Backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Almaty, Kazakhstan

The mountains around Almaty offer almost unlimited opportunities for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. While there are several ski resorts located around the city, in order to really get to know the Zailiiskii Alatau it’s best to explore the mountains on touring skis, a splitboard, or snowshoes!

There are a huge number of valleys, ridges, peaks and glaciers located within an hour’s travel from the city, and the small number of locals riding in the backcountry means it’s regularly possible to find untracked lines as long as two to three weeks after the last snowfall.

There are two main ‘seasons’ for backcountry riding in Kazakhstan:

1. The winter backcountry season (December to March). In this period it’s possible to ride the backcountry below the treeline, at elevations ranging from 1,500 to 3,000m.


2. The spring backcountry season (April to June). In the spring and summer there is still plenty of snow above the treeline, and you can find a multitude of lines on glaciers and the higher slopes of 4,000m-plus peaks. It’s not uncommon to ride lines with vertical descents of up to 1,500m during the spring.


If you plan to spend some time in the backcountry while you’re visiting Almaty, the team at FrozenRocks can help you organize a tour and find a qualified local mountain guide. We’ll help you choose the most suitable areas based on your group’s ability. We also offer a number of guided skitour programmes over the course of the season.
You can see the full programme in the Calendar section.

Backcountry Guides

Yuliya Polyakova
Yuliya Polyakova
Programme Director
Yuliya is the founder and Programme Director of the FrozenRocks freeride school. She's been skiing for eight years and is
Sergey Brodskiy
Sergey Brodskiy
Senior guide, avalanche safety instructor
Sergey is a professional IFMGA-qualified mountain guide and mountain rescue specialist, a former member of the Kazakhstan national mountaineering team,
Oleg Shkutin
Oleg Shkutin
Guide and instructor
Oleg is a member of the Shymbulak Ski Patrol and Avalanche Safety Team, and is studying for a mountain guide