Shymbulak Mountain Resort: Your Ultimate Guide to Skiing in Kazakhstan

A Winter Sports Enthusiasts Guide to Skiing in Kazakhstan at Shymbulak Mountain Ski Resort in Almaty

In this blog post about skiing in Kazakhstan, I share my guide on how to plan a trip to Shymbulak Mountain Ski Resort in Almaty.

The resort boasts a range of slopes catering to all skill levels. From gentle runs for beginners to challenging terrains for the more experienced. Indeed, everyone can enjoy the slopes regardless of skiing or snowboarding skills.

The last time I was in Almaty was summer, and I was bicycle touring the Tien Shan. It didn’t even cross my mind that there was skiing in Kazakhstan.  

In this guide:

  • Where is Shymbulak
  • How to get there
  • What’s the skiing like
  • Is it suitable for beginners
  • Ski rental
  • Ski lessons
  • Alternative winter sports and activities
  • Apres ski
  • Where to stay
  • When to go
  • FAQs

Where is Shymbulak Mountain Resort?

Located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Alatau mountain range, Shymbulak Mountain Resort is just 25 km from Almaty.

Is Shybulak Mountain Resort Kazakhstan’s top skiing destination? 

The majestic Tien Shan mountains provide a stunning backdrop and proper winter weather, with snow cover from November to April, making it an ideal spot for winter sports enthusiasts.

shymbulak mountain resort celebrated 70 years in 2024
Shymbulak mountain resort celebrated 70 years in 2024

TL;DR – My Skiing in Kazakstan Itinerary for Shymbulak Ski Resort

During my visit in February 2024, One GBP was worth 570 Kazakh Tenge. The total cost of the trip was a bit over a grand. Flights from Goa were via Delhi/Mumbai (£370 return). Hotel, we got a deal as walk-ins (£50 a night). Ski hire was a bargain, just £15 for the week. Ski pass was available for half-day (£11), full-day (£15), night session (£17) and weekend session (£18/£22).

For meals, we splashed out a few times on traditional Kazakh fare and a half dozen bottles of decent wine. At the top end, we spent £60 for starters, mains and wine for two. Breakfasts and snacks were a few pounds. For instance, I could get coffee, menemen and five burek/pastries for under a tenner. Plenty for a day on the mountain.

Trip logistics

  • Fly directly to Almaty International Airport
  • Taxi to Dostyk Plaza (2500/3500 tenge)
  • Stay Grand Eurasia Hotel (30000/night)
  • Ski hire at Tolagai (5500/week)
  • Ski pass (5400 – 11600 half day/full day/weekends)
  • Bus to Medeu daily (400/return)
  • Supper in Almaty (10000 +/- so much choice)

Daily schedule

  • Bus to Medeu
  • Gondola to 2260m
  • Coffee at Marrone Rosso
  • Chair lift to 3200m
  • Ski like a boss
  • Enjoy the apres
  • Repeat
groomed piste runs at shymbulak mountain resort with a view of almaty in the distance
groomed piste runs at Shymbulak Mountain Resort with a view of Almaty in the distance

Shymbulak Mountain Ski Resort: City To Piste Since 1954

Shymbulak, sometimes called Chimbulak, is well known for its modern facilities. Chiefly, a state-of-the-art cable car system offers breathtaking views as it travels from the base to the higher slopes.

Celebrating 70 years of skiing in Kazakhstan, Shymbulak is a well-established resort. Providing high-quality ski lifts, grooming equipment, and snowmaking systems that guarantee optimal skiing conditions throughout the season.

Moreover, Shymbulak offers a vibrant après-ski culture. The dining, entertainment, and relaxation options are endless. From cosy mountain cafes to lively bars and wellness facilities. Almaty offers all the fun you come to expect from a modern city.

Skiing in Kazakhstan is a celebration of the best of Central Asia

In summary, Shymbulak‘s blend of natural beauty, excellent facilities, diverse slopes, and vibrant après-ski life makes it a standout skiing destination in Kazakhstan. Attracting visitors from around the globe to experience its winter wonderland allure.

no 12 bus at dostyk plaza goes directly to shymbulak gondola station in 35 minutes
no 12 bus at Dostyk Plaza goes directly to Shymbulak Gondola station in 35 minutes

How Do I Get to Shymbulak Mountain Resort from Almaty?

Reaching Shymbulak Mountain Resort from Almaty is easy. The ride to the Medeu is through a beautiful forested valley. The resort is just 25 kilometres south of Almaty city. Making it ideal for a day trip or for those staying in the city

By Public Transport:

One of the best ways to get to Shymbulak is by taking public transport to the Medeu Ice Skating Rink. You can catch bus number 12 from Almaty, which will take you directly to Medeu.

I took the bus at Dostyk Plaza. A busy bus stop close to the shopping mall. We stayed in this neighbourhood because it’s close to the mountain and the bus route. It worked out great, however, early mornings to the resort and evenings back t the city can be busy.

The journey is scenic and takes about 30 minutes from the city centre. From Medeu, you can hop on the gondola lift, which offers a spectacular 4.5-kilometre ride up to Shymbulak ski resort.

Enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and valleys 

By Taxi or Ride-Sharing Services:

For our first trip, with the skis and boots, we took a taxi. Ride-sharing services like Yandex Taxi or Uber are a great option. The drive to Medeu from Almaty is quick and allows you to travel ad hoc. From Medeu, you’ll take the gondola lift to reach the resort.

By Car:

If you’re driving, take Dostyk Avenue south from Almaty towards Medeu. There’s parking available at Medeu, where you can leave your car before taking the gondola lift to Shymbulak. The road is well-maintained, but it’s advisable to check weather conditions during winter. That is to say, snow and ice can make the journey more challenging.

Gondola Lift:

The gondola lift from Medeu to Shymbulak is an experience in itself. It operates daily, with extended hours for night skiing on certain days. The lift takes you from 1,691 meters at Medeu to 2,260 meters at Shymbulak.

The aerial views of the Almaty and the valley are stunning.

Regardless of how you travel, the journey to Shymbulak Mountain Resort from Almaty is part of the adventure. Indeed, it sets the stage for an unforgettable skiing adventure in the heart of the Tien Shan mountains.

the taxi rank at medeu shymbulak gondola station
the taxi rank at medeu shymbulak gondola station

What Are the Ski Slopes Like at Shymbulak?

Shymbulak Ski Resort offers a diverse range of slopes that cater to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Therefore, making it a practical destination for winter sports enthusiasts with families.

The resort’s elevation ranges from 2,260 meters at the base to 3,200 meters at its highest point. Ultimately, providing a substantial vertical drop that adds to the excitement and challenge of the slopes.

Beginner Slopes:

Shymbulak offers gentle, wide slopes designed to provide safe and enjoyable learning for those new to skiing or snowboarding. These beginner-friendly areas allow novices to build confidence and skills comfortably. All this is done with easy access to lifts, hire shops, and cafes.

Intermediate Runs:

For the most part, Shymbulak’s slopes are suited for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. These runs offer a mix of terrains, including groomed pistes and varied inclines. Subsequently, providing the perfect setting for full power piste action. The intermediate slopes balance challenge and fun with stunning views of the mountains.

Advanced and Expert Slopes:

For the more experienced adventurers seeking a thrill, Shymbulak does not disappoint. The resort features several challenging runs, including steep descents, mogul fields, and off-piste areas. It’s possible to traverse a wee while for those looking to venture beyond the groomed trails.

The Talgar Pass, reaching up to 3,200 meters, offers some of the most challenging terrains, with spectacular views and the opportunity for powder skiing after fresh snowfalls.

Snow Parks and Off-Piste:

In addition to the marked slopes, Shymbulak boasts an extensive snow park for freestyle enthusiasts. Wing your way over jumps, rails, and boxes to test your tricks and skills.

For those interested in backcountry skiing and snowboarding there are ample opportunities for off-piste powder adventures

Exploring these areas with a guide and proper avalanche safety equipment is recommended.

Facilities and Lifts:

Shymbulak is equipped with modern facilities, including a high-speed gondola and chairlifts that ensure quick and easy access to all levels of slopes. The well-maintained lifts and the efficient layout of the resort minimize wait times and maximize your time spent on the snow.

Skiing in Kazakhstan peaks at Shymbulak Mountain Resort

white out at 3200m the top of shymbulak chair lift
white out at 3200m at Talgar pass, the top of Shymbulak chair lift

Can Beginners Enjoy Skiing at Shymbulak Mountain Resort?

Beginners can enjoy skiing at Shymbulak Mountain Resort. The resort is designed to accommodate skiers of all skill levels, including those just beginning to learn. Here’s why Shymbulak is an excellent choice for beginners:

Beginner-Friendly Slopes:

Shymbulak offers several gentle slopes that are perfect for beginners. These areas provide a safe and controlled environment for new skiers to learn the basics of skiing, such as turning, stopping, and controlling speed. The slopes are wide and well-groomed, reducing fear for those new to the sport.

Ski Schools and Instructors:

The resort has a reputable ski school with experienced instructors who offer lessons in various languages, including English. Beginners can benefit from group or private lessons tailored to their skill level and learning pace. Instructors use proven techniques and a supportive approach to help novices gain confidence and improve their skiing abilities.

Gradual Progression:

As beginners become more comfortable on the snow, they can gradually progress to slightly more challenging runs within the resort. This step-by-step progression helps new skiers build skills in a supportive environment, ensuring a positive and rewarding learning experience.

Supportive Atmosphere:

The resort’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it an ideal place for beginners to embark on their skiing journey. Fellow skiers and the resort staff are generally supportive and helpful, creating a community feel that can be very encouraging for those new to winter sports.

shymbulak ski pass tariffs for 2024 season
Shymbulak ski pass tariffs for the 2024 season

What Type of Lift Passes Are Available at Shymbulak, and How Much Do They Cost?

Shymbulak Mountain Resort offers a variety of lift passes to cater to the needs of different skiers and snowboarders. Visitors can enjoy the slopes according to their preferences and duration of stay. The pricing of lift passes can vary based on factors such as the season, day of the week, and age of the skier.

Types of Lift Passes:

  1. Day Passes: Ideal for those planning to spend a day on the slopes. These passes give unlimited access to all lifts for the entire day. Prices typically differ between weekdays and weekends, with weekends and holidays being slightly higher due to increased demand.
  2. Half-Day Passes: Perfect for visitors who plan to ski for just part of the day, either from the morning until noon or from noon until the close of the lifts. These passes offer a more flexible option for those not wanting to commit to a full day.
  3. Night Skiing Passes: Shymbulak offers a unique night skiing experience on certain days of the week. Night passes are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  4. Season Passes: For the most dedicated skiers and snowboarders who plan to hit the slopes multiple times, a season pass provides unlimited lift access for the entire skiing season.

Cost of Lift Passes:

  • A one-day ski pass for adults on weekdays might cost around 7,600 tenge, while the price increases to around 11,400 tenge on weekends.
  • The cost is typically lower for children, with weekday passes around 3,000 tenge and weekend passes around 4,800 tenge.
  • Night skiing passes are usually priced around 8,500 tenge for adults and 3,000 tenge for children.
  • Season passes offer the best value for frequent visitors, with adult passes costing around 300,000 tenge, youth passes (ages 11-23) around 220,000 tenge, and children’s passes around 150,000 tenge.

It’s important to note that prices are subject to change and may vary based on specific dates, promotions, and other factors. Visitors are encouraged to check the official Shymbulak website or contact the resort directly.

skiing in kazahstan at almaty shybulak mountain ski resort is pretty epic
skiing in Kazakhstan at Almaty Shybulak Mountain Ski Resort is pretty epic

What Kind of Ski and Snowboard Equipment Rentals Are Available at Shymbulak?

Shymbulak Mountain Resort offers a comprehensive range of ski and snowboard equipment rentals to accommodate visitors of all skill levels and preferences. Like beginners needing the complete kit to experienced skiers looking to rent a specific piece of equipment. We hired our gear in Almaty at Tolagai. Cheap and cheerful and super helpful staff.

Available Rental Equipment:

  1. Skis and Snowboards: A wide selection of skis and snowboards are available to suit different styles and skill levels. From Alpine carving skis to fat powder planks, it’s all possible. 
  2. Boots: Comfortable and well-fitted ski and snowboard boots are crucial for a good day on the slopes. Make sure you get the right size.
  3. Poles: Ski poles for all sizes and skiing styles are available. I ski a 130cm pole; I’m 187cm tall.
  4. Helmets: Wearing a helmet is highly recommended for all skiers and snowboarders, regardless of their experience level.
  5. Protective Gear: Additional protective gear, such as wrist guards, knee pads, and back protectors, can also be rented.
  6. Clothing: For those who may not have come fully prepared for the cold mountain conditions, ski jackets, pants, and gloves are available for rent. These are especially useful for visitors who come from warmer climates and might not own winter sports attire.
  7. Goggles: To protect your eyes from the sun’s glare and improve visibility, ski and snowboard goggles can be rented. They’re essential for a comfortable skiing experience, especially during bright days or snowfall.

Rental Process:

Renting equipment at Shymbulak is designed to be easy. Visitors can head to the rental shops located at the resort. You’ll need a valid ID or passport to complete the rental process.

Tips for Renting Equipment:

  • Arrive early, especially during peak season or weekends, to ensure a wider selection and avoid waiting times.
  • Be honest about your skill level to ensure you get the most suitable equipment.
  • Ensure boots fit snugly but comfortably to avoid discomfort or injury.
  • Hire a locker at Shymbulak to store your gear during your stay.

Are There Skiing or Snowboarding Lessons Available at Shymbulak for Non-Russian Speakers?

Yes, Shymbulak Mountain Resort offers skiing and snowboarding lessons that cater to non-Russian speakers. The resort’s ski and snowboard school employs a team of experienced instructors who speak multiple languages, including English.

Lessons Offered:

  1. Private Lessons: These one-on-one sessions are ideal for personalized instruction tailored to the individual’s skill level and learning pace. Private lessons provide focused attention from the instructor, allowing for rapid progress and a customized learning experience.
  2. Group Lessons: Group lessons are an excellent option for those who enjoy learning. Classes are organized based on skill level, ensuring all participants have a similar learning experience. Group lessons also allow for meeting fellow skiers or snowboarders and sharing the learning journey.
  3. Beginner Packages: For those new to skiing or snowboarding, beginner packages offer a comprehensive introduction to the basics, including equipment usage, balance, turning, and stopping. These packages build confidence and foundational skills in a supportive group setting.
  4. Children’s Lessons: Focusing on fun and safety while teaching skiing or snowboarding fundamentals. Experienced instructors take the children’s ski lessons, ensuring a positive and encouraging learning environment.
  5. Advanced Clinics: Advanced clinics and workshops are available for more experienced skiers and snowboarders looking to refine specific skills or tackle more challenging terrain. These sessions can cover carving, moguls, off-piste techniques, and freestyle tricks.

Booking Lessons:

  • It’s recommended to book lessons in advance. Primarily during peak season, to ensure availability and secure a spot with an instructor who speaks your preferred language.
  • Lessons can typically be booked through the Shymbulak Mountain Resort’s official website. Alternatively, by phone, or in person at the resort’s ski and snowboard school.

Tips for Non-Russian Speakers:

  • Clearly communicate your language preference when booking lessons to be matched with an appropriate instructor.
  • Feel free to ask for clarification on instructions or techniques during the lesson. Instructors are there to help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable learning experience.
dostyk plaza shopping mall at night time
Dostyk Plaza Shopping Mall at night time

What Other Winter Activities Can I Enjoy at Shymbulak Besides Skiing?

As an established resort, Shymbulak offers a wide range of winter sports. From skating on the highest ice rink in the world to back country hiking in Medeu valley. Here’s a glimpse into the alternative winter adventures you can embark on at Shymbulak:


Besides skiing, snowboarding is a popular activity at Shymbulak, with slopes suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders. The resort also features a snow park where snowboarders can practice their jumps and tricks.


Explore the serene landscapes of the Tien Shan mountains on foot with snowshoeing excursions. It’s a great way to enjoy the tranquillity of the snow-covered forests and meadows. Offering a peaceful contrast to the adrenaline-filled ski slopes.

Tobogganing and Sledding:

Families and visitors looking for a fun, less intense activity can enjoy tobogganing or sledging. It’s a delightful way to experience the thrill of the snow.

Freestyle Terrain Parks:

For those into freestyle skiing or snowboarding, Shymbulak hosts terrain parks with various obstacles, jumps, and rails designed to test and improve your freestyle skills in a fun and challenging environment. During our trip we met Will Martin, a pro free rider competing in the Freeride World Tour. This guy can ski! Check him out:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will Martin (@freewillyski)

Ice Skating:

Nearby Medeu, the world’s highest outdoor ice skating rink, offers a magical ice skating experience under the open sky. It’s a perfect activity for families and couples, just a short ride from Shymbulak.

Après-Ski and Wellness:

After a day on the slopes, visitors can unwind in one of the many après-ski bars and restaurants at Shymbulak. Enjoy warm beverages, delicious food, and lively entertainment. The resort also offers wellness facilities for those seeking relaxation, including saunas and hot tubs to soothe sore muscles.

Mountain Tours:

Join a guided mountain tour to learn more about the area’s flora, fauna, and geography. These tours provide insightful information about the local ecosystem and offer stunning panoramic views of the Almaty region.

Photography and Sightseeing:

The landscapes of Shymbulak and its surroundings provide an epic backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Sightseeing tours are available for those who wish to capture the beauty of the mountains or enjoy the scenic views.

Cultural Events and Festivals:

Shymbulak sometimes hosts cultural events, competitions, and festivals. These offerings provide a glimpse into local traditions and an opportunity to engage with the community. For instance, during my visit, Shymbulak hosted the Freeride World Tour Qualifier.

apres ski in almaty at a traditional kazakh restaurant
apres ski in Almaty at a traditional Kazakh restaurant; horse meat is a national dish of Kazakhstan

How is the Apres-Ski at Shymbulak Resort? 

Shymbulak Mountain Resort boasts a variety of dining venues that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Ensuring that visitors can enjoy the best of the après-ski on the mountain.

  1. Assorti Restaurant: Located within the resort, Assorti is a culinary haven offering a mix of local, European, and Japanese cuisines. It’s known for its delightful pizzas, an extensive wine collection, and mouth-watering kebabs. The cosy ambience and the tasty desserts make it a perfect spot for a relaxing meal with family or friends.
  2. Marrone Rosso: This cafe offers stunning mountain views and serves gourmet coffee from select beans. Accompanied by fresh bread, pastries, healthy salads, and sandwiches, Marrone Rosso is ideal for a casual dining experience. 
  3. Chalet: Meat lovers will find their paradise at Chalet, known for its rustic interior and warm fireplace. The restaurant offers panoramic windows overlooking the mountains. Meaty treats include marbled beef, lamb kebabs, and exotic options like wild boar fillet and horse meat dishes.
  4. Yurt Bar: For a truly unique experience, the Yurt Bar at the Talgar Pass offers drinks in a traditional Central Asian setting. It’s a fantastic place to unwind and soak in the local culture at the highest point of the ski resort.

Beyond the Slopes: Après-Ski Activities in Almaty

Almaty is a beacon of prosperity, known throughout Central Asia as a place of great cultural interest and commercial success. And since it is justy 35 minutes drive to mountain, it’s easy to see why the Apres Ski in Almaty is so popular.

We stayed in Dostyk Plaza, a bustling part of town close to the mountain and on the bus route. Excellent hotels, bars and restaurants were abundant.

Our particular favourites were:

  • Degirmen – easy going all day Turkish cafe. Many meals were enjoyed here
  • Tyubeteyka – best for traditional Kazakh fare, Georgian wine and horse ribs
  • Bereket – popular neighbourhood restaurant serving Turkish and Kazakh classics
  • Cafe Leffe – family-friendly dining hall with excellent draft ales
  • Bar Rojo – tasty tapas bar and bottle shop with an extensive selection

What Accommodation Options Are Available at Shymbulak Resort?

Stay On The Mountain Or In The City:

Shymbulak Resort provides several accommodation options ranging from luxurious to more budget-friendly choices, ensuring a comfortable stay for all visitors.

  1. Shymbulak Resort Hotel: Located right on the slopes, this hotel offers ski-in/ski-out convenience to maximize your time skiing. The hotel features comfortable rooms with stunning mountain views and easy access to the resort’s facilities.
  2. SNeG Hotel and Restaurant: Cosy rooms and tasty restaurant at the middle ski station of Shymbulak. Ski-to-door service at 2850m with cocktails and outdoor terrace.
  3. Lesnaya Skazka Mountain Resort & Spa: For those seeking luxury, this resort is a short drive from Shymbulak and offers upscale accommodation, a spa, and dining options in a picturesque forest setting.
  4. Grand Eurasia Hotel: Situated in Almaty, this hotel is an excellent option for visitors who prefer to stay in the city and travel to Shymbulak for skiing. It offers comfortable amenities and easy access to Almaty’s attractions.
  5. Boutique and Budget Hotels: Almaty has a range of boutique and budget hotels that cater to different preferences and budgets. Many visitors stay in the city to explore its offerings and make day trips to Shymbulak.
shymbulak mountain ski resort in almaty was unseasonably cold in february 2024
Shambala Mountain Ski Resort in Almaty was unseasonably cold in February 2024

What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Shymbulak for Skiing?

The best time of year to visit Shymbulak Mountain Resort for skiing is typically from late November to early April. This period offers the most reliable snow conditions. January and February are the peak months for snow quality and depth.

Peak Ski Season:

  • January and February: These months are considered the prime time for skiing at Shymbulak due to the consistent snowfall and cold temperatures, which maintain excellent snow conditions on the slopes. Also, the resort is fully operational, and all facilities, including ski lifts and restaurants, are open to visitors.

Early Season:

  • Late November to December: The early ski season offers good skiing opportunities, especially with modern snowmaking capabilities supplementing natural snowfall. However, early season conditions can be variable. Not all slopes may be open, depending on the resort’s natural snowfall.

Late Season:

  • March to Early April: As spring approaches, the weather at Shymbulak begins to warm up, but skiing can still be delightful, particularly in the mornings when the snow is firmer. The resort often experiences longer sunny days by March, making for pleasant skiing conditions. However, the snow can get slushier in the afternoons.

Off-Peak Advantages:

Visiting Shymbulak during the shoulder periods of the ski season (early December and late March) can have advantages. Such as fewer crowds and lower prices for accommodation and ski passes. 


  • Holidays and School Breaks: It’s worth noting that the resort can get quite busy during local holidays and school breaks, as these are popular times for both locals and tourists to visit Shymbulak. 
  • Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and resort reports for the most up-to-date information on snow conditions and slope availability.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Shymbulak for skiing depends on your preferences for snow conditions, weather, and crowds. Whether you’re looking for the excitement of peak season skiing or the quieter, softer days of early and late season.

Shymbulak offers a memorable skiing experience set against the stunning backdrop of the Tien Shan mountains.

ski run stats from shymbulak mountain ski resort
ski run stats from a day at Shymbulak Mountain Ski Resort

What Are The Best Ski Resorts In Kazakhstan?

1. Ak-Bulak Ski Resort

Located approximately 45 minutes from Almaty, Ak-Bulak offers a variety of slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The resort features modern lift systems, rental services, and ski schools. Its proximity to Almaty makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

2. Tabagan Ski Resort

Situated near the city of Almaty, Tabagan is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. The resort has slopes for beginners and intermediate skiers, alongside amenities such as snow tubing, a hotel, and restaurants. Tabagan is an excellent choice for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

3. Elik-Sai Ski Resort

Elik-Sai, located in the picturesque Turgen Gorge, is a smaller resort known for its natural beauty and tranquil setting. Similarly, it’s ideal for beginners and those seeking a more relaxed skiing experience away from the crowds.

4. Karakol Ski Resort

Although technically in Kyrgyzstan, Karakol is easily accessible from Kazakhstan and is popular among Kazakhstani skiers. Without a doubt, it offers some of the best skiing in Central Asia, with a range of slopes and deep powder snow. Ultimately, this makes it a favourite for off-piste and freeride enthusiasts.

5. Chimbulak Ski Resort

Sometimes used interchangeably with Shymbulak due to its location in the same mountain range. Chimbulak offers additional slopes and facilities, further expanding the winter sports options in the region.

6. Kumbel Ski Resort

Finally, Kumbel, situated in the Ile-Alatau National Park, is a newer addition to Kazakhstan’s ski scene. Great for beginners and intermediate skiers, offering a peaceful skiing experience amidst the natural beauty of the national park.

Kazakhstan’s ski resorts offer something for every winter enthusiast

smiles all round after a week skiing in kazakhstan
smiles all round after a week skiing in Kazakhstan

FAQ: Skiing and Travel in Kazakhstan

1. Does Kazakhstan have ski resorts?

Yes, Kazakhstan is home to several ski resorts, with Shymbulak Mountain Resort near Almaty being the most famous. Additionally, other notable resorts include Ak-Bulak, Tabagan, and Elik-Sai. Each offers unique skiing experiences amidst the stunning landscapes of Kazakhstan.

2. Is it expensive to ski in Kazakhstan?

I found skiing in Kazakhstan to be wildly affordable compared to Western standards. The cost of lift passes, equipment rental, and accommodations at or near the ski resorts are great value. Indeed, this makes Kazakhstan an attractive skiing destination for budget-conscious travellers.

3. Can you ski in Astana?

Astana, now known as Nur-Sultan, does not have natural ski resorts due to its flat terrain. However, the city offers indoor skiing facilities. Visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding year-round in many Central Asia ski resorts.

4. Who is the skier in Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstan has produced several notable skiers who have competed on the international stage. One of the most famous Kazakhstani skiers is Vladimir Smirnov. He won multiple Olympic medals and World Championships in cross-country skiing during the 1980s and 1990s.

5. What is the best time to visit Kazakhstan?

The best time to visit Kazakhstan depends on your interests. The best months for skiing and winter sports are from late November to early April. Furthermore, for hiking and sightseeing, the ideal times are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). The weather is mild, and the natural landscapes are stunning.

6. Is Kazakhstan hot or cold?

Kazakhstan experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F), especially in the south. Meanwhile, winter temperatures can drop below -20 °C (- 4°F) in many parts of the country. The mountainous regions where ski resorts are located typically have colder temperatures year-round, making them suitable for winter sports.

Have you skied in Kazakhstan? Did you enjoy Shymbulak Mountain Resort? Share your story in the comments:

Leave a Comment