The former mining village of Jyrgalan fell into despair after the collapse of the Sovjet Union. Huge amounts of Anthracite (the highest rank of coal) was mined by villagers. It was a dangerous and harsh job and the wages were very poor. After the industry disappeared there was not much left to live for, except for the enormous snow fields.
Together with local skiers we are giving the town a new source of income; tourism. We have been skiing these mountains since 30 years and by improving our standards we are now ready to hosts any skier and snowboarder in the world. From sloperiders to freeriders and from slopestylers to freestylers, we will provide the best freeride experience possible.
The Northern Tian Shan mountains stretch out to the south and east of Jyrgalan. To the east are powdery tree runs with peaks till 3200 meters. Depending on the weather we will ascend these flanks directly from our yurt camp at 2300 meters.
The most open terrain is to the south of Jyrgalan. There’s action for any level varying from mellow snow fields to extreme couloirs on higher altitudes. The highest the snow cat can get is 3400 meters and you will have amazing vistas over the border region of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Normally we do between 6-10 runs a day so we will ski around 4000-8000 meters vertical.
We are operating a Pistenbully 300 Polar with a handmade cabin. Pistenbully is just the brand name for snow groomers. These massive machines with wide tracks are usually grooming the slopes in a ski resort. We have purchased a Pistenbully 300 Polar with a strong Mercedes engine (430 horse power). This is the best snow cat for the conditions in Kyrgyzstan. After shipping it from Germany we immediately started building the comfortable cabin for 16 persons. It’s one of the biggest cabins in the world for cat skiing. You will sit back comfortably and enjoy the ride(s) with us.
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 8 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 inside the adjacent Freeride House. At the moment we offer two quadruple bedrooms with a shared bathroom. For bigger groups we can arrange rooms in a nearby guesthouse.
We have wonderful local staff working in the Freeride House and the Yurt Camp. Kasadin Musaev is running the place together with his wife Aisha. Aleksey Balybin in our driver of the Pistenbully, Kasadin is our lead guide and Maksat Aitkulov, Vasily Nemchenko and Vadim Karaulykh are the tail guides. They are local guides, knowing these mountains like the back of their hand. They have finished the guiding school in Karakol and have their certificates in avalanche safety, mountaineering, guiding and snow stability. As they don’t have the resources to finish an acknowledged IFMGA training though.
There’s electricity in both the yurt and the Freeride House. 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.
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
There are Western toilets and showers (with hot water) in the adjacent Freeride House. 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
– PRICE OF €1499 IS BASED ON 5 DAYS CAT SKIING, 4 NIGHTS in YURT CAMP JYRGALAN
– DATES (AND CHANGES IN PROGRAM) ON REQUEST
Transfer Bishkek – Karakol and vv
1 night in local guesthouse Karakol
4 nights 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
5 days cat skiing Jyrgalan
Entrance to natural hot spring
Visit to Fairy tale valley
Russian banya in the yurt camp
Pajama party in Besh Spa Complex in Bishkek (last night)
Farewell dinner in Bishkek
Meals and drinks not included in the 3 daily meals
Tips and souvenirs
Ski/Snowboard rent (€75 per week)
Adventurers looking for something different than the Alps
Experienced skiers/snowboarders with freeride equipment (ABS, beacon, probe, shovel)
Powder and first line lovers