuelporr Guesthouse is a modern one-story building with a loft, and a large hall with a fireplace. The guesthouse has electricity and running hot water. Double rooms with private facilities (shower, toilet, cloth dryer). There also are 6-bed rooms with shared facilities. The guesthouse is within mobile phone coverage. Internet is available for an additional fee. 

Our guests describe the Kuelporr Guesthouse as a very atmospheric place. 

Yulinskaya Salma

Yulinskaya Salma Guesthouse, a comfortable house with all the conveniences, 2-3 persons per room, shared facilities on the same floor. The guesthouse is cozy in a home-like way, good homemade meals, cheerful personnel, a great bathhouse. It is within the reach of mobile operators (Megafon and MTS). 

Krasnoshelye

The Krasnoshelye guesthouse is on the edge of the village and is surrounded by pine forest.

Accommodation is three persons per room. Warm, clean, and cozy. Common living room with a TV. Excellent local cuisine: moose, vendace, cloudberries, whitefish. Many of our guests said that they had never before tried anything that delicious!

In the daytime an outhouse is used while there are indoor facilities for the night. Washing basin is in the house. A large local design sauna combines the steam and washing section.

Varzuga

The Varzuga Guesthouse. A small wooden wing of the main house. 2-3 persons per room. Unheated toilet outside and a warm one at the owners’ house. Very delicious Pomor food: salmon and pickled vegetables. There is a hot sauna. The house is on a small hill overlooking the village, and one can see the Varzuga River and famous Varzuga churches.

How to get

Start of the tour: Kirovsk
Kirovsk is located 25 km from the railway station and the airport Apatity and 200 km from the railway station and the airport of Murmansk.

Participants multi-day tours we meet at the railway station or airport of the city of Apatity. It is also possible to meet participants at the airport of Murmansk.


Finish point: City of Kandalaksha

City Kandalaksha is located 250 km from Murmansk. You can get the train to the station Kandalaksha or plane to the city of Apatity and Murmansk.

Equipment

Dear Friends! During over 10 years of organizing snowmobile expeditions we have put together the list of things to take on a trip. The items in the list below can be replaced by equipment of similar qualities.

Instructions for snowmobile expeditions (PDF, 24 kB)

CLOTHES for a snowmobile expedition

  • T-shirts, underwear, cotton socks
  • Thermal underwear from thin Polartec (photo 1)
  • Training pants from thick Polartec (fleece), a thick fleece sweater (photo 2, preferably with a neck, or a hoody and thick sweater (photo 2)
  • Down sweater (thin one-layer) for under the overalls (photo 3) OR a standard down jacket on top of the overalls in case of extreme cold. One may use a downhill ski jacket or overalls 
  • Training pants to wear in the guesthouse
  • Thick woolen socks, 2 pairs, and one pair of thick thermal socks (photo 1)
  • Downhill skiing gloves + fleece gloves
  • A downhill skiing hat, and a balaclava if available; if not we’ll provide one for you.
  • A warm scarf and, if available, a wind mask for the face. Balaclavas available from the organizers protect the face well but we recommend additional protectionó.
  • Down-stuffed climbing shoes are highly recommended (photo 2,3), rubber slippers for the bathhouse, a bath towel (these are provided in nearly all guesthouses but it is better to have your own).
  • A personal hygiene kit (brush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Face cream for cold.
  • A personal first-aid kit (if you need special medication)

Things are to be packed in a bag or a knapsack no larger than 60 liters(photo 3). No suitcases!

We provide:

  • Thick fabric overalls with a one-layer sintepon underlining
  • Two balaclavas – thin and thick
  • a helmet with a double-layer glass visor
  • snowmobile boots with felt linings,
  • fur-lined mittens for extreme cold.

ATTENTION!!! If you have poor eyesight. One cannot wear glasses during the trip because they instantly fog and get covered with ice. Use contact lenses or special downhill corrective skiing glasses. The organizers are not able to provide this type of equipment for you. 

Photo 1. Polartec underware. Thermal socks.

Polartec underware. Thermal socks

Photo 2. Thick Polartec (fleece) pants, thick Polartec (fleece) jacket. Down-filled climbing shoes.

Thick Polartec (fleece) pants, thick Polartec (fleece) jacket.

Photo 3. Down sweater (thin one-layer down jacket). A bag no more than 60 liters. Down climbing shoes.

Down sweater (thin one-layer down jacket). A bag. Down climbing shoes

Instructions for snowmobile expeditions (PDF, 24 kB)

Terms of participation

Snowmobile tour, safari, and expedition conditions

While getting ready for our trip you need to keep the following in mind:

Our company holds its snowmobile tours in the Kola Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. Our region has a climate very different from mid-Russian or even Karelian one. Here weather changes quickly and tend to be extreme. There is a high probability of significant changes in temperature, such as a drop from zero to -30C [in a few hours], strong winds, or blizzards. Please take the weather factor into consideration when preparing for the trip. Read our “What to take with you” instructions carefully.

Our additional comments on the routes are related to weather:

  1. Most of the route is over virgin snow, which may be difficult to novices.
  2. Only one person per snowmobile, for safety reasons. Many travel companies are less than fully sincere when they sell tours with two persons per snowmobile. The difference in price is usually low but significant in terms comfort and safety. Riding a snowmobile with a passenger is not an easy task even for an experienced operator because the passenger’s weight reduces the snowmobile’s manageability by the factor of two, and with a novice in the driver’s seat the situation gets downright dangerous. Also it is cold and boring to be a passenger.
  3. If weather conditions are extreme the Guide has the right to change the route, or to hold back the departure. This rule is intended for your safety.
  4. If the group is held on the route because of weather conditions we are not responsible for missed flights or trains (this has not yet happened but the chance was always there).

Conditions concerning the use of equipment and discipline on the route.

  1. One cannot insure a snowmobile in our country, which makes guests fully responsible for the vehicle, clothes, and equipment rented. We sign a formal snowmobile and equipment rental agreement with each guest. Based on our many years of experience we can say that accidents on the route occur only from breaking safety rules, eg. by not maintaining proper following distance or riding, without permission, over virgin ice that hides obstacles.
  2. If the Guest misbehaves or breaks safety rules during the trip the Guide will issue one warning. If the Guest continues breaking the rules the Guide has the right to take the Guest off the route without any compensation to the guest. We introduced this rule only for your safety and the success of our expeditions.
Snowmobile Operation Safety Instructions (PDF, 24 kB)
Snowmobile Rental Agreement (PDF, 32 kB)

Reports

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