Winter program around the most attractive ski resorts near Almaty in combination with a sightseeing tour of the main sights of the southern capital, acquaintance with the ancient culture of nomads, customs, traditions and local cuisine, full immersion into the atmosphere of national color.
Season: November - March
Best period: December - February
Complexity of the route: suitable for beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders. The route involves riding on both groomed slopes and off-piste riding with the possibility of organizing backcountries in close proximity to resorts. Good physical training is desirable. A set of avalanche equipment is required for off-piste riding and backcountry.
H difference: 1000-1500 meters
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Almaty – ethno-village «Huns»
Meeting with the guide at your hotel or at the airport (if the flight is morning or in the first half of the day). Sightseeing tour around Almaty.
The tour will start from the oldest Almaty parks - Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world - Zenkov Cathedral is located. In the park you will also visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, listen to the stories of the guide and admire the beauty of Museum of Musical Instruments. A leisurely walk under the crowns of old trees will take about 40 minutes.
Next point of interest is a popular place for townspeople - the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real eastern market, its colors, smells and crowds. There you can obtain famous oriental sweets, dried fruits, buy local products and souvenirs, but don't forget to bargain. In the market they accept cash in tenge (local currency), so it would be good to have some with you or there is an exchange point just nearby to the market area.
After the bazaar, the tour will continue at the Kok-Tobe hill where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road on the park eco-minivans. In Kok-Tobe Park you can stroll along the winding paths of the park, admire the magnificent panorama of the city from the special observation deck, throw a coin in the "apple" fountain, see the monument devoted to "The Beatles" (the only one in CIS countries), visit the shop of national souvenirs and many other interesting things. The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.
*If the first day of the tour is Monday, visit to the Green Bazaar is postponed to the last day of the program, because it will be closed.
Lunch in the restaurant of national cuisine.
Transfer to the ethno-village “Huns”, which is located in the Talgar region in 35 km. from Almaty.
Meeting in traditional Kazakh style with a demonstration of national rituals and customs.
Accommodation in hotel 3 and 4-bed rooms, located in the yurts of the modern type with all the amenities.
Free time, rest.
Culinary master class on cooking national Kazakh dish - bursak.
Dinner in the best traditions of Kazakh hospitality.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Ethno-village «Huns» - ski resort «Ak-Bulak» - ski center «Elik-Sai»
Breakfast in the hotel complex of ethno-aul “Huns”.
Check-out, packing stuff, transfer to ski resort "Ak-Bulak".
«Ak-Bulak» ski resort is a quite young ski resort, built in 2006, but because of its popularity it has become one of the most attractive sights of Almaty. There are all conditions for comfortable and fun holiday. There are 4 ski-lifts on the resort territory, and the total length of all ski slopes is 10 km. You can also ride on tubes and visit local ice rink. The main advantage of the resort is that it is located in a surprisingly beautiful place, in the heart of the Soldier Gorge. Due to its good location, Ak Bulak has excellent weather during the whole winter season. So, for example, the average temperature in December here ranges within -7 degrees Celsius. Ski season lasts from mid-November to the end of March.
At the resort there is a special Ski patrol, which not only monitors the behavior of skiers and snowboardes on the slopes, but also monitors the safety on all parts of the slopes. If person is injured during skiing and needs help, you can always contact the Ski Patrol staff.
Arrival to «Ak Bulak» ski resort. Preparation of the equipment. Ski-passes issuance.
Ascent by gondola cable car (length is 2351 m), which delivers us to the slope with altitude 2006 meters for 7 minutes. Then chairlift will deliver us to the top of the slopes with only "black slopes". Degree of steepness of the slopes in this zone is from 22 to 55 degrees. Parts of descent pass both in open spaces and in the forest, among the Tien-Shan fir-trees with lots of interesting drops with different size. A huge mass of white fluffy snow and amazing panorama of surrounding high mountains will leave the brightest impression.
Skiing on the "black slopes" of the resort or more simple groomed slopes before lunch with guide who knows the resort "like his five fingers." Guide will show the most "tasty", interesting, as well as hidden from the majority of riders places, which about not many people know. Riding will be fun, intense and full of adventures, you will not even notice how fast time will run.
Lunch on the benches at the observation ground. We will have a rest, sunbathing and admire views of the big mountains located very near, bluish in the distance on the horizon Kapchagai lake and perhaps even see a huge and beautiful prey bird of prey - bearded vulture.
After lunch with new reserve of energy we will continue to ride and collect rest of the funs.
Descent by skis to the parking. Packing stuff, departure to ski-center “Elik-Sai”.
Dinner in local cafe of Talgar city on the way to the ski-center «Elik-Sai».
Arrival to ski-center “Elik-Say”. Accommodation in scout camp. The rest rooms are outside.
Overnight in the scout camp.
Day 3. Ski-center «Elik-Sai» - ski resort «Shymbulak»
Breakfast in the guest house.
Preparation of the equipment, introduction with local administration, ski-passes issuance, renting the rope hooks and short briefing about how to use them on drag lifts.
Ski-base "Elik-Sai" - a freerider's dream! Located 40 km far away from Almaty after settlement Beskaynar on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park in the nearby gorge at the altitude of about 1900 m. From the tour "Almatau" base. The base was opened in 2003 and almost immediately became very popular among the real fans of freeride skiing. The peculiarity of this base is its authenticity and simplicity, wonderful relief in the forest zone, variety of ungroomed slopes with steep gradient, as well as abundance of snow and successful exposition of the slopes. Here you will not find expensive cafes, chair lifts and luxury hotels, but this is the highlight. On the base there are 4 rope drag lifts with the hook type of the Soviet times, capable of pulling to h of 2400 meters, from where it is easy to reach the nearby peak with altitude of 3010 meters - Bukreev peak. Most of the times the first two lifts are working, the other two, located higher, can only be used under supervision of the ski-base manager - known in local circles of freeriders - Anatoly Ivanovich. The base is also famous for the amusing names of some slopes, such as "vegetable garden", "pipe" or "bathhouse".
And now the most interesting part is started - ascent on drag lift with using rope hooks and start to ski on the local slopes, which are very diverse here. We'll start from the main slope next to the second drag lift, then we'll move to the left (if we look down the slope from the rider), ski in nearby located couloir «pipe» and wide slope "vegetable garden" with series of different h drops. After we will move to ski on the slope "bath-house", located to the right of the drag lift.
At lunch time, we will have a rest on the deck of a mighty pirate ship. Sunbathe, snacks, recovering and go to look for snow adventures again. In the afternoon we will be skiing in the upper part of the slopes from the third and fourth drag lifts. At the end of the day we will make descent to the neighboring gorge, where another ski-base "Almatau" is located. After making descent, you will have to walk a little in the forest to come back to Elik-Say gorge.
*Also, upon arrival to the ski-base, depending on the weather and snow conditions and physical training of participants, an option of arranging backcountry on Bukreev peak will be considered.
17.00 - final descent, packing stuff, memorable photo with new friends and local freeriders (this place can't be imagined without new friends, an exchange of experience and fascinating stories).
Transfer to ski resort «Shymbulak».
Dinner in local cafe in Almaty on the way to «Shymbulak».
Accommodation in standart double rooms at ski resort «Symbulak».
Free time, rest.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 4. Ski resort «Shymbulak»
Breakfast in a modern cafe with the authentic atmosphere of the Soviet era "Saray-bar" in the hotel.
Preparation of equipment, issuance of ski passes.
Ski resort "Shymbulak" is located in picturesque gorge Trans-Ili Alatau – Kok Ashyk at an altitude of 2260 meters above sea level, 15 minutes drive from center of Almaty. The resort was founded in 1954. Since mid-1950s, Shymbulak served as training base for Soviet skiers, the USSR and Kazakhstan championships were held on its slopes. Every year in the beginning of February skiers competed for "Alexandra Artemenko Prize", 11-time champion of the USSR, master of sports, participant of the Olympic Games 1956.
During preparation for 2011 Winter Asian Games, much work was done for reconstruction of ski resort, freestyle park Quiksilver Chimba was opened, new cableway from Medeu sport complex to Shymbulak with 4.5 km length was built. In 2012, another cable car "Left Talgar" was launched, perfectly suitable for beginners. In February 2017, international sport even - the 28th World Winter Universiade happend and competitions in such desciplines as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding were held on the territory of resort. In 2013, the Russian "Forbes" included Shymbulak in the top ten visa-free ski resorts for Russians. Total length of the slopes is 25 km. On the ski slopes there is the system of snow cannons, which allow you to start the season earlier and extend it until April, and sometimes even till May. Wide range of services, comfortable gondola and chair lifts, restaurants, cafes and bars for every taste will let you to enjoy the atmosphere of coziness and modest luxury that reigns on the territory of one of the best ski resorts in the CIS.
First half of the day we will be skiing from the lifts and try local freeride spots. If the snow and weather conditions let we will explore slopes “Dry Log” and “Cone”.
Lunch will be arranged at the highest point of ski resort on Talgar pass in stylish and chill café “3200 Bar”. Here you can relax sitting on the soft sofa, take sunbath and listen to the lounge music. If you tired from the sun you can sit inside and enjoy watching ski movie, communicate with local riders and drink special herb tea.
We will continue to ride at the resort.
Depending on physical fit of the participants, condition and amount of snow, it will be possible to make a short backcountry to one of the closest to end the day with a beautiful on untouched snowy slope.
Coming back to the hotel. Free time, rest.
Visiting a real Saka bath-house and getting wellness treatments. You will be well steamed with an oak, birch or spruce broom, bathed in icy mountain water (optional) and filled with healthy herbal tea with honey or jam. The session lasts 2 hours.
*This service is not included in the program and it is charged additionally.
Coming back to the hotel.
Dinner in «Sarai-Bar» cafe.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 5. Ski resort «Shymbulak» - Almaty
Breakfast in “Sarai-Bar” café.
Packing stuff, check-out.
Descent by cable car to the sport complex «Medeu».
Transfer to Almaty city.
*** On client’s request to ride exclusively on the groomed slopes on the territory of the ski resorts, the program can be revised and the ski-base Elik-Sai is replaced to another ski resort.
Tour Package Price: 960 USD per person provided 2 persons traveling together.
Group Tour Pricer for December 9-13, 2019: 515 USD per person
*Accommodation in the scout camp on the ski-base “Elik-Sai”.
Surcharge: 120 USD per group. *Accommodation in comfortable guest house on the ski-base “Elik-Sai”.
Tour Price INCLUSIONS:
1. Sightseeing 3-hour tour of Almaty city
2. Entrance fees according to the program of the city tour
3. Services of professional ski guide, English-speaking
4. Transfers on a comfortable car according to the program
5. Meals included in the program
6. Daily ski-passes on the ski resorts according to the program
7. Accommodation in ethno-village “Huns”, ski-base “Elik-Sai”, hotel on ski resort “Shymbulak”
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.