Sochi Before the Olympics – Mountain Cluster

The mountains need a lot of work.

With just a few hours before my flight, I took the bus up to the Mountain Cluster. I passed RusSki Gorki (Jumping Center) and Sanski (Sliding Center). Time prevented me from reaching all the way up to the skiing venues at Rosa Khutor or the cross-country at Laura. The roads are choked with construction activity. Dust fills the air. The venues appear in place while the supporting villages are a long way off.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, several are from the moving bus and others are obscured by the plumes of dust. Not pleasant to visit at the moment. The Coastal Cluster seems in much better shape.

RusSki Gorki (Jumping Center) has no surrounding village:

Sochi Olympics Mountains 09

SanSki (Sliding Center) has an extensive village in preparation, including a Marriott:

Sochi Olympics Mountains 01

Sochi Olympics Mountains 02

Sochi Olympics Mountains 03

Sochi Olympics Mountains 04

Sochi Olympics Mountains 05

Sochi Olympics Mountains 06

Sochi Olympics Mountains 07

Sochi Olympics Mountains 08

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  • bluecat

    What exactly were you travelling there for? Did you have business there? (I can’t see anything touristic there….)

  • @bluecat – I was in the neighborhood to get to Abkhazia. Since I was passing through Sochi I was curious to take a peek at preparations, and had more hours to spend at the Coastal Cluster than expected because the border was closed for several hours when I was trying to cross and I had to try again that night.

  • Joey

    Thank you for posting these pix. I’ll be in Sochi in February and have tickets for events at the coastal cluster but decided to wait to get tix for mountain cluster events.

    From my own experience in Vancouver, I recall some mountain events would get postponed due to lack of snow and that always caused mayhem among spectators with strict schedules.

    From your photos, it looks like it’s best to stay in Sochi or Adler itself rather than up at the mountains but then again, they still have 3-4 months to complete everything!

    How was the weather? Was it a lot colder up there in the mountains than in Sochi?

  • @Joey – the weather was unseasonably warm throughout my trip.

    Up in Rosa Khutor there will be some nice hotels, I am not sure how well the train connection will work but currently it is 1.5 hours by bus between the Adler and the mountains and add another hour to get all the way to Sochi downtown.

  • Joey

    Hey RTC, I just came back from Sochi and recall seeing that Marriott hotel enroute to krasnaya polyana! That Marriott hotel, unfortunately, never opened so on the train ride to Krasnaya Polyana, it looked empty and desolate.
    I met the parents of a ski jumper and they told me Russki Gorki jumping center is one of the best ski jumping venues they have ever been to. It’s especially striking when seen in the evening. We had an amazing time in Sochi overall and didn’t experience any of the ordeals the western media reported.

  • Yana

    I echo Joey’s comments – my husband and I also just came back from Sochi and had a blast! None of the problems that the media outlets inventively reported on(“brown” hotel water, security, etc.) before the Olympics started. The transportation (bus, train) was top notch. They really put the thought in moving the masses before and after events as efficiently as possible. We attended events in all but one Mountain cluster venues (including Gorki jumping center) – they were fantastic and so was the atmosphere and spectators. Very well designed venues with not a bad seat in the house. All in all it was a great trip!

  • @Yana – glad to hear. I read other reports as well that praised the logistics throughout.