Toboggan run Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

During our study tour with Maksat and Adilet, we stumbled upon a toboggan run in Itter, Austria. Owner Leo Fuchs is particularly enthusiastic about Ryce Travel’s initiatives in Central Asia. After a pleasant conversation about the opportunities and possibilities in Kyrgyzstan, Leo comes up with a unique proposal.

Last year they stopped the toboggan run in Itter. Near the village was a drag elevator and a course to slide down with an inflatable tire. Warm winters have caused the sledging season in the low-lying village to become shorter and shorter. So it was no longer practical to continue this. Leo would love to see the toboggan run rebuilt in a developing country.

So our visit was very timely, and Maksat immediately set to work finding local entrepreneurs to fund this project. Although the elevator and tires could be bought for a reasonable price, transportation is still quite a chore. After all, it has to be transported nearly 8000 kilometres on wretchedly bad roads.

Fortunately, we found Bukit, a local transport contractor from Karakol in Kyrgyzstan. He wants to be less dependent on the transportation industry, and he would like to invest in a winter sports project. A few days later, he was already on a plane to see the elevator and tires. 

Maksat (l) pictured with Leo Fuchs (r)

It was a short viewing, and Bukit was quickly convinced of the possibilities. Since he owns a transportation company, transportation could easily be arranged. Before Maksat and Adilet were back in Kyrgyzstan, the drag elevator was already in Karakol. After figuring out the right location, every effort was made to get the toboggan run open for the winter.

On Jan. 1, the track was festively opened, and many tobogganers have since come down. With the new Pistenbully, we created a real track which made the descent even longer. Have a look yourself!