Challenging and authentic backcountry adventure in the heart of wild and impressive Ketmen ridge with national spirit. The caravan of horses will deliver your stuff to the mountain hut while you’ll be skinning up to the picturesque and peaceful mountains. Exciting ski runs every day in new locations and no other human souls for many kilometers around.
Route: Almaty – Ketpen settlement – Ketmen ridge – Chundzha hot springs – Almaty
Season: December – February
Group size: up to 6 people
Route Complexity: intermediate, for fit and well-trained skiers and snowboarders with confident level of riding on wild terrain. *It is required to have set of avalanche equipment.
H difference: mountain hut is located at an altitude 2276 m.a.s.l. Daily elevation gain 400 – 1500 meters.
Length of descents: from 500 up to 4000 meters.
Steepness of the slopes: from 15 up to 35 degrees.
Ketmen ridge (Uzynkara) is located in the north-eastern part of Tien Shan mountain system. It is located on the territory of two states - the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People’s Republic of China and on the territory of two districts of Almaty region: Uygur and Raimbek, east of Trans-Ili Alatau. The total length of the ridge is about 310 km, within the territory of Kazakhstan about 160 km kilometers. The width of the western part of the ridge is about 30 km, the eastern - 20 kilometers. The highest point is Heaven Summit - 3652.8 meters above sea level. It is located directly on the state border with China. Ketmen does not reach the snow line where glaciers form and does not have glaciation and snowfields, but has a permafrost zone. The peaks are flat and wide, the northern slopes are steep, dissected by deep gorges. The lower part of the ridge is covered with steppe vegetation; fir forests grow on the slopes above. The southern slopes are more gentle and with few exceptions treeless.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Almaty – Ketpen – mountain hut
Early meeting with your guide at 5 a.m. and departure to Ketpen village by comfortable 4 WD vehicle. The way will take about 4 hours, because you need to overcome 336 km. Arrival to the small farm near the village for packing horses, which carry all heavy stuff to the mountain hut. Breakfast in the local family’s house. Transfer to the point where ski-touring part of the route will be started. (12 km) Ski-touring to the mountain hut through the pass with stunning panorama to the closest ridges. Distance – 7 km, elevation gain 630 meters, loss – 450 meters. After getting the hut lunch and rest. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
Meals included: B, L, D
Day 2-4. Mountain hut
Wake up at 7 a.m. Breakfast. Preparing for the route. At 9 a.m. start skinning up to the nearest spots with lines of different complexity according to the group’s experience. Daily elevation gain: ~1000-1500 meters. Length of descents: ~400-2000 meters. Slopes steepness: ~15-35 degrees. After skiing day coming back to the hut in the afternoon, late lunch. Rest, free time. Evening bath-house. Dinner. Overnight in the hut.
Meals included: B, L, D
Day 5. Mountain hut – Ketpen
Wake up at 7 a.m. Breakfast. Packing personal stuff and loading the horses, which carry bags, back to the village. Coming back to the start point of ski-touring part of the route through the same pass. Distance – 7 km, elevation gain 450 meters, loss – 630 meters. Transfer to Ketpen village by 4 WD vehicle. After coming back to the village short rest and transfer to the resort with mineral hot-springs. (40 km) Relaxing in the open-air and indoor swimming pools with hot mineral water for 2 hours. Late lunch in café at the resort. Transfer back to Almaty. (296 km) Arrival in Almaty approx. at 22.00
Meals included: B, L
*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!
Individual Tour Price:
2160 USD Per Person, for the group of 1 person
1156 USD Per Person, for the group of 2 people
874 USD Per Person, for the group of 3 people
776 USD Per Person, for the group of 4 people
687 USD Per Person, for the group of 5 people
597 USD Per Person, for the group of 6 people
Tour Price INCLUSIONS:
1. Accommodation in the mountain hut for 4 nights.
2. All transfers according to the program by comfortable vehicle.
3. Cargo horses rental.
4. English-speaking skiing guide services.
5. Bottled water (1 liter) on Day 1 and 2.
6. Ecological and environmental fees.
7. Meals according to the program.
8. Bath-house on Day 3.
9. Entrance to the hot-springs resort.
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.