XMKD FREE RIDE OFFER
|(EARLY BOOKING -25% DISCOUNT TILL 21.12.2011)
XMKD Freeride present: Discover the hidden treasure on Europe's doorstep! Macedonian Shar Mountain with its respectful 1.600 square km area, raising up to 2.747 m “Tito's peak” creates a European largest high elevation pasture. 550 square kms above 1.700 m creates a perfect playground to enjoy! Wide open areas for you and 18 buddies only. Couloirs, cliffs, banks and tree rides create just as delicious freeride menu as great Macedonian cuisine. More to explore in Macedonia!
Being vegetarian or meet lover you’ll love homemade dishes still made of non-industrially grown ingredients accompanied by opulent local vines and tasteful beer. Before heading back you’ll get to know great night life of capital Skopje…
A helicopter can fly only about 50% of the time due to weather difficulties (wind, snow) while we run 95% of the time. Also our pricing is very affordable, taking you down to 30% of the heli price! This is your chance for a very special freeriding trip in former Yugoslavia!
Shar mountain’s snow conditions, weather and temperature are very similar to central European, occasionally with more snow dumps. Snow season starts in December and lasts till mid April. Typically, January has stable snow cover and most sunny days, February has more snowfall and lower temperatures and March has good snowfall and variation of temperatures.
While the high altitude guarantees snow between January and March, Popova Shapka's location, only 200km north of the Aegean Sea and 150km east from Adricatic sea, means it is also at the meeting point between northern European winter storms and Mediterranean sunshine. The result is plentiful sun, which may be the envy of the Canadian competition - but the cost is exposure to the turbulence that typifies junctions between different weather systems.
Mountain shape is different from European Alps offering wide open areas and pipe–like water drainages you would not see in Alps, but also having nice couloirs and cliffs to ride.
XMKD freeride covers around 30 square kilometers above 1600 m with highest peak 2747m, offering wide choice of lines from easy 30 degree and tree runs to demanding 45 degree.
Terrain offers all kinds of exposures from north to south which gives wide choice of conditions at the same moment; colder north and east faces keep cold and store powder nicely, while south and west offers nicer riding when snow is hard on the north face.
Combination of Shar mountain shape and wind create unique conditions where even with no fresh snowfall new wide tracks of deep snow are created overnight. Our guides are expert in finding such spots so you can get the best conditions possible.
Accommodation is located on 1.650 m altitude on outskirt of small village just on the boarder of terrain used. Back to the hotel is ski-in, so there’s no transfer time to waste and the snowcat parks just in front of hotel.
Since hotel rating is not much implemented in Macedonia, we would call them 3 star hotels. Smaller hotel, Popova Sapka, is newly renovated with nice restaurant and bar, and there is a hang out room for us. Bigger hotel, Slavia, remaining from former communism era, has bar, restaurant, swimming pool, hang out area, hall with table tennis, darts, soccer table, internet connection. If you want to experience flavor of former times, and you don't mind the luxury, then you can choose Slavia, but if you rather want cosyness go for Popova Sapka. Both hotels go for the same price in a package.
Often we eat dinner in local restaurants with excellent traditional food. One of them is an Army owned restaurant, where local generals are served, and the other, D Haus is privately owned that serves home bread meat.
Day before departure you will move to Skopje where you will fill the extra nightlife in Macedonia Capital. The night starts with special dinner at restaurant „Dukat“ to try the whole „spectrum“ of traditional dishes, vines and beer, and listen to traditional music. After good food, pub and clubs are scheduled till morning for as long as you can take it. You'll be surprised of the excellent night life Skopje can offer, whichever style you prefer – from live rock concerts to house music and clubbing.
|PACKAGE XMKD FREERIDE
Running our first independent season, but working with several Cat Rides around the World, our operation was born and raised by well experienced local riders of this most southern ex-Yugoslavian country, backed by experts from US and Canada. With a specially fitted German-made Pisten Bully 300 Polar we can take up to 18 riders to the peaks of the Shar Mountain offering amazing scenery and great freeriding of up to 1.000 m verticals. Our guides will take you trough the powder lines and discover with you the unique secrets these mountains offer.
What is Snowcat freeriding?
This freeriding option, new to most of Europeans, was born in Canada and now for first time available in Europe - Macedonia. It’s based on specially fitted snowcat / groomer / ratrac / pistenraupen as called in different languages, with cabins built on it’s “back”. Cabin can fit 20 persons. Driver + 1 fit in driver’s cabin. Usually lead guide sits in front with the driver and tail guide joins 19 riders in back cabin. Snowcat can climb slopes of around 35 degrees, and for freeriding operation snow roads are built and maintained to allow access to different untouched terrains. To reach steeper terrain then that, snow roads with less inclination are built like mountain car roads are built.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Comparison of Snowcat towards Heli Freeride
No down days:
Means you can ride every day. With a heli you will struggle down days because flights are weather sensitive (clouds, wind on higher elevation).
The price of a macedonian snowcat freeride compared to heli freeride meter has ratio from 1 : 4 to 1 : 5 per ridden vertical. That means with snowcat you get 4 to 5 times more vertical meters for your Euro.
Emission of snowcat per vertical meter per person is several *10 lower.
Less vertical on a clear day:
Snowcat can bring on a good day 7.000 m vertical. Heli can do double, but for that you need to be in top shape to enjoy it.
Imagine a snowcat and a heli climb/fly the same mountain. Then travel time is approximately the same – travel time is slightly longer but loading and disloading time shorter. For example 800 m verticals without traversing takes 10 to 12 minutes for a snowcat.
Traversing travel time:
Traversing big distances takes more time for snowcats compared to helis. Therefore a snowcatt can’t cover an area as big as a heli operation.
Comparison of Snowcat Freeride versus Climb Freeride
More vertical meters:
While climbing you can to 1 or 2 runs per day, while with snowcat you can do more then 10 and you don’t need to be in top shape to make it to the top.
Muscle power is for free. On other hand if you consider accommodation and guide cost compared to verticals you get, snowcat freeriding has a better ratio of 1 : 2 or 1 : 3, meaning you will pack 2 to 3 times more verticals per Euro with snowcat then climbing.
Climbing is better for nature.
Comparison of Snowcat to Lift accessed Freeride
No fighting for your line:
With snowcat you are the only crew on the mountain choosing fresh lines each time, so you don’t need to bribe the lift operator for an early start before the pack rushes and eats the snow away.
Ski resorts have much more impact to the nature.
After paying accommodation and lift ticket, lift accessed freeride can bring more vertical per Euro. If you don’t go more out of bounds searching for fresh tracks. But the quality of the runs can’t compare.
Don’t need to book in advance:
That is if you know the area well, and don’t need to hire a guide.
Package / Itinerary Description
Arrival to the mountain is scheduled day before first day on snow.
Bus trip from Alexander the great airport near Skopje to the Mountain base usually takes around one hour. If you arrive earlier, you can go for a drink or two around Skopje.
Dinner is served on the mountain where you have briefing with guides.
Basic safety procedures can be preformed in afternoon, or otherwise it is organized in the morning before hitting the slopes.
Length of avalanche safety briefing depends on group skills and experience. You’re ready for the mountain after equipment check.
Typical schedule on the mountain is following, but also we can adopt it to group preference:
7.30 - Wake up, open buffet breakfast and preparation for the day, Safety briefing, beacon check, preparation
8.30 - Hit the mountain. Depending on weather, snow pack conditions, group skills and aspirations we choose different locations.
12.00 - Lunch brake. If we stay close to the village we take a lunch at Bora hotel or Army restaurant or we make a pick-nick in “Jelak” woods area.
16.30 - back at the base, shower, relax, massage, check footage from the day, few drinks or avalanche safety lessons.
19.30 - Dinner in hotel or local restaurants, drinks and fun…
18.00 transfer to Skopje, accommodation in one of the new Skopje’s hotels
20.30 Dinner in '’Dukat restaurant'
23.00 Pub crawl
01.00 Club crawl
04.00 After-hour club till morning light
PRICE & HOW IT WORKS
Package is made with promotional price and terms, to promote catskiing in Europe. Other then good price it is flexible in length of stay, so you're able to book per day, not week.
Price for day/night on the mountain 200 Euro / day-night / person
Price for last night in Skopje 60€ / day / person
All food (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
basic safety gear – transceiver, shovel and probe
Package does not include
Personal spending and rental equipment
Single room surcharge 10 EUR per night
Last day in Skopje for 60€ includes
Dinner in Dukat Restoran
Accommodation in Skopje
Guide to show Skopje's night life
Transfer between Skopje airport and Mountain base costs average 15 Euro per direction, depending on a group size
You are responsible to have valid insurance to cover cancellation or medical fee.
Macedonia is one of the last world’s corners where you can still eat nonindustrial, pesticide free, home-made food. We’re sure you’ll love Macedonian dishes weather you’re vegetarian or you love meet.
Some of the local specialties, and must tries are:
“Ajvar” and “Pindjur” – local thick red peppers / paprika, tomatoes and aubergine mix.
Sirenje - white brine sheep cheese made on Shar Mountain.
Gravce tavce – Macedonian beans boiled and mixed with onion, peppers, tomato, oil, flour and various spices baked in a pottery saucepan.
Sopska salata – salad of local tomatoes like you never tasted before mixed with cucumber and topped with “sirenje” cheese. Often served as oeuvre, with cabbage, lettuce and other vegetables
Polneti Piperki - stuffed capsicum filled with rice or rice with meat.
Since Macedonian food has a lot of Turkish influence you will find a lot of Burek, a pie made mostly with cheese, potato or meet. Sarma is rice with or without meet wrapped in cabbage or grape leaf.
If you eat meet you shouldn’t miss the Lamb that actually runs around this mountain on 2.000 m elevation. Another must is Selska tava (Village plate) - oven baked mixture of all kinds of meat flavored with plenty of local spices made in traditional clay serving. Everyday mixed meat plata with Chevapchichi, Pljeskavica and kajmak, (mixture of lamb and beef, grilled with onions), Raznjci and Vesalica is so good you can’t miss putting a few pounds on during you’re stay.
Due to good land and weather condition Macedonia has excellent wines with rich flavor. Actually many European vines are made of Macedonian grapes. Well known vines come from Tikves and Skovin vinery, and also there are several extraordinary small private vineries. Best Macedonian beers are Skopsko and Dab and everyone who tried it just asked for more...
Don’t worry if you drink too much at night, as special hangover medicine is known on this mountain. In the morning, get out of hotel for inhaling session of extraordinary Shar mountain fresh air. In 15 minutes, you’re good as new, cost free!
For more info and booking drop us an email email@example.com.