This year we are heading to Kazakhstan for an amazing week of snow festivitities around the Almaty region. Don’t expect massive ski resorts, boring nightlife or Wiener Schnitzels. Get yourself ready for camels, ultra modern gondola’s, bustling nightlife, Pistenbully droppings and a valley of castles. Above all, it’s gonna be a memorable experience: Skiing in the Northern Himalayas of Kazakhstan.
You will encounter a unique world in this beautiful country. We will show you all the top-spots of the region and you’ll be amazed like we have been amazed so many times. We could offer you a clear itinerary but it could be at the expense of the adventurous nature of this trip. Hereby we publish a succinct program so you’ll have an idea what to expect.
On Sunday the tour will start from the city center of Almaty. We are driving to the resort of Shymbulak, the biggest ski resort of Central Asia. This was the stage of the 2017 Winter Universiade (the Olympic Winter Games for students). The highest point is at 3200 meters and we have some really challenging runs in front of us. After diner we can chill out in the guesthouse and prepare ourselves for the rest of the week.
The most interesting ski resort is Ak Bulak. It’s a one hour drive from Almaty but it’s definitely worth it. The gondola brings us to the mid-station at 2200 meters. The runs back to the resort (at 1650 meters) are perfectly suited for beginners and intermediates. The chairlift from the mid station to the top (at 2700 meters) is a walhalla for freeriders and experienced skiers. The entire area is not groomed and therefor dedicated to freeriders. That’s why we are coming back here the next day. The evenings will be spend with in the Karaoke bar and in a traditional Russian banya.
City Tour, Charyn Canyon and poolparty
Wednesday is a ‘rest’day. We have to check out from our hotel and after a quick city tour we are heading to the most impressive canyon of Kazakhstan. In this Charyn Canyon we’ll do a short walk and continue our drive to the hot springs of Chundzha. Somewhere in the middle of a steppe landscape, locals have discovered natural hot springs. Squattered around these hot springs, some hotels have been built. We are spending 1 night in bungalows around ‘swimming pools’. It’s always one of the most memerable nights of the tour.
The next day will be sleeping and continue our drive through Altyn Emel National Park (with an interesting stop) to Tekesu. To top the tour of we will organize Pistenbully (snow cat) droppings in the remote Dzhungarian mountain range near the Chinese border. We’ll stay in a recently opened mountain lodge near Tekeli. The local cooks will prepare fresh and local food and in front of the entrance departs the gigantic Pistenbully. The Kazakh driver will drop us off at various peaks in the area. Around 12 people fit in the machine and we will drop till we need to stop.
After burning a tremendous amount of calories we intruge ourselves with a dinner fest. We will evaluate the adventurous week and for the party people we will organize a pub crawl in the bustling city of Almaty.
3 nights in a *** guesthouse in Almaty City Center (double rooms)
1 nights in bungalow in Chundzha (double rooms)
2 nights in Tekesu Lodge (double rooms)
3 meals a day (with drinks)
Ski passes Shymbulak and Ak Bulak
City Tour Almaty
Entrance Charyn Canyon
English speaking guide
Pistenbully (snow cat) droppings
All local taxes
Tips and Souvenirs
Food and drinks not included in the 3 meals
Snowboard/Ski rent (€75 a week)
Adventurers looking for something different than the Alps
Average to experienced skiers/snowboarders who can easily take a ‘red slope’
Lovers of other cultures and rituals