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The Kamchatka Peninsula lies in the far eastern reaches of Russia and juts into the Pacific ocean just north of Japan. The region is shaped by volcanoes, pristine rivers and lakes, and picturesque coastlines which vary from large abrupt cliffs to delicate bays. It also happens to be home to phenomenal skiing, where untouched powder runs down the flanks of active volcanos, ending on beaches that see more traffic from the local brown bear population than humans.

After 36 hours of travelling we arrived at the heli port outside Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. We had a heavy crew hailing from Austria, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Industry professionals, athletes, photographers - all with absolutely no idea what was in store.

In order to make it to our camp for the remainder of the trip, we had to take off immediately before the storm hit – or risk waiting two days, so we were told. We would later find that the measurement of time in Russia is held to pretty loose standards. Two days could mean weeks. We loaded up and took off.
Once in the air we were able to get a first glimpse of our potential skiing zones, beautiful faces that emptied into river valleys. The helicopter erupted with hoots and hollers, folks pointing out the window and high fiving - the usual excitement filled banter of epic skiing to come. However, these powder fields would never be seen again. On a terrain scale, they were in fact just fields. We were heading into the actual mountains and volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula. 

Our camp was located at the end of the Rodnikova valley with accessible ski touring right out the door. The first couple of days were spent touring the zones around camp and skiing straight to the basine where we drank champagne, contemplating our line choices until dinner.
When the storm finally passed, we spent the next five days heli-skiing and ski touring around the south end of the Peninsula. Via the MIL-8 helicopter, our entire group of sixteen was able to travel and epic terrain together. We skied from mountain summits to beaches, through volcano craters and geyser fields.
Our last day was bittersweet as we had to leave for good, but due to some coaxing (and maybe a few vodka’s the night before) we were in for one last adventure. A few locals convinced myself and Gear Patrol’s Tanner Bowden to come along with them as they caught some fresh fish for lunch as our last meal in the valley. The twenty minute snowmobile ride turned into a few hour trek of crossing creeks and avalanche paths to the fishing spot. Our local friend geared up and hopped into the river with a hawaiian sling and in just a few minutes fresh Artic char were thrown up the banks and brought back to camp and grilled. We then said our goodbyes and ski-toured out of the Rodnikova valley and skied our last runs of our trip.
Thank you evo, Fischer and most importantly, thank you skiing.

Pat Mahoney