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Cat Ski Kyrgyzstan

An incredible powder paradise is waiting for you in the eastern Tian Shan Mountains. Cat ski Kyrgyzstan is done with one of our Pistenbullys. These machines normally prepare slopes, but we use the cats to take you to the most challenging off-piste slopes. You sit comfortably in our handmade cabin. The driver drives you to the most beautiful peaks. Once at the top you will draw fresh lines with a local guide. All day long After arriving at Bishkek airport, we will take you via the north coast of Lake Issyk Kul to Karakol. The city of Karakol is the hub of freeriding in Central Asia. The gigantic Issyk Kul lake creates a micro-climate with considerably more snowfall than elsewhere in the region. At the beginning of the afternoon we arrive in the fourth city of Kyrgyzstan. We can acclimatize in Karakol. Walk around the city, visit the bazar and do the last groceries. After a good night's sleep we will leave early to Jyrgalan, 60 km further east. The further east, the more precipitation. That's why we do cat skiing in the eastern village of Jyrgalan. The powder paradise of the country. We quickly check in at our guesthouse (or yurt camp) and get ready for the first day of cat skiing. We go through the safety procedure and check your equipment. Then we enter the cat for the first drops. We have marked several routes for the Pistenbully. Via these routes the cat reaches an altitude of 3400 meters. The descents go down till the village of Jyrgalan at 2300 meters. Your legs will be seriously challenged.


The old mining village of Jyrgalan used to smell like coal. Jyrgalan used to be the site of extensive mining during the Soviet Union. Today the industry has disappeared and the huge snowfields are left behind. Together with Destination Jyrgalan, we are bringing new life into the region. The village has rapidly developed into a tourist center in eastern Kyrgyzstan. Local guesthouses and yurt camps have been built. Moreover, there is a real tourism office. Our cats leave from the village. You drive between the cows and sheep to the first slopes. It willto be a true adventure.


Nearly 10,000 hectares of terrain is available. This varies from mellow tree runs to faces of 40+ degrees. In the morning we decide where to go. Assume that you can do at least 6-8 runs with 4000-6000 meters of verticla each day. We mainly focus on the northern slopes of the Gora Tavlytor. This peak of 3652 meters provides the necessary shelter. The cat reaches an altitude of 3300-3400 meters so snow is guaranteed. At an altitude of 2500 meters we have built an ice bar where we usually have lunch. From here you have an amazing view over the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains. On a clear day you can even see Kazakhstan. The icebar is centrally located in the cat ski area, it is an ideal place to recharge. On bad weather days we usually stay below 2900 meters. Here is the tree line of this region. We have marked several tree runs and can even descend to the village of Jyrgalan. There haven't been days when the cats couldn't drive.

Snow Cat / Pistenbully

At the moment our fleet consists of two Pistenbullys. These German powerhouses plow with wide caterpillar (cat) tracks. Since 2018 we use a Pistenbully 300 Polar and rom 2022, a Pistenbully 600 has been added. Both have a cabin for 12-16 people. You get in at the back with a handmade staircase. The skis and snowboards are placed in boxes on the side. Sometimes we have to cover more than 1000 meters vertical. That is why we do everything we can to make you sit as comfortably as possible. For the Wizkids among us: the Pistenbully has 461 HP and a maximum speed of 25 km per hour. This is the best snow cat for the conditions in Kyrgyzstan.


We operate a backcountry yurt camp in Jyrgalan. The most traditional way of spending the night is in a typical yurt. These circular tents are made of felt. We have adjusted them for the cold Jyrgalan nights. There’s a wooden stove for heating, comfortable mattresses and sleeping bags. The biggest indulgence is the Russian banya, a sauna tent that reaches temperatures up to 90 degrees celcius. After a long day of skiing you can recharge yourself (and cool down in a nearby stream) There are 2 backcountry yurts which sleeps 6 persons each. If you want to book a private yurt for your group, please let us know beforehand. If the yurts are too basic for you we also offer accommodation in nearby guesthouses. Please let us know before you book your tour.


We have wonderful local staff working with the cats and in the Yurt Camp. Yana Topol is running the yurt camp. Bob Rusin is the driver of the Pistenbully, Aleksey Balybin is our lead guide and Maksat Aitkulov, Vasily Nemchenko and Vadim Karaulykh are the tail guides. These are local guides, knowing their mountains like the back of their hand. They have finished the guiding school in Karakol and have their KMGA certificates in avalanche safety, mountaineering, guiding and snow stability. They don’t have the resources to finish an acknowledged IFMGA training though.


There’s electricity in both the yurt and the guesthouse. This is 220 V and 50Hz like most European countries. The electricity is not always stable and sometimes we have short shutdowns but that’s usually solved in a short period of time. If it takes longer we will have a generator ready for action. Internet is available but you can also get a local sim card to have connection.


The Kyrgyz cuisine is a really tasty mix of Turkish, Chinese and Russian influences. Usually we will have bread, eggs and/or porridge for breakfast and a lunch on the mountains. After an intense day skiing we will prepare meals like Kurdak (beef and potatoes), Laghman (noodles and vegetables in spicy sauce), Plov (rice with meat and carrot), Borscht (beet soup), Ashlan Fu (rice and vegetables in spicy sauce), Beshbarmak, Mante (dumplings) and all kinds of salads


The yurt camp has 2 long drop toilets and a sauna which you can use as a shower. There are Western toilets and showers (with hot water) in the adjacent guesthouse. On the mountain there are no toilets but you can always find a wild tree or rock 😉


The biggest treat in our yurt camp in the Russian style banya. This very hot sauna tent is located next to the yurts. Temperatures can reach 90 degrees so it will be quite refreshing to have a dip in the snow afterwards. Traditionally the Russian sauna is a ritual of at least 5 sessions of 10-12 minutes and only after the 4th or 5th time you are ‘allowed’ to cool down in the snow.


We can arrange transportation from any place in Kyrgyzstan or Southern Kazakhstan. The ride from Bishkek International Airport Manas will take about 5-6 hours. From Karakol it’s a 1 hour drive and from Almaty it will take 9-10 hours. There are talks to open the Kegen/Karkara border again in the near future. That means the transfer from Almaty to Jyrgalan can be done in 4-6 hours


We run several standard tours per season. But you can always contact us for customized cat skiing tours We apply a minimum of 3 cat skiing days and a minimum group size of 6.

Cat Ski Kyrgyzstan for you?

  • Adventurers looking for something different than the Alps
  • Experienced skiers/snowboarders with freeride equipment (ABS, beacon, probe, shovel)
  • Powder and first tracks lovers


  • Transfer Bishkek – Karakol and vv
  • 2 nights in local guesthouse Karakol
  • 4 nights accommodation in a traditional yurt at an altitude of 2300 meters
  • All meals and drinks during these meals (3x daily)
  • City Tour Bishkek
  • English speaking guide during the entire tour
  • Local KMGA guides
  • 5 days of cat skiing Jyrgalan
  • Visit to Fairy tale valley
  • Pajama party in Besh Spa Complex in Bishkek (last night)
  • Farewell dinner in Bishkek
  • Local taxes


  • Flights
  • Meals and drinks not included in the 3 daily meals
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips and souvenirs
  • Freeride ski/snowboard rent (€100 per week)
  • Insurance
  • Avalanche equipment

Cat ski Kyrgyzstan

  • 8 days Cat Ski Kyrgyzstan
  • Full board, excl. flights
  • Hot Springs & Ice cold rivers
  • Cat skiing & sleeping in a yurt
  • Bishkek and Karakol
  • Powder, powder, powder

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