Review free ride tour
If walking up mountains is not your thing but you still want to discover Almaty’s best freeride spots and shred some of the finest powder the Zailiisky Alatau has to offer, then we have something that’s perfect: our Almaty freeride intro tour, designed to give you a taste of three very different but equally amazing resorts near the city. We’ll visit Ak-Bulak, Yeliksai, and Shymbulak, where our experienced guides will share their expert local knowledge to help you find the best lines and the freshest snow at each spot, while ensuring your safety every run down.
Each morning we’ll hit up a new resort and after an exciting day in the mountains we’ll return to the city where you’ll be walking distance of Almaty’s best bars, clubs and restaurants.
Shymbulak Mountain Resort
Kazakhstan’s equivalent of Zermatt or Vail, Shymbulak is the most developed and easily accessible resort around Almaty, as well as the most expensive. The resort itself is located at an altitude of 2,260 metres, with a series of modern gondola lifts taking you up to the Talgar Pass at 3,163. Everything you’d find at an alpine resort you’ll find here – think world class infrastructure and ski rental, international chain restaurants, and European-level prices to match.
Ak-Bulak Mountain Resort
Ak-Bulak is located 40 km East of Almaty in the Soldatsky gorge, and is a long-established favourite with Almaty freeriders. While it’s shorter on the bling than Shymbulak, the resort has modern infrastructure and decent restaurant options. However, there’s only really one reason to come here: a steep, two-seater chairlift at the top of the resort that leads to couloir after un-pisted couloir, most of them accessible right off the back of the lift with no hiking needed. This is some of Almaty’s most accessible powder, but as with many of the resorts here if you know what you’re looking for you can still have the best of it almost to yourself, even on a bluebird Saturday after a fresh 30cm overnight.
A small, family-run ski slope 25 km East of Almaty, Yeliksai is a throwback to what skiing was like in the Soviet Union. The lifts are home-made rope tows of the ‘nutcracker’ type (snowboarders in particular, get ready for an ascent that’s almost as exhilarating as the descent) and there are no restaurants, no piste bashers, and few of the other benefits of civilization – however, this is the closest thing Almaty has to a freeride mecca, and what you get in return is no lift queues, prices a fraction of what they are elsewhere, and a huge selection of lift-accessible terrain to choose from. If you come here on a week day, chances are you’ll have the place entirely to yourself.
Detailed information on programme dates and spaces available can be found in the calendar.
Our team is flexible, and will be happy to create a special programme on dates which are convenient for you
€280 per person (for a group of 3-4 people)
250 € (for a group of 5+ people)
The cost includes:
Instruction from a qualified mountain guide; transfer between the resorts and the city; loan of avalanche safety equipment (if needed). The cost doesn’t include ski passes, which participants will need to purchase themselves.
You will need to be:
– confident riding on and off piste;
– in good physical shape;
– inspired to discover new places and meet new people!
You will need:
– Skis or snowboard suitable for freeride;
– Warm clothes (waterproof outer shell, fleece, down jacket in case of cold weather);
– Goggles (ideally with lenses for bright and flat light);
– Head torch;