Northeast Turkey Ski Touring

Fitness level
Tech level
Number of guiding days
Guiding ratio

Hotel based ski touring and backcountry skiing in Northeast Turkey. This culturally fascinating  area has lots of great ski terrain and lying in the Black Sea region, receives plenty of snow.  During the week we enjoy day tours right from the door and visit a small ski station in the area that has lovely off piste terrain and brilliant tree skiing.

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Trip overview

Hotel based ski touring and backcountry skiing in Northeast Turkey. This culturally fascinating  area has lots of great ski terrain and lying in the Black Sea region, receives plenty of snow.  During the week we enjoy day tours right from the door and visit a small ski station in the area that has lovely off piste terrain and brilliant tree skiing.

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Skiing in Northeast Turkey

The Black Sea region of Turkey lies in the far north east of the country, close to the border with Georgia.  The mountains here are a mix of forested alpine terrain and a high open plateau with summits up to 3000m, making for great contrasting scenery and access to different micro climates in order to find the best snow. The Black Sea region has a unique local micro climate, with good levels of winter snowfall due to a strong ‘lake effect’. There is a lot of potential in the region for backcountry skiing, but still very few visitors, so this is a great time to explore the area before it gets too well known.

Turkey is a friendly and welcoming country, with a well developed road network across the region. During the trip we stay at a lovely mountain hotel which has centrally heated rooms, excellent local food and a roaring log fire.  Lying at 1500m, it is ideally located for skiing in the surrounding mountains.  We’ll ski directly from the hotel, or drive to nearby venues during the week.

There is a small ski resort in the area that offers superb tree skiing and lift assisted day touring, with practically no other off piste skiers around.  In addition, there are numerous good quality mid altitude day tours in the area, offering lovely skiing in open alpine pastures and pine forests at this time of year.

This is an ‘off the beaten track’ ski trip to a less developed nation, so a flexible mindset and a sense of adventure are prerequisites to enjoy this type of holiday. Expect the unexpected and you’ll have a great time!


This is an intermediate level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3 and Tech Level 3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). You need previous ski touring experience in order to join this tour and you must have some powder skiing experience. The week is a mix of day touring, plus one or two off piste days. The tours involve generally steady climbs and typically 800-1200m of ascent a day – so you can expect to be skinning for 3-4 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use ~80% skinning during the week – approx 5-6000m of skinning up, 6-8000m of skiing down, with day packs and at mid altitude.

Guiding ratio

One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.

Included in price

  • 6 days guiding
  • All guides expenses
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul
  • 6 nights accommodation in valley hotel including breakfast and evening meal
  • Transport in Turkey during the trip

Excluded from price (see factsheet for extra cost estimates)

  • Lift Passes
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Evening meals and breakfasts in Istanbul Airport
  • Flights to Rize
  • Insurance
  • Equipment hire

NB This trip travels out on Saturday/Sunday return, in order to make use of flights to Rize, the nearest airport to the region.


At Istanbul Airport we stay at a transfer hotel airside within the transfer lounge, so that we don’t need to pass through Turkish border control or re check in etc. Our hotel in the mountains is a small and very friendly locally run place, with centrally heated rooms, a great dining room that has a roaring log fire and alcohol is available at the bar. The food is worth a particular mention – the hotel has its own trout farm, so fish is a speciality, as well as a great range of traditional Turkish cuisine.  Hotel rooms are provided on a twin sharing basis, but if you wish to book a single room please let us know and we will confirm availability. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.

ABTOT Protected

This trip is protected by ABTOT – Alpine Guides Ltd, Membership Number 5394.  For further information, please visit our Financial Protection page.

Detailed Itinerary


PM Fly from Uk to Istanbul, overnight at flight hotel in Istanbul Airport.


AM Fly from Istanbul to Rize, transfer to hotel.  The journey takes 3hrs in good road conditions, but may take longer if there is more snow on the road.

Evening Briefing – your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans. We’ll have maps and information on the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up.

Monday to Friday

Day Touring and off piste skiing in Northeast Turkey – the area has excellent skiing right from the door, with alpine meadows and forests leading to ski summits higher up.  Depending on objectives and snow conditions, we may head directly out from the hotel or travel up or down the valley a little.

A short drive away we can access higher, more open terrain and there is a small ski station in the area that we will visit for one or two days.  This is built on a north facing slope amid beautiful pine forests that provide excellent tree skiing, as well as day touring opportunities in the hills beyond the lifts.

There is plenty to go at around the area and sufficient variety of terrain to deal with various weather and snow conditions.


AM Final days skiing – on Saturday we finish skiing at mid afternoon and set off back to Rize Airport, catching an evening flight to Istanbul where we stay at a transfer hotel airside within the transfer lounge.


AM morning flights home.

Location and Travel

Your meeting point for this trip is London Heathrow Airport, at 13.30 on Saturday 13th Jan 2024 or at Istanbul Airport, depending everyone’s flight options. If you plan to fly to Rize via another route, then you must make suitable arrangements to make absolutely sure that you will arrive in Rize in time for the transfer to the mountains – please inform us of your plans if this is the case.


You need to book the following flights for the trip:

Travel out: You need to book on an afternoon Turkish Airlines flight from London Heathrow (16.15 departure recommended)  to Istanbul on Saturday 13th Jan 2024  (~4hr flight) and flight TK2536 Istanbul to Rize Artvin Airport (RZV) on Sun 14th Jan 2024 at 07.00 (1.55hr flight, arriving 08.55 local time, +4hrs GMT). NB Book from UK airport through to Rize as one journey on the same ticket (it’s Ok to overnight at the airport!)

Alternative flights with Turkish Airlines from the Uk are available from Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester, or Dublin from Eire.

Baggage Rules Ski Bags are booked as sporting equipment and may only contain the following items: skis, poles, boots, helmet – ie do not put any other kit, clothes etc in your ski bag.  Therefore you need to bring a regular suitcase/travel bag, plus a separate ski bag – don’t put everything in a double ski bag for this trip!

Travel home: You need to book on Turkish Airlines from Rize to London Heathrow – departing on flight TK2541 from Rize to Istanbul on Saturday 20th Jan 2024 at 20.50 and  flight TK1979  from Istanbul to London Heathrow on Sunday 21st Jan (dep 8.50, arr LHR 10.05 – later flights are available on Sunday).

Return Flights to Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin are also available on Sunday 21st Jan.

Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page

Fitness and Experience

To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3, and Ski Tech Level 3:

Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 40-50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300-400m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day).

Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.

To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.

If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.


Day Touring/BC Ski Course Equipment List

Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!

Technical Clothing

  • Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
  • Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
  • Fleece mid layer or equivalent
  • Spare fleece or lightweight insulated duvet jacket
  • Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
  • Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
  • Thermal leggings or ski pants
  • Thin inner gloves
  • Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
  • Warm hat

Personal Items

  • Water container – at least 1 litre
  • Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
  • Ski goggles
  • Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
  • Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
  • Wallet, passport and insurance docs

Technical Equipment

  • Rucsac 25/35l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
  • Freeride boots or ski mountaineering boots – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred boots
  • Skis with touring bindings – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred skis and bindings
  • Ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
  • Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
  • Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
  • Ski helmet – a lightweight helmet is recommended for off piste skiing

NB An Ice Axe, Crampons and Climbing Harness are not required on this trip.

Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.

Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!

Purchasing Equipment
Backcountry UK in Otley offer an excellent ski touring boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.

Hiring Equipment
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list.


For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for off piste skiing and ski touring, as outlined in the trip itinerary. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury. Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.

Please note this trip is outside European Territorial Limits for most insurance providers, so you need to purchase worldwide cover.

Further details can be found on our insurance info page.

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