Little tourists dare come to Kyrgyzstan during winter time, yet this mountainous country is a paradise for ski and snowboard amateurs.
More than 90% of the Kyrgyz territory is covered by mountains, three of which are higher than 7000m. You can go cross-country-skiing or freeride just about anywhere. Kyrgyzstan now offers cheap and quality services like Cat skiing in the Jyrgalan or Suussamyr Valleys, for experienced freeriders. You’ll be able to spend the night in the middle of nowhere, in a heated yurt, just like a nomad. And if you want to do it like a nomad all the way, then get on a horse to get up a slope, before enjoying untouched snow…
Kyrgyzstan also has several ski resorts. In winter time, there are 83km of ski slopes in the many resorts in the country. The highest point reaches 3048m and always offers fresh snow. Although they don’t have the most modern lifts, they offer great experiences for a small price. The Karakol ski base is the largest in the country and used to be very important in the Soviet Union, when it was used to train the soviet Olympic teams in the 1980s.
Skiing in Kyrgyzstan is different than skiing in a crowded luxurious resort in Europe. You’ll be able to enjoy fresh air and a calm atmosphere, meet very welcoming people, and discover the amazing landscape and nomadic culture of the country.
East of the Issyk Kul Lake, the world’s second largest mountain lake, Karakol has the largest skiing domain in Kyrgyzstan. It takes around 6 hours to reach it from Bishkek, the country’s capital.
Karakol is a charming town that attracts tourists all year long. It’s a great starting point for hikes in the summer and for winter activities in the cold months. You’ll find different guest houses, including Dungan guest houses if you want to learn about a new culture. The ski station is located around 7 km from the city center, in the Tian Shan Mountain. The slopes are between 2300m and 3040m of altitude and give an incredible view on the Issyk Kul Lake and the wild snow-capped mountains that surround it.
The snow is great and always fresh, and you can also go freeriding near the station if you’re an experienced skier. On the lower half of the station, the slopes are adapted to beginners, and you can hire an instructor for the day.