Record snowfalls



I don’t know how many inches of the stuff fell down this week but here is a short video by Natalia Vopiyashina of Varzuga showing the Kandalaksha to Varzuga bus being pushed through snow by passengers somewhere around Kashkarantsy.

Arctic Trophy starts off Varzuga on August 7

arctic-trophyStarts in Varzuga, total distance 700km, with the final destination at the village of Ponoy in the far-eastern end of the poninsula. The expedition is expected to last 7-10 days, which is not surprising given complete lack of roads beyond Varzuga.

Aerial photos of Kashkarantsy, Kuzomen, and Varzuga

kuzomen-aerial-2kuzomen-aerialOur friend snowman-pro just posted this August’s photos of their para-glider flights over Kashkarantsy, Kuzomen, and Varzuga. Photos taken from low height, with lots of details, thus a realistic picture of what the land is like.

Above: overall view onto Kuzomen.

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Rybachy peninsula, Varzuga, and Kuzomen film

Here is a film one of my readers pointed to:

And a comment from Alexandra about the use of quadros:quadro-tracks

They are a disaster that destroyes the vegetation cover. She requests that I miss no opportunity to call on quadro users to stay on roads to avoid damage to fragile northern ground cover.

Here, done, request added.

Buran snowmobile, 1976 model, Varzuga


Hordes of snow-scooters from the 70s still active in Varzuga. This was the first time I saw them up close in a working situation. They can tow 2-3 loaded sleighs so one of these arrangements is not much less capable than a pickup truck.

The whole of Varzuga in one photo

See a series of Varzuga photos at The photographer, the famous Varandej, managed to capture the whole village on both sides of the Varzuga river in one shot. My hat off!

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Varzuga’s claim to fame is in being the religious center if not of the whole region then most definitely of the South edge of the peninsula, and in salmon fishing and poaching.

English speaking fishermen should go to I doubt foreigner are into Eastern Orthodoxy very much but if you happen to be try The Varzuga Foundation that positions itself as the voice of local “spirituality”.

If you need any type of logistical support in visiting Varzuga, talk to me. Driver, translator, gopher, fixer, whatever. I confess that Varzuga is not one of my favourite places but is it popular with travellers and a job is a job.

Spring flooding in Varzuga

varzugaHappens at the end of April. The village gets cut in two, and there is no way to get to the other side. Spring flooding is not an emergency but a normal predictable part of life here.



More photos of spring flooding in Varzuga at

A fishing camp in Strel’na


Click to enlarge

Camp’s website, English page >>

The southernmost point of the peninsula, ~350km from Kandalaksha, of which the first  150 are passable asphalt, another 100 are sand, dirt, and boulders, and the last 100 lack road altogether. To get there hire a heavy-duty off-road something in Kuzomen or more likely Varzuga, a boat in Kuzomen, or try to get on the once-a-week helicopter in Umba that gives preference to locals and will let those like you on board only if there are empty seats.