7th Feb 2003, 02:59
Planning a backcountry telemark/ ski-mountaineering expedition to Kamchatka, and was wondering if any PPruners have been to Kamchatka on anything other than organised tours.
If so, how'd you go about getting visas?
Thanks in advance
7th Feb 2003, 07:17
I spent a couple of months there in '95. Fantastic place if you like wilderness. The 'Valley of the Geysers' is amazing and you must ask to swim at Paratunka.... hot water springs which fill swimming pools. There is a ski station near the airport where I am told (unconfirmed) the Russian Olympic teams used to train but as I am not a skier I cannot comment on the facilities. Things will be a bit run down I will warn you. Seismic activity can also be a little disturbing when your bed starts to wander accross the room in the middle of the night!. Make sure you get some Kamchatka crab inside you... the legs can be 18 inches long and full of great meat. If you are into fishing then the streams inland abound but that depends on the time of the year. When you arrive in the airport you will ba asked to remain on the plane until the Border Guards check your passport and visa. They will then escort you to the people meeting you. I don't mean to teach you to suck eggs but avoid any kind of photography near anything even remotley militiary as it is still a big submarine base. you'll see them accross the bay and at the airport you will see dispersal bays and lost of disused sea planes.
Have fun. I envy you.......
7th Feb 2003, 07:31
Ah, Kamchatka: a damn good country to take and keep. Almost as good as Iceland, although Egypt is also a cracker.
It's right next to Alaska, which stops anyone keeping North America, and pretty much guarantees no one can get Asia. Best to stick to taking and keeping South East Asia, Africa and South America. Not many extra armies, but enough to tip the balance.
As for Europe: only a mad man would try to take Europe!
Er, I hope this helps.
7th Feb 2003, 11:24
Regardless of purpose of visit you will need an invitation from an organisation approved by the Interior Ministry/Visa Dept. i.e. a tour operator or a visa agency approved to issue such an invitation...since Sept. 11 the FSB is involved in all visa application of over 1 month for whatever use and also a letter of invitation from a company is insufficient unless supplemented by a further invite from someone as detailed above. You need this third party to take legal responsibility for you during your stay as required under the visa regulations.
I would summise that you will need to make arrangements with a tour company/guide in Kamchatka to get the paperwork/invites sorted...and doubt you intend to go unaccompanied into the Siberian wilderness anyway...
7th Feb 2003, 11:45
Alternatively, shove a fcuking big heap of armies onto Indonesia, and just keep going.