Skiing in Kyrgyzstan: An Overly-Thorough Guide

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan: Thorough Guide
Posted by on February 16, 2016

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan:
An Overly-Thorough Guide

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan – it doesn’t get a lot of international press, not nearly as much as it should. Kyrgyzstan isn’t necessarily the easiest place to spend winter, and for many I think dreams of Thai beaches and southern-hemisphere summer are often top of mind. While all the snow and ice and cold may not be so exciting when crunching around the slick sidewalks of Bishkek, though, it all pays off when you manage to get out to the mountains. Beautiful ski slopes, low prices, amazing scenery all around, and always a bit of plov and vodka to warm up when the runs are done.

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan: An Overly-Thorough Guide

I must admit to not having explored all the options for skiing in Kyrgyzstan with nearly as much diligence as I’d initially hoped, and as such my ongoing series on ‘Skiing in Kyrgyzstan‘ has so far only seen three updates:

Karakol Ski Base

Jyrgalan Freeride Base

ZiL Ski Base

Skiing at Karakol Ski Base in Kyrgyzstan's Tian Shan Mountains

Lucky for me, and for you out there looking for information, Sputnik.kg came to the rescue a few months ago with a detailed infographic on the 13 most popular of Kyrgyzstan’s 23 ski bases. Original source, plus some great photos by Azamat Aitbaev of the opening of this year’s ski season.

The original infographic is posted below, and I’ve collated the information on a by-base basis in English for easy reference. Happy skiing in Central Asia, and cheers to Sputnik.kg for doing the hard work!

All prices listed in Kyrgyz Som unless otherwise noted. Additionaly, for group hire options (transport, accomodation, etc) they seem to be assuming full capacity when breaking down the per person price.

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan Infographic

Ak-Tash Ski Base (Ак-Таш)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 200
Transfer Services: 200

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 600
Adult’s Snowboard: 600
Child’s Snowboard: 600

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 500/300
Weekdays: 500/300

Maximum Length of Lift: 1400m / 4594ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 2100m / 6890ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 1200 – 3000
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Chon-Tash Ski Base (Чон-Таш)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 300 – 650
Hired Bus: 250

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 500
Child’s Ski Gear: 500
Adult’s Snowboard: N/A
Child’s Snowboard: N/A

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 500/400
Weekdays: 500/400

Maximum Length of Lift: 1200m / 3937ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 1500m / 4921ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: N/A
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Chunkurchak Ski Base (Чункурчак)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 230
Transfer Services: 400

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600 – 1200
Child’s Ski Gear: 600 – 1200
Adult’s Snowboard: 600 – 1200
Child’s Snowboard: 600 – 1200

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 1100/700
Weekdays: 700/400

Maximum Length of Lift: 3500m / 11483ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 2060m / 6758ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: N/A
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Winter Day In The Tian Shan Mountains Near Jyrgalan Village in the Issyk-Kol region of Kyrgyzstan.

Karakol Ski Base (Каракол)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 2500 – 3000
Hired Bus: 1300

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 400 – 1000
Child’s Ski Gear: 400 – 1000
Adult’s Snowboard: 400 – 1000
Child’s Snowboard: 400 – 1000

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 1200/700
Weekdays: 900/700

Maximum Length of Lift: 3050m / 10006ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 2300m / 7546ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 1500 – 2000
Quadruple Room: N/A

(This doesn’t seem to include the on-site Capriz Hotel which prices online at $65 US for a twin and $100 for a quad, among other options.)

 

Kaskha-Suu Ski Base (Кашка-Суу)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 1000
Hired Bus: 230
Transfer Services: 250

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 450
Adult’s Snowboard: 600
Child’s Snowboard: 450

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 1100/550
Weekdays: 2500/ hour to rent the use of a lift,
regardless of the number of people. (?!)

Maximum Length of Lift: 1400m / 4593ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 2000m / 6562ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 900 – 3500
Quadruple Room: 800

 

Noruz Ski Base (Норус)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 200

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: N/A
Child’s Ski Gear: N/A
Adult’s Snowboard: N/A
Child’s Snowboard: N/A

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 500/250
Weekdays: 500/250

Maximum Length of Lift: 1600m / 5249ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 1980m / 6496ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 500
Quadruple Room: 500

 

Sledding hill at ZiL Ski Base in Kyrgyzstan.

 

Orlovka Ski Base (Орловка)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 600 – 1500
Hired Bus: 260
Transfer Services: 300

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600 – 800
Child’s Ski Gear: 400
Adult’s Snowboard: 600 – 800
Child’s Snowboard: 400

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 1000/700
Weekdays: 600/450

Maximum Length of Lift: 900m / 2952ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 1256m / 4121ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 1500 – 4700
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Oruu-Sai Ski Base (Оруу-Сай)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 1000
Hired Bus: 230

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 500
Child’s Ski Gear: 500
Adult’s Snowboard: 500
Child’s Snowboard: 500

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 700/500
Weekdays: 700/500

Maximum Length of Lift: 1000m / 3281ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 2100m / 6890ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 750 – 2000
Quadruple Room: 500

 

Politech Ski Base (Политех)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 200

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 500
Child’s Ski Gear: 400
Adult’s Snowboard: 500
Child’s Snowboard: 400

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 600/300
Weekdays: 400/200

Maximum Length of Lift: 1800m / ft
Height of Base’s Lowest Station: 1640m / ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: N/A
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Panorama Lift at Karakol Ski Base in Kyrgyzstan

Ski-Tatyr Ski Base (Ski-Татыр)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 200

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 600
Adult’s Snowboard: 600
Child’s Snowboard: 600

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 500/350
Weekdays: 500/300

Maximum Length of Lift: N/A, but it’s quite short
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 1500m / 4921ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: N/A
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Toguz-Bulak Ski Base (Тогуз-Булак)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 450 – 800
Hired Bus: 230
Transfer Services: 500

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 600
Adult’s Snowboard: 600
Child’s Snowboard: 600

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 900/700
Weekdays: 700/500

Maximum Length of Lift: 2000m / 6562ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 1900m / 6234ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 500
Quadruple Room: N/A

 

Too-Ashuu Ski Base (Тоо-Ашуу)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 850 – 1750
Hired Bus: 460

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 600
Adult’s Snowboard: 700
Child’s Snowboard: 700

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 800/400
Weekdays: 600/600

Maximum Length of Lift: 1700m / 5577ft
Elevation of Base’s Lowest Station: 3000m / 9843ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 2850
Quadruple Room: 1675

 

 

ZiL Ski Base (ЗИЛ)

Cost per person for transport from Bishkek:

Hired Car: 400 – 750
Hired Bus: 200
Transfer Services: 300

 

Equipment Rental On-Site:

Adult’s Ski Gear: 600
Child’s Ski Gear: 400
Adult’s Snowboard: 600
Child’s Snowboard: 400

 

Full-Day Lift Pass (Adult/Child):

Weekends and Holidays: 1000/600
Weekdays: 600/400

Maximum Length of Lift: 1800m / 5906ft
Height of base’s Lowest Station: 1850m / 6070ft

 

Room rate per night per person:

Double Room: 800 – 1000
Quadruple Room: 800 – 1000

 

Ski Rental from the Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan.


‘Skiing in Kyrgyzstan’ is part of an ongoing series providing information on options for skiing in Kyrgyzstan, including specific posts on Karakol Ski Base, ZiL Ski Base, and Jyrgalan Freeride Base. Subscribe via RSS or social media for updates on other ski options in Central Asia. If you’re in Bishkek and want to ski nearby, the Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan runs regular trips during winter. The combined cost of transportation and ski rental from TUK is often around $20 to a base near Bishkek, with discounts for TUK members. If you don’t have your own equipment, I would usually recommend renting from TUK rather than directly from the bases.

If you’re in Bishkek exploring the various Kyrgyzstan ski resorts the very budget-friendly Apple Hostel Bishkek gets great reviews, as does the slightly more central and also slightly more expensive Interhouse (both of which offer private rooms as well as dorms). If you’re looking upmarket, the Hyatt is on Sovietskaya and easily accessible to the city center. 

As an aside, I’ve also published a quick and dirty guidebook to show tourists around for their first few days in Bishkek. This includes information, including a map, of where to get the minibus to Ala Archa. If you’re headed towards Kyrgyzstan and expect to need some help getting around, consider my Unanchor: Bishkek guide!

 

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An Overly-Thorough Guide To Skiing in Kyrgyzstan:

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10 Responses to Skiing in Kyrgyzstan: An Overly-Thorough Guide

  1. Nan

    I know that I tell you that I am a young sweet thing & the thought just hit me that here I am in Texas staying in & trying to stay warm & here you are going out into the cold & snow on purpose. Makes me wonder???

  2. parker

    Hey man.

    I still like reading your blog, though I’m too busy to keep up with it all the time. I STILL haven’t learned to ski, and I lived in oregon four years. There is some good skiing there. The school ski club does regular trips to WV and NC so I hope to tag along on one of those soon.

    Glad you are still out there doing it. I tell my students stories about you all the time to inspire them. I’m hoping to do Croatia and Slovenia spring of 2015. One of those guided things with a school thing…but it’s about all I can afford with a baby on the way. the trick is, get enough kids to sign up, and you go free.

    Wish you the best.

    Ptj

    • Stephen

      Thanks man, I appreciate that you still check in occasionally and cared enough to leave a comment! To be honest my skiing has been slow going, and I think there are only going to be a few more weekends before it warms up enough that there isn’t enough snow left. Cool that you’ve still got some chances to travel with school, though. Let me know if you end up on Croatia/Slovenia and have some free time on the tail end, and perhaps we can meet up near there somewhere?

  3. Nabeel

    Went skiing for the first time this winter. Cross-country in Ata Beiit with TUK was fun but a challenge; downhill in Zil on Sunday was even more challenging but I would definitely go for it again (although with friends, not alone this time!)
    I think Zil would REALLY benefit from signs and instructions – I speak limited Russian and only discovered that there is a beginner slope after one round of the main slope.

    • Stephen

      Agreed on the signage at ZiL – it seems to be a problem throughout the local ski bases though. We’re hoping to get back out to ZiL this weekend and Too-Ashuu next with TUK if the weather holds out. Not sure when you’re headed to Arslanbob exactly, but if you’ll be around for either you’re welcome to tag along.

      I haven’t gotten around to cross-country this season, and quite frankly don’t expect to at this point. I’m hoping to squeeze in one camping trip on snowshoes before it all melts off, but I feel like with the weather this past week there isn’t much time left!

  4. Dan

    WOW! This looks incredible, Kyrgyzstan is somewhere that I really want to get to (and now learn to Ski). Thanks for the though guide, hope to use it one day.

    • Stephen

      No problem at all – I hope it comes in handy and let me know if you end up in the neighborhood!

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