For Brits, the prospects for getting out skiing this winter might look a little bleak at the moment, but if we’re going to dream, we may as well dream big, right?
Which is how we found ourselves perusing this latest crazy offering from heliski specialists Elemental Adventures - a week-long package that basically guarantees you first descents of unridden peaks.
Sure, it will set you and 11 friends back a cool €1 million (£900,000) for seven nights, but if you’re going to base yourself on a custom-made luxury-yacht-cum-ice-breaker, built at the behest of an adventure-loving Russian oligarch, then, well, I guess that’s what it costs.
The Russian oligarch in question is Oleg Tinkov, owner of the Tour de France-winning cycling team, and a keen backcountry skier. The yacht is La Datcha, a 252-foot long floating palace, which comes equipped with two snowmobiles, a submarine, jetskis, zodiacs and not one, but two helicopters - giving it rescue and recovery capabilities, should one go down.
The idea is that this Bond-style boat can stay at sea for up to 40 days at a time, allowing it to explore previously uncharted areas of coastline, and access peaks that have never been skied before.
In their first winter working with La Datcha, Elemental Adventures are planning to set sail for Kamchatka (the mountainous peninsula in the Far East of Russia) and the Kuril Islands (the archipelago that stretches across to northern Japan).
With similar snow to the famous “Japow” that cakes Hokkaido each winter, these remote areas promise some of the best skiing on earth, but are often off-limits to foreigners due to the simmering dispute between the two countries, and the multiple Russian military installations in the area.
When snowboarder Travis Rice tried to visit for his 2016 movie The Fourth Phase, he waited a month, only to be turned around by the Russian authorities, without ever being allowed to leave his helicopter.
Thankfully, Elemental Adventures’ package includes “a full visa support service,” so they can rest assured that you’ll be granted access. Now, where did I put that spare €1 million?