Articles on Central Asia: Winter skiing in Central Asia
Summer tourism in Central Asia is constantly growing. In summertime countries of the region are ready to offer multiple resort, historical, cuisine, adventure and ecological tours. Alpinists and climbers from all over world head towards Central Asia in hope to conquer the next peak. The flow of tourists in winter dramatically reduces. And it is a vain.
Skiing. The region is mostly covered by mountains and snowy winters of Central Asia should attract fans of winter sports. We are not talking about hills or knolls; we are talking about majestic peaks of world-famous Tien-Shan and Pamir Mountains Ranges. Of course, local infrastructure is still inferior to the Alps, but still several local skiing resorts may well claim the title of “European”. Meanwhile prices are quite reasonable. The nature itself took care of slopes to make a journey interesting for advanced professionals and amateurs trying to overcome the slopes. According to Forbes, the top 15 best skiing resorts in CIS included “Shymbulak”, Kazakhstan and “Karakol”, Kyrgyzstan.
Off-piste. Freeride skiing is another growing trend in Central Asia. Thousands of unprepared and untouched slopes combined with low avalanche danger and considerably low prices make the region attractive to extreme sports enthusiasts. Freeride trails can be found at some skiing resorts (for example, in Karakol), however the brave souls are looking for freeride experience outside of the ski industry. Of course, only the most desperate extreme sportsmen try to conquer these slopes single-handedly. Special tours are arranged for all others including heli-ski when the skiers are delivered to the top not by usual lift but by helicopter, usually a military one. Transfers, lodging, helicopter’s rent, experienced guides and gear make this kind of journey pricy. Backcountry is an ideal option. Most skiers prefer to enjoy the nature without noise of machines.
Ice skating. At the present moment Medeu is the most high-mountain complex for winter kinds of sport with the largest area of artificial ice field — 10.5 thousand m². Highland facilitates the establishment of records, during the whole time 170 world records were established here. “Medeu” is a sports complex built in the mountain hole Medeo at the altitude of 1691 meters above sea level, near the southern capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty city. Soft climate in the gorge, optimal level of solar radiation, not high atmospheric pressure, gentle breeze and clean glacial water – all this provided high-mountain skating rink with wide popularity.
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