40 km north of Yerevan, in the picturesque Marmarik river valley at an altitude of over 1,700 meters above sea level lies a famous Armenian mountain ski resort Tsakhkadzor (1900-2100 m). There are about 12 kilometers of ski tracks, several lifts, a large sports complex, several swimming pools (including a 50-meter indoor pool), athletics stadium and many other sports facilities. Nearby is situated the monastery complex of Kecharis (XII-XIII centuries).
Winter in Tsakhkadzor is mild with average temperature in January -9 °C. Skiing season lasts from mid-November to mid-April, snow cover reaches 1.4 m.
Tsakhkadzor is a great ski resort for almost any level skiers and snowboarders. For example, the middle part of the mountain slopes is good for relaxing skiing (height difference – 230 m) and is equipped with a chair lift (800 m). This wide track is 3 km long and runs mainly on the plains, where surface is virgin and remains soft in all weather conditions.
Black tracks with a height difference of 350 m are located at the top of the mountain and equipped with 1000 meter chairlift. There are some very steep slopes, a 10-meter cornice and sports chute. From the top skiers can see stunning views of Mount Ararat and Sevan Lake. From here you can move across the pass to the nearby mountain ridge and reach the most extreme slopes.
The lower part of the slopes is reserved for bobsled chute requiring high technology skiing. The height difference is 300 m, chair lift – 9000 m.
Slopes are processed by groomers. In addition to the chair lifts the tracks are equipped with several platter pulls. Ski pass costs about 10$\day with working hours 9.00-18.00.
These are some more advantages that you may like in Tsakhkadzor:
- no queues at the lifts, and full freedom of movement on the slopes;
• The number of sunny days in winter – 75%;
• The length of daylight in January, the sun rises around 8:30 am and sets around 18:00.
• Constant possibility of a ride on “powder”;
• Very rare natural disasters that may interfere the planned holidays.
The ski center operates rescue service, at each station operates a medical center.
There is a large number of rental sports equipment, inventory, offering a wide range of goods at reasonable prices (compared to European resorts). In addition to excellent skiing here you can find a lot of entertainment: bars, saunas, discos, restaurants, excursions. In restaurants you can taste a huge variety of delicious dishes of Armenian cuisine, aroma of coffee, a real cognac, live music, attentive staff.
In Tsakhkadzor there is a large number of hotels, guest houses and campsites. Some of them were built during the Soviet period and were renovated in recent years. There are also new hotels: “Jupiter”, “Russia”, “Kecharis”. Most hotels are located in the town of Tsaghkadzor and usually they provide free transfer service to the lifts (1,5- 3 km), otherwise you can always get there by taxi (about 2$ per car\one way). And there is also an option to live right by the lifts – hotel “Alva”.
The only trouble that skiers can face in Tsakhkadzor are fogs, most often covering the black tracks. Be sure never to ride here in a dense fog, especially alone.
We hope our post to be useful and informative for travelers, planning ski holidays in Armenian Tsakhkadzor.
Photos from sources: skipedia.ru, kavpolit.com, svali.ru, yestravel.ru