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Freeride skiing in Kyrgyzstan - Tien Shan

8 days from 2095 € per participant

Guaranteed departure from 5 people

Comfort
Kirgistan Montagne Maximum altitude 3000 m Skill level : 2 Montagne Stamina level : 2

In a nutshell

Freeride skiing and comfortable yurts in the Tien Shan mountains...

This trip is the best of the best for a skier, period ! We could finish the intro here, but we'll tell you a little more about this trip. We just love it so much, and simply can't wait to get back and take you out there !

Imagine out of this world scenery, over-friendly encounters, endless virgin mountains, a comfy and well-insulated yurt camp in the heart of the mountains accessible only with a snowmachine ! Every day we get a ride up to the numerous mountain passes surrounding the camp, through magnificent Silberian woodlands located on the Kyrgyz - Kazakh border. Nearly every run requires a little skinning (10 to 20 min max) to reach the ridge. From there, skis and boots in downhill position and fire ! Ski and smile, through virgin powder snowfields on gentle slopes... Life is good and everything should be just fine ;-) And guess what ? Down at the bottom of the mountain, the snowmachines are waiting for us and up we go again, and skin up for more fun ! Picnics, meals and logistics are all sorted out so this trip is as smooth as the powder you may be lucky enough to ski through. After a hard day's skiing, a shower or a Russian sauna, we eat well... Yes, our cook is great and generous. No worries, we'll also have time to chat and relax in the mess yurt, in the living room with the local team. 8 days is relatively short, though long enough to enjoy and make the most of it. We don't get out here every weekend, do we Dad ?

Pros

- An all inclusive trip in a great free riding area, out of this world, with very few inhabitants and still very little-known

- Heaps of snow guaranteed in this end of the world 

- Total disconnection guaranteed, with accommodation in comfortable yurts

- Technically and physically accessible to all skiers used to skiing in all kinds of snow

- Easy-going with snowmachines transfers to freeride areas

- Everything here is unique: the hospitality, the food and the culture

Friends, family or just colleagues at work ?

You wish to customize one of our trips, among friends and at your own convenience ? No problem, contact us so we can adapt a trip to suit you, right down to the last detail ! Our trips are tailor-made so giving you what you want is as easy as 123.

  • Price (VAT inc)
  • 2095€ per participant
    New
  • 2095€ per participant
    New
  • 2095€ per participant
    Guaranteed departure New

Day to day

Day 1 - Arrival in Bishkek, hot springs and transfer to Karakol

Transfer to Bishkek, rest at hotel until noon. The French guide will check your gear and do a short brief regarding the coming week's program. After lunch, departure for the famous Karakol ski area at the Eastern end of the country. It's a beautiful drive along the shore of the Issyk Kul lake. There's nothing like a stop for a bath in the natural Korumdu hot springs before a good night's sleep in Karakol: tomorrow's going to be a hard day ... skiing ! 

Transfer: minibus (400 km / 6 hrs)

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: 3* hotel

 

Day 2 - Warm up and discover Karakol !

This is highest ski area in Central Asia, with a maximum altitude of 3040 m. In this ski area we've planned safety checks and an estimate of everybody's skills. You have time to get warmed up and test kyrgyz snow, of course ! Back to our hotel for a debrief. 

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: 3* hotel

 

Day 3 - Go for it in Karakol and set sail for Karkara

Freeride skiing in the Karakol ski area, a ski lift drops us at above 3000 m above sea level and offers an insane number of crazy runs. We'll most probably skin to search for some hidden runs. 

In the afternoon we head for the Karkara valley (2200 m) to reach our comfortable yurt camp, our base camp for the following days. 4WD transfer, followed by a snowmachine and finally sled transfer to cover the ultimate 15 kms to base camp. Great experience in a great atmosphere. Settle down and meal in a welcoming place. It's time to relax either in the yurt or in the Russian sauna, accessible every evening. 

Transfer: 4WD and snowmachine (120km - approx. 3 hrs)

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: comfortable yurt

 

Day 4 - More & more in Karkara : day number 1

Departure towed by a snowmachine to reach the neighbouring mountain passes. From there we put on our skins and climb to reach fabulous totally virgin runs.... Today we've booked great powder skiing with snowmachine lifts back up. Back to the yurt camp and chill out before dinner. 

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: comfortable yurt

 

Day 5 - More & more in Karkara : day number 2

Skiing options here are immense, we once again explore another area near basecamp, thanks to the snowmachine that takes us up once again. Another great day to enjoy incredibly wild places and top quality freeride skiing... 

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: comfortable yurt

 

Day 6 - More & more in Karkara : day number 3

It's such a shame this "boring" routine is not neverending ... Same "routine": departure towed by snowmachines, and after the first 2 days spent exploring the place, we decide together on today's playground in order to make the most of this last day in paradise !

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: comfortable yurt

 

Day 7 - Return to Bishkek & Osh market visit

After breakfast, transfer with snowmachine to our 4WD, then en route for Bishkek, with plenty of coffee and tea stops in local roadhouses. Lunch en route. In the afternoon we visit the huge Osh market in Bishkek. The is the place and right time to find some souvenirs like a chapka, and plunge into the city's local day to day life. Accomodation in hotel.  

Transfer: snowmachine, 4WD, minibus (440 km/ 7-8 hrs)

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation included: 3* hotel

 

J8 -  Bishkek - Transfert aéroport

After a good breakfast it's time to say goodbye ! Transfer to airport. Return flight.

Transfer: minibus, approx 45 min

Meal included: breakfast

 

Please note this itinerary is an example of a freeride skiing trip in Kyrgyzstan. The guide may adjust certain itineraries and ski areas according to weather and snow conditions as well as participants' abilities. We kindly ask you to respect such decision.  We may also change accommodation, maintaining the same standards, according to logistics and availabilities.

In case practices and customs defined by the local guide authorities change, estimating the reasonable number of clients per guide, for safety reasons, Azimut respects these, even last minute, decisions. Such cases are rare and mostly related to exceptional conditions in the mountains. Therefore some compensation may be requested from your side due to less participants per guide.

 


  

Meeting and leaving

Meeting points

  • Bishkek Airport Manas International (FRU)

    See on the map

    Meeting time: 5 am
    Leaving time: in the morning

Get together - practical information

Get together - practical information

Flights to purchase: Bishkek (FRU) - Kyrgyzstan (approx € 400-500).

There are regular flights on Turkish Airlines (no extra charge for one set of ski gear)

Due to price fluctuation this ski touring trip to Kyrgyzstan is sold without flights. However, we can book your flights if you wish. Don't hesitate to contact us. Only buy your flights once the departure of this trip has been confirmed. 

Flights suggestions:

Arrival in Bishkek: 4h50 am (on the day 1)

Departure from Bishkek: 6h05 am (on the last day)

If your flights match these arrival and departure hours, an airport shuttle is included. In case of a different flight schedule, you can add an airport shuttle when booking. Please ask us !

 

BEWARE: for last minute bookings (less than one month prior to departure), please contact us as we need to check if it's not too late for administrative formalities on site. 

How technical does it get ? How fit should I be ?

Skill level 

You should be at ease with skiing on all types of snow. We ski at a good pace all day long. Slopes may include short steep sections. Skinning involved will be no more than 45 min to 1 hr per day. No previous ski touring experience is expected.

 

Stamina level

Good physical condition is required, skinning or short ascents on foot will not exceed 45 min per day. You should be prepared to ski all day long at a good pace.

 

Beware, you're not playing in the skatepark in your neighbourhood: even though you're extremely keen, are craving to make first tracks in the powder snow, don't forget that this trip is far away overseas, in remote areas and rescue services may be slow and often less well organised than in your home country. So keep cool and take it easy to fully enjoy...and please avoid a back flip without checking what's behind.

Good to know: if you don't have the level required, the guide will be able to ask you to leave for the well-being of the rest of the group if necessary. If any doubt, please do not hesitate to ask us !

Group size

5 to 10 participants

Skiers only, sorry, no splitboards !

Guiding

Azimut qualified mountain guide from France as well as a local guide. 

All our mountain guides are certified. We choose them for their sympathy, their teaching and organisational skills. We stay tuned in, work hands in hands, and make sure their working conditions are the best.

Our local guide will ski with us, dig out the best runs, help us discover his country and culture, and connect with the locals.

Meet our guides just around the corner.

Daypack

Bring a small day pack large enough to carry your personal belongings for the day such as extra layers, goggles, a few snacks, your picnic and security equipment.

Ski lifts

Ski lifts are included in the trip price.

Pricing

The price includes

- Trip organisation & logistics upon arrival at meeting point

- Transfers in Kyrgyzstan and luggage transportation (minibus, 4WD and snowmachine)

- Certified and expert mountain guide services (all his expenses are included: meals, accomodation, transportation, ski lift fares)

- Local guide services

- Minibus transfers upon arrival at one of the indicated meeting points

- Full board for the entire trip (day 8 breakfast only) except for drinks

- Permits and entrance fees for "ecological areas"

- Ski lift fees 

- Bottled drinking water (1 liter per person per day)

- AZIMUT welcome pack 

 

The price does not include

- Flights and luggage transportation to/from the meeting point in Bishkek 

- Airport shuttle if you arrive outside above mentioned hours

- Personal snacks, drinks and extras

- Personal expenses and unplanned visits

- Freeride skiing gear

- Personal insurance

- Airport departure tax (approx. USD 20)

- Costs in case of an earlier return

- Tips

- Any other expenses not mentioned under the above section “the price includes”

Payment

A 30% deposit, as well as the insurance cost if you choose to subscribe the latter, is required to secure your booking. You will receive a reminder email 35 days prior to departure for the outstanding balance that is due latest 30 days prior to departure.

Insurance

We strongly recommend you to be properly insured for the chosen activity. You should be covered for medical expenses, personal accident & liabilité, third party risks and rescue (helicopter), as well as trip cancellation or curtailment.

Repatriation and research insurance are mandatory when booking a trip with Azimut. We have a full range of Europ Assistance insurances on offer to suit the trip you select and the risks that it may incur. 

Tipping

Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.

Getting around

Minibus, 4WD and snowmachine.

Accommodation & meals

During the trip

Depending on the size of group, you may share a room with someone of the opposite sex.

- Half board accomodation in a 3* hotel (4 nights), twin rooms to share, private bathroom and toilets, bedlinen and towels provided. 

- Accomodation at the Karakol basecamp in yurts for 2 people to share.

- Single room supplement, subject to availaility: € 130 (only available in hotels)

- Breakfast in hotels, local cafés or at yurt camps, lunch and dinner in local restaurants, great places !

Of course our yurt camp is comfortable and cosy. Each yurt is for two people and has toilets and bathroom - you won't have to have your shower in the same place as the cook, smelling of horse tripes, nor will you have to sleep there where the cook has just prepared sheep stew left to simmer all night long. To cut it short and maybe you know us by now... we love such authentic places and these are where you discover real local life, you'll love it ! Trust us, this trip is a must !

 

Before & after ski touring trips

Once we've received your booking, we'll provide you with a list of accomodation in case you need to book a night before or after the trip. All accomodation on the list is close to the meeting points and you may often benefit from preferential rates. 

Currency & cash

The local currency is the som (KGS) - as at 06/08/19.

1 € = 77.52 KGS

It's easy to withdraw or change money in Bishkek and Karakol.

Formalities - Visas - Vaccination - Traditions & practices

Passport & visa 

French, Belgian, Swiss and Canadian citizens: no visa required for a stay of less than 60 days. Your passport should be valid for during the entire trip.

All other nationalities, please contact your local embassy or consulate before travelling.

Make sure your passport has been stamped at the border.

Passports should be in excellent condition (no staples, paperclips, marks or torn pages).

We will need a copy of your passport approx. one month prior to departure for administrative formalities.

If travelling with children, they will need their own passport, regardless of their age. A minor travelling by himself does not need authorisation to leave the country if he has his own passport.

  

Vaccines 

None is required to enter the country.

Recommended vaccines: same as in Western Europe for adults i.e. diphteria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, hepatitis B. 

Depending on local travel conditions, vaccines against typhoïd fever and hepatitis A & B may be recommended. Same for rabies. Ask your doctor's advice, or check with a center for international vaccines. 

For more data on health risks, please check your government's website. 

Phone, Wifi & Electricity

In case of emergency or delay, you can either contact your guide (a phone number will be provided before departure) or contact Azimut on: (+ 33) 04 92 23 07 24.

Please inform your friends and family with these details before departure.

Wifi is available in all hotels and at the yurt camp.

Mobile coverage is good in hotels, however this is not necessary the case in surrounding mountains.

Electricity: standard voltage is 220V, same as in France.

Equipment - clothing & gear

Make sure you wear bright colours, it's good for the soul and gives photos a funky edge !

 

Technical equipment (all in excellent condition)

- Freeride skis (or freeride rando skis) with touring bindings, ski skins, ski poles, ski boots. We advise you to opt for freeride skis on order to make the most of powdery descents and skiing on all types of snow. Don't hesitate to take your fat skis (ski waist width of 110 or 120 mm)

- Padded ski bag for transporting your skis

- 2 long slings to possibly attach your skis on a taxi's roof top during a transfer from the airport to the hotel and back

- Backpack: capacity of 30 liters

- Avalanche kit: transceiver, shovel and probe (please let us know if you have your own, if not we lend them for free)

Security advice: avalanche airbag backpacks are strongly recommended for your safety and security.

They help to stay on the surface in case of avalanche and minimize the risk of burial. Our guides all use airbags. We highly recommend you to opt for high quality and reliable gear. If you don't have an avalanche airbag we rent them out at a very competitive price. We ask you to have one for this trip.

If you don't have the adequate equipment for the trip, don’t worry and travel light: we rent out the required gear and hand it over at the start of the trip ! Our equipment  is relatively new (less than 3 year old) if not brand new, of good quality, adapted to your choice of activity and from the best brands (Black Crows, Fritschi, Arva, Haglöfs, Anena, Glisshop, Scott).

Prices of rental equipment during the entire trip (these competitive prices only take into account the number of days of the trip):

Skis (skis, skins, poles, crampons)

295 €

Helmet

40 €

Airbag

160 €

 

Due to security restrictions on airline transportation, we do not rent out airbags for overseas trips. 

You can choose to rent equipment when booking your trip, or lateron by clicking on “my account”. If any of the equipment you’ve chosen is out of stock you’ll be notified and reimbursed.

Please note - in case your skis and gear arrive late or is lost during transportation, we are not to be held responsible and do not apply a discount on rental gear nor pay for the cost of rental gear until your own gear arrives.

 

Clothes

This list of clothes is designed to give you an idea of clothes it may be a good to have with you. By no means do you need to have the latest brands or the latest gear, but if you need to renew your wardrobe, this guide would be a good start.

 

Headwear

- Warm hat or buff/scarf

- Ski goggles (2 pairs) and sunglasses: UV factory 4 protective lenses. Photochromic glasses adapt to light intensity and are very useful

- Helmet (highly recommended

 

Bodywear

 

- Under layer: breathable long sleeved tops to maintain heat. A tip: merino wool is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties and is therefore less likely to smell as opposed to synthetic fabrics. Take this into consideration if you need to update your wardrobe.

- Middle layer: a light polar or synthetic jacket for an extra layer of heat during breaks

- Outer layer: a Gore-tex or similar type of jacket with a breathable waterproof membrane. Make sure it's lightweight and compact so it doesn't take up too much space in your backpack

- Bottom layer: trousers with a breathable waterproof membrane (Gore Tex or similar) with long side zips allowing air to flow, recommended on climbs

- Hands: light fleece or soft shell gloves, a pair of silk glove liners to go underneath, warm gloves with a breathable and waterproof membrane. Mittens are always a good idea for really cold days of for those of you who feel the cold !

- Swimming gear: it takes up such little space, it would be a shame not to bring it just in case. Avoid swimming shorts or bermudas, they are not usually allowed.

  

Footwear

- Ski socks: merino wool socks are breathable and have anti-bacterial properties and are less likely to smell as opposed to those made of synthetic fabrics. Think about them if you need to stock up.

- Slippers recommended for evening wear. Try charentaises they’re really comfortable ! 

 

Odds & ends

  • a 1 litre flask (Thermos or Camelback)
  • a pocket knife
  • duck tape
  • factor 50 sun cream
  • a duffle bag holding up to 90 litres to leave at the hotel or in the vehicle. No suitcases. 

 

Toiletries and first aid kit

- Personal toilet bag

- To make up a first aid kit, please find all relevant information on the Ifremmont website. 

Need to buy some gear ?

If you book a trip with Azimut, you'll get a 10% discount code on your confirmation page that you can use at our friends Glisshop.

Just go straight to glisshop.com ! Established in 1996, our partner stands as a leader for online winter sports equipment. Based in the centre of the volcanoes of Auvergne (France), they help every passionate skier and powder addict to find the gear they need by offering a huge and unique choice of clothing and gear available throughout Europe.

With close to 250 brands and 10 000 items for sale, Glisshop simply is the ideal partner to equip you from head to toe whathever activity may be your preference.

In partnership with

Our guides use the following brands for their gear and you'll have the opportunity to test them during the trip:

Black Crows

Arva 

Fritschi Swiss bindings

Haglöfs

Glisshop

Anena

SCOTT

Official partner and service provider for Terres d'Aventure

 

And last but not least...

Don't forget to

- Leave contact details with your friends and family

- Bring your papers and I.D. (passport and visa if necessary)

- Bring your contract number and documents related to your insurance (if you've chosen not to have insure coverage with us)

- Bring your “carte vitale” and your European health card (EU member states) - if you don't have one you can order one for free online  www.ameli.fr

- Check that you have the right equipment

- Take spare batteries and a charger for your electronic devices (camera, video recorder, tracking devices etc)

- Bring some cash and your credit card

- Bring a delicacy from your home country or area to share with the group

- Leave in a good frame of mind: we're going to have a great time even if we may not happen to not make it to the summit !

- Before leaving: water the plants, empty the rubbish bin, turn off the water and gas, and tell your partner that you're going to have a good time (not by text message), that you well deserved... If you don't follow the latter recommendation, you'll most probably kick yourself when you get back !

 

See you on the slopes !

Have great runs with AZIMUT !

 

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