SHYMBULAK SKI RESORT - Kazakhstan
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Directions to SHYMBULAK SKI RESORT
Imagine being in a city where a huge mountain range spans the entire southern edge. The majestic peaks are beautiful year round but come winter, people clamor to take a 15-minute taxi or bus from the center of Almaty to the south to partake in the best skiing and snowboarding facilities Kazakhstan has to offer.
Shymbulak is located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Ala-Tau mountain range. The resort area is about 25 km south of Almaty city up the major road, Dostyk. It is popular for its mild climate, large quantity of sunny days and great amount of snow through the winter (from November till April).
To get to the ski center, you first arrive at Medeu - one of the world's largest public skating arenas. After paying for the gondola and lift ticket for the day (or half day), enter one of the modern gondolas and travel 4.6 kilometers up the mountain. The gondola was manufactured in Austria and is the third largest lift in the world. The scenery is majestic as you travel the short ride to Shymbulak.
Marrone Rosso, Assorti, Pappa Roti, and the Saray Bar in the hotel offer the perfect dining and drinking solutions for a bit of après-ski. Even non-skiers enjoy sitting out in the sunshine enjoying spiced wine, or a hot coffee, while surfing the Internet.
The Snow School has 70 ski and snowboard instructors. They offer private and group lessons to all levels and all ages. Quality skis, snowboards and boots can be hired within the resort. Lockers are available too. There is also night skiing on a regular basis with DJs providing extra entertainment.
The prices, compared to a day of skiing in Europe or the USA, makes Shymbulak a bargain.
In the warmer months Shymbulak offers hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing and trekking, the gondola operates year round. Restaurants remain open and the base camp makes a lovely place for sunning.
Additionally, a new rope course has opened on the mountain. Great fun anytime of the year, it claims to be the highest such structure (at 2,250 meters above sea level) in the world.
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