GLACIERS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING NEAR ALMATY (12 DAYS)
Full escape from civilization, ski-touring in big mountains and glaciers, apreski on the territory of picturesque SPA complex, introduction to ancient culture of nomads, visiting Kazakhstan nature miracle – Singing Sand Dune.
Route: Almaty - Medeu Sport Complex - Shymbulak Ski Resort - Talgar Pass - Bogdanovich Glacier - T-1 Glaciological Station - Cosmostation - Altyn Emel National Park - Singing Dune (Almaty Region, Kazakhstan)
Season: April - June
Complexity: medium level of complexity with elements of mountaineering (skills of hiking in crampons and using ice-ax are required). Suits for fit and well-trained skiers and snowboarders with confident level of riding off-piste. *It is required to have set of avalanche equipment.
Hs difference: base camps will be set up at an altitude 3200-3400 m.a.s. Daily elevation is approx. 1200-1500 meters. Length of descents is from 500 meters up to 3 kilometers. Steepness of the slopes is from 15 up to 45 degrees.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Almaty - Talgar Pass
Having met your guide, you will board a comfortable minivan to start driving to Medeu Gorge, where you will take a cable car to the highest point of Shymbulak Mountain Resort - Talgar Pass at an altitude of 3163 m.a.s.l. Accommodation in traditional Kazakh yurt on Talgar Pass. Hiking on Shymbulak summit (3450 m.a.s.l.) located nearby for acclimatization. Watching sunset, admiring stunning panorama of the high mountains and the city. Coming back to the yurt. Dinner in Kazakh national style. Overnight in the yurt. There is traditional yurt, so the sleeping places will be arranged straight on the floor in sleeping bags. The whole yurt and the floor are heated.
Days 2-3. Talgar Pass - Bogdanovich Glacier
Early wake up at around 05:00. Breakfast, preparing equipment for the route. No later than 07:00, you will start moving to the west, in direction of Bogdanovich Glacier. This day and after you will make radial hikes to the peaks located in the cirque of Bogdanovich Glacier. Elevation gain: 900-1000 meters, descend length ~ 6 km, duration: 5-6 hours. Slope gradient: 20 – 45 degrees.
Coming back to the yurt, rest. Lunch in the yurt or in “Bar 3200” located on Talgar Pass (not included into the tour price). Dinner in Kazakh national style in the yurt. Overnight in the yurt.
Day 4. Talgar Pass – Shymbulak mountain resort - T-1 Glaciological Station
Wake up at 07:00. Breakfast. Packing stuff and moving to the low point of Shymbulak (by cable car or skis, depends on quantity of snow). Transfer to Mynzhylky area by car. Ski-touring to Tuyuk-Su Glaciological station. (3 km, elevation gain 450 m).
Arrival to T-1 glaciological station. Accommodation in mountain hut or iron barrels transformed into the shelters. Lunch and rest. In the afternoon, if desired, skitouring to the closest observation view point, from where a wonderful sunset and panorama of the city opens. Dinner, free time, overnight in the hut.
Days 5-6. T-1 Glaciological Station - Cirque of Tuyuk-Su Glacier
Early wake up at around 05:00. Breakfast, preparing equipment for the route. Start is not later than 06:30. This day and after you will make radial hikes to the peaks located in the cirque of Tuyuk-Su Glacier: Youth peak (4150 m.a.s.l.), West Ordzhonikidze Glacier (4024 m.a.s.l.), shoulder of Tuyuk-Su Glacier (4200 m.a.s.l.), Pogrebetskiy Peak (4231 m.a.s.l.), Locomotiv peak (4209 m.a.s.l.), North Youth Pass (3880 m.a.s.l.) in cirque of Green Kar. Elevation gain: 600-800 meters, descend length ~ 4-6 km, duration: 5-6 hours. Slope gradient: 20 – 45 degrees. Coming back to the station T-1, rest. Lunch, walking in surroundings. Dinner and overnight in the hut. Bath-house if desired.
Day 7. T-1 Glaciological Station - Cosmostation
Wake up at 08:00. Breakfast. Packing stuff. Descent to Mynzhylky or Memorial to the Fallen in the Mountains by skis/snowboards (depends on quantity of snow). Transfer by car to Medeu Sport Complex. Transfer to Cosmostation by comfortable minivan. Lunch in Almaty city on the way. Before arrival to Cosmostation you will visit observation view point where breathtaking panorama of the Big Almaty Lake surrounded by white snowy peaks will be opened. Passing military check-point where you will have to show your passport (boundary zone with Kyrgyzstan Republic). Arrival to the Cosmostation. Accommodation in the mountain hut. Free time. Evening backcountry to Tourist peak if desired. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Days 8-9. Cosmostation – Summits of Almaty Alagir Mountain Ridge
Early wake up at 05:00. Breakfast, preparing equipment for the route. Start is not later 06:30. This day and after you will make radial hikes to the nearest peaks, situated in the area of Cosmostation:
Peak (3960 m.a.s.l.) is located in the Big Almaty Spur to the east of Tourist Peak and north-east of Momyshuly Peak (formerly Cornice). The peak belongs to the Almaty Alagir mountain range. The former name is INP (in honor of the Institute of Nuclear Physics). Later it was renamed in honor of University.
Tourist Peak (3954 m.a.s.l.) is located in the Big Almaty Spur, south of the Big Almaty Peak, Zhosalykezen Pass and west of Peak. The top is simple and accessible from all sides. In winter, a small ski drag lift operates on its slopes from the side of Zhosalykezen Pass.
Momyshuly Peak (4075 m.a.s.l.) is located between Almaty Alagir Pass in the south and Peak in the northeast. Formerly, the summit was called Cornice. Northern slope is covered by Glacier № 70.
Lunch, rest, free time. Tour around Cosmostation and meeting with researchers who study cosmic particles in their laboratories. Dinner, overnight in the hut.
Day 10. T-1 Cosmostation – Big Almaty lake – Tau Spa centre - Almaty
Wake up around 8:00. After breakfast packing stuff and transfer to the Tau Spa centre by car or minibus. From 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. staying on the territory of spa center and enjoying different types of steam rooms and sauna, swimming pools with icy and hot water, relaxing on sun loungers and admiring the view of Trans-Ili Alatau mountains.
Transfer to Almaty city. Dinner in the local restaurant. Transfer to the 4* hotel. Check-in. Free time. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 11. T-1 Almaty - Altyn Emel National Park - Singing Dune - Almaty
Meeting your guide in the lobby and departure at 07:00. Transfer to Basshi village. (261 km) Lunch in the guest house in Basshi village. After lunch, transfer to Altyn Emel National Park and visiting Singing Dune. (48 km)
Hiking to the top of Sand Dune where you will see fantastic panorama of Ili River and Trans-Ili Alatau mountains where you recently have been skiing and snowboarding among glaciers and high rocky peaks. Descent from the dune can be made by feet or by skis or snowboards, what will give you unforgettable emotions and epic photos. Coming back to Almaty city about 20:00. Dinner in local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 12. Almaty city tour
After meeting the guide at your hotel, your will start the tour with a ride to the oldest of 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 the 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.
Light lunch will be arranged on the second floor of bazar in the small coffee shop where you could enjoy meals and watch who the trading is going.
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-cars. 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 and visit the shop of national souvenirs. The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway* and the dropping you off at your hotel.
* On Tuesdays, in the tour departing at 10:00, cableway is not available. Park eco-buses are used instead.
End of the program.
*Depending on weather, temperature and snow conditions, the guide can make adjustments to the skiing part of the program.
Please, notice, that it’s required to have insurance for extreme sports for participating in this program!
3300 USD per one person
1880 USD per person, provided for 2 people travelling together
1580 USD per person, provided for 3 people travelling together
Tour Price INCLUSIONS:
1. Accommodation in a yurt on the Talgar Pass with half board (breakfast, dinner).
2. Accommodation in a mountain hut in T-1 glacier station area with full board.
3. Accommodation in a mountain hut in Cosmostation area with full board.
4. Transportation according to the program by comfortable tourist vehicle.
5. Cable car tickets Medeu - Shymbulak - Talgar Pass.
6. Transfer by 4WD vehicle from Shymbulak to Mynzhylky.
7. Skiing guide services.
8. Day tour to Altyn Emel National park with visiting Singing Dune.
9. Almaty city tour (5 hours) with lunch.
9. Bottled water during sightseeing tour to Singing Dune and Almaty city tour.
10. Ecological and environmental fees.
11. Accommodation in Almaty in 4* hotel for 2 nights.
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.