Kazakhstan Ski Touring

Types: Expeditions, International, Ski and Snowboarding, Touring

Region: International

Kazakhstan Ski Touring

Kazakhstan Ski Touring is undiscovered, amazingly wild and remote, ideal if you’re interested in something unique and off the beaten path.

Kazakhstan Ski Touring

Our Kazakhstan Ski Touring trip will be based out of the Altay Mountain Lodge (well not a Lodge yet but rather some yurts) located in the southwestern Altay mountains in the East Kazakhstan region. The yurts are situated in the Bogdanikha river valley at an elevation of 700 meters and are surrounded by mountains about 1800 meters high. This is an entirely new ski touring destination as no one else has skied or snowboarded this zone except for the crew setting up the yurts!! Being part of Siberia geographically, the place gets early-season snowfalls that continue till mid-spring. And thanks to the local microclimate and steady, relatively cold temperatures, the region provides excellent powder skiing from mid-November to the end of March.

The Area:

The locals that have set-up the Kazakhstan ski touring yurts discovered this place a few years ago. A few of them then spent last winter in the area to get more information before deciding to set up regular operations there (they plan to build a lodge in a few years). Their private ski touring zone covers 25 square kilometers (2500 hectares), with 80+ recorded runs (and way more to explore). The zone has a ton of treeline skiing with well spaced trees, open glades, and couloirs. However, from mid-winter onward there's the opportunity to access some alpine areas as well if the weather cooperates. The runs are around 400 to 900 vertical meters on 25-40 degree slopes.

Logistics:

Logistics can be a bit tough when traveling off-the-beaten-path and our Kazakhstan ski touring trip definitely qualifies. But not to worry, you'll get a detailed logistics package with all the information you need and of course we'll be there to help if anything comes up.

In the meantime here's a quick outlined of what's involved: First, to get there, you should fly to Almaty (ALA). There are some direct flights from Europe and many options with connections. Plan to arrive a day (or more) early, hotel recommendation will be supplied and a guide will be available to explore town with you. From there, it's a short flight to Ust-Kamenogorsk (UKK), the local name of the city is Oskemen. We recommend booking with Air Astana for this local flight as they're most reliable but of course we will supply exact booking details with your final logistics package. From there, we get picked up by a comfortable bus for 3.5-4 hour ride into the mountains followed by a 15-minute snowmobile ride transfer into the camp.

Camp logistics relies on two modern snowmobiles with passenger and cargo sledges. They are also available to help shorten the approaches into some of the more remote parts of the valley, saving energy and time for powder skiing.

Food:

Like any international ski trip, the culture and food is half the reason to explore and you won't be disappointed on this trip! The crew does an amazing job with the food which includes traditional Kazakh and Central Asia dishes with premium local ingredients. There are three hot meals daily (breakfast, après-ski soup & snacks, dinner) and sandwiches for lunch. You can purchase alcoholic drinks at the accommodation for a reasonable price (beer, vine, liquors). Or, if you prefer,  you can bring your own without any additional fees.

The chef can accommodate most dietary requirements and some food allergies we just ask that you let us know what you need when booking.

Waiver & Risk Management:

As you know, outdoor activities involve numerous hazards including, but not limited to, disease, avalanches, crevasses, rockfall, slips and falls, equipment failure, poor weather, etc. And while we do our best to anticipate and mitigate these hazards we cannot completely eliminate them. So, as with anything fun, you will be required to sign our Participant Release to take part in one of our courses or trips.

Custom Dates Available

Just let us know what dates will work for you and we will put together a custom package.

Fine Print:

  • Friday (or earlier): Fly into Almaty (ALA) and grab a hotel
  • Saturday: A short flight to Ust-Kamenogorsk is followed by a transfer to the lodge via bus & snowmobile
  • Sunday to Friday: 6 full days of skiing or splitboarding followed by a hot banya and cold beer
  • Saturday: Early morning departure from the Lodge to Ust-Kamenogorsk, where you will take an afternoon flight back to Almaty and off home
Kazakhstan Ski Touring

Highlights

  • Adventurous trip into a new area
  • Great snow
  • Unique zone
  • Authentic food, yurt and banya
Types Expeditions, International, Ski and Snowboarding, Touring
Region International
Season January to March
Prices From $3,500.00

Difficulty: Difficulty: Intermediate Intermediate

Expert to Advanced downhill skiers or split boarders with experience touring. You do not need any formal avalanche safety certification, but some basic ski mountaineering experience is needed.

What's Included

  • ACMG/IFMGA Certified Guides
  • All meals at the lodge/yurts
  • 7 Nights Accommodation
  • Shuttles from the airport to the yurts and back
  • Black Sheep Adventure Sports Swag
  • Help with booking flights, hotels, etc.

What's Not Included

  • Flights to/from Kazakhstan
  • Food & lodging when not at the yurt
  • Travel & Medical insurance
  • Personal ski & safety equipment
  • Alcoholic beverages

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