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Intro Tour Around Ski Resorts Of Almaty (5 Days)

Country: Kazakhstan
City: Almaty Region
Duration: 5 Day(s) - 4 Night(s)
Tour Category: Ski Tour
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

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.

Tour Route: Almaty Region, Kazakhstan

Season: November-March

Best Period: December-February

Route Complexity: 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.

Height 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 in the morning. 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 buildings 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.

The next point of interest is a popular place for townspeople - the Green Bazaar (except Mondays), where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is a great chance to experience the 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 a short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.

Lunch in the restaurant of national cuisine.

Transfer to the ethnic-village "Huns", which is located 35 km from Almaty. Meeting in traditional Kazakh style with a demonstration of national rituals and customs.

Triple and quadruple accommodation in a hotel in the form of the yurts of the modern type with all the amenities. Free time, rest.

Culinary master class on the cooking of national Kazakh dish - baursak. Dinner in the best traditions of Kazakh hospitality.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2. Ethno-Village "Huns" - "Ak-Bulak" Ski Resort - "Elik-Sai" Ski Base

Breakfast at the territory of the ethnic-village "Huns". Check-out and transfer to "Ak-Bulak" Ski Resort.

Built-in 2006, "Ak-Bulak" Ski Resort is a quite young resort. But because of its popularity, it has become one of the most attractive sights of Almaty. There are all conditions for comfortable and fun rest. 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 the 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. For example, the average temperature in December ranges within -7 degrees Celsius. The ski season lasts from mid-November to the end of March. In November, the temperature is set to -4 degrees Celsius. January and February are the coldest months because at this time of the year the temperature can drop to -12 degrees. By March, weather conditions are stabilizing, and the temperature rises to -3 degrees Celsius.

Arrive at "Ak-Bulak" Ski Resort. Preparation of the equipment. Ascent by gondola cable car (length is 2351 m), which will deliver you to the slope with altitude 2006 m above s.l. in 7 minutes. Then chairlift will deliver you further to the top of the slopes with "black tracks" only. The angle of the steepness of freeride 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 firs with lots of drops. A huge mass of white fluffy snow and an amazing panorama of surrounding high mountains will leave the brightest impression.

Skiing on the "black slopes" of the resort with a guide until 13:30. The guide knows the resort "like his five fingers" and will show you the most "tasty", interesting places, hidden from the majority of riders. Riding will be fun, intense, and full of adventures - you will not even notice how fast time is running.

Lunch on benches at the observation ground until 14:30. You will have a rest, sunbathe and admire views of the big mountains located very near, and perhaps even see a huge and beautiful prey bird - bearded vulture.

After lunch, you will continue to ride until 16:00, and then will ski down to the parking. Packing stuff and departure to "Elik-Sai" Ski Base. Dinner in the local cafe of Talgar city. Arrival to "Elik-Sai" Ski Base. Accommodation in a scout camp (the restrooms are outside).

Overnight in the scout camp.

Day 3. "Elik-Sai" Ski Base - "Shymbulak" Ski Resort

Breakfast in the guest house. Preparation of the equipment, introduction with local administration, renting the rope hooks, and short briefing about how to use them on drag lifts.

"Elik-Sai" Ski Basei is a freerider's dream! It is located 40 km far away from Almaty on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park at an altitude of about 1900 m a.s.l. 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 a steep gradient, as well as an 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 a height of 2400 m a.s.l., from where it is easy to reach the nearby Bukreev peak (3010 m a.s.l.). 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 - you will adopt the ascent on drag lift using rope hooks and will start to ski on the local slopes, which are very diverse there. You will start from the main slope next to the second drag lift, then you will continue to ski in nearby located couloir «pipe» and wide slope "vegetable garden" with series of different height drops. After you will move to ski on the slope "bath-house".

At lunchtime, you 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 you will be skiing in the upper part of the slopes from the third and fourth drag lifts. At the end of the day, you will make the descent to the neighboring gorge, where another Almatau ski base is located. After making the descent, you will have to walk a little in the forest to come back to the Elik-Sai 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.

Final descent at 17:00, packing stuff, memorable photo with new friends and local free-riders (this place can't be imagined without new friends, an exchange of experience, and fascinating stories).
Transfer to Shymbulak Ski Resort. Dinner in a local cafe in Almaty. Arrival to the resort and accommodation in standard double rooms of the hotel. Free time and rest.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 4. "Shymbulak" Ski Resort

Breakfast in the hotel in a modern cafe "Saray-bar" with the authentic atmosphere of the Soviet era. Preparation of equipment.

Shymbulak Ski Resort is located in the picturesque Kok Ashyk gorge of Trans-Ili Alatau at an altitude of 2260 meters above sea level, 15 minutes drive from the center of Almaty. The resort was founded in 1954. Since the mid-1950s, Shymbulak served as a training base for Soviet skiers, the USSR and Kazakhstan championships were held on its slopes. Every year at the beginning of February skiers competed for the "Alexandra Artemenko Prize", 11-time champion of the USSR, master of sports, participant of the Olympic Games 1956.

During preparation for the 2011 Winter Asian Games, much work was done for reconstruction of the ski resort, freestyle park Quiksilver Chimba was opened, new cableway from Medeu sports 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, an international sports event - the 28th World Winter Universiade happened and competitions in such disciplines as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding were held on the territory of the 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 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 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 you will be skiing from the lifts and try local freeride spots. If the snow and weather conditions allow, you will explore slopes "Dry Log" and "Cone".

Lunch will be arranged in a stylish café at the highest point of ski resort on Talgar pass. There 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 thematic movies, communicate with local skiers, and drink special herb tea.

After lunch, you will continue to ski at the resort or outside of it. Depending on your level of physical training, condition and amount of snow, it could be possible to make a short backcountry to one of the closest peak in order to end the day with a beautiful line on untouched snowy slope.
Coming back to the hotel. Free time and rest. If desired, you can visit a real Saka bath-house and get 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 into the tour price and to be paid additionally).
Return to the hotel. Dinner in "Sarai-Bar" cafe.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 5. "Shymbulak" Ski Resort - Almaty
Breakfast in "Sarai-Bar" café. Packing stuff and check-out. Descent by cable car to Medeu sports complex. Transfer to Almaty city.

* On request, if you wish to ride exclusively on the groomed slopes on the territory of the ski resorts, the program can be revised and the Elik-Sai ski base is replaced with another ski resort.

Tour Rates Include:

-transfers in a comfortable car according to the program,

-services of professional English-speaking ski guide,

-sightseeing 3-hour tour of Almaty city,

-entrance fees according to the program of sightseeing tour,

-day ski-passes at the ski resorts,

-meals according to the program (lunch and dinner on Day 1, full board on Days 2-4, breakfast on Day 5). Please advise any specific dietary requirements at the time of booking (traditional local cuisine includes mostly lamb or beef, dough, dairy products),

-accommodation in ethno-village "Huns", «Elik-Sai» Ski Base (scout camp), hotel on «Shymbulak» Ski Resort.


Tour Rates Exclude:

-rental of ski and avalanche equipment,

-surcharge for visiting Saka bath-house at «Shymbulak» Ski Resort,

-surcharge for accommodation in a comfortable guest house at «Elik-Sai» Ski Base,

-meals (other than specified),

-personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program, accommodation in Almaty before or after the tour (if required),

-visa support and registration in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan (if required),

-insurance policy.

Booking Terms: full payment is required for tour reservations. Accepted methods of payment: cash in a local currency, wire transfer, bank card.

Cancellation Terms: 50% of the tour price is not refundable in case of tour cancellation 7 days hours or less before the tour departure date. Tour price is not refundable in case of the tour cancellation 24 hours or less before tour departure date, as well as in case of no-show or lateness.

Group Size: minimum 1 person, maximum 14 people.

Age Restriction: 18+

Required Equipment: freeride skis/snowboard, ski/snowboard boots, poles, avalanche equipment (ABS system or avalanche safety kit: shovel, probe, and transceiver), freeride backpack with a volume of 20-30 liters with ski/snowboard fixation, goggles with a spare lens for bright sunlight and cloudy weather, helmet, gloves, sunscreen, thermos with tea, personal AID kit, comfortable functional clothing for riding (base layer (thermal underwear), gore-tex jacket and pants, additional layers of clothing for insulation, downy sweater or vest).

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