Back to category Published: 03 july 2021 Author: Zhanna Mukhatzhanova

Shymbulak Ski Resort


History and general information

The Shymbulak Ski Resort is a premier sight in Almaty due to its perfect ski conditions and breathtakingly beautiful nature that surrounds it. The resort is something of a draw for skiers, snowboarders, and hikers. Its lowest base is located at an altitude of 2260 meters (7415 ft). However, a cable car can take you as high as 3200 meters (10500 ft) above sea level where staggering mountains pierce the clouds. By the way, in March 2023, Shymbulak entered the Guinness Book of Records as the highest night ski slope in the world. The resort is located in close proximity to the high-altitude Medeu Skating Rink. These two significant attractions are connected by the cable car that stretches for 4.5 km (2.8 mi).

The resort was founded in 1954 and was used as a training base for Soviet athletes. Later, ordinary people also got access to Shymbulak. Now it's the country's most popular ski resort that also hosts various skiing and snowboarding competitions.

Prior to the Winter Asian Games-2011, the resort was reconstructed. It now features a spa center, a restaurant, several boutiques, a private ski and snowboard school, and various hotels. Additionally, the length of the tracks was increased, the ski area was expanded, and state-of-the-art ski tech was installed.

Shymbulak Ski Resort

Active recreation and sports

The snowy mountain slopes of the Ile Alatau Mountains (also spelled as the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains) are perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The ski season starts in mid-November and lasts until mid-April. The average temperature in winter is −7 °C (19 °F) and the snow base is about 1.6 meters (63 in).

The resort has slopes for both professionals and beginners. The longest track stretched for 3163 meters (2 mi). The average slope is 12-28 degrees, and the maximum is 45 degrees. In total, the resort offers eight slopes of different difficulty levels. Visitors can rent all necessary ski equipment at the resort or at the cable car's base station.

At the Shymbulak Ski Resort, you can live in a real Kazakh yurt (a national dwelling made of felt) for several days and do freeride, backcountry, or even heliskiing. We offer several ski tours, among which you are sure to find one that will meet your requirements and interests. If you are not a fan of skiing and snowboarding, you can go on an exciting hike to the natural attractions of the Ile Alatau Mountains. Tours can be booked here.

If you're new to winter sports but would really like to learn how to ski or snowboard, feel free to use the services of instructors available at the resort.

Shymbulak Ski Resort

More than just a ski resort

Besides skiing and snowboarding, Shymbulak Ski Resort offers its visitors a lot of entertainment such as Alpine Park, Chimba Truck Taxi, Gorilla Zipline Medeu, and a Rope Park. You can also go horseback riding, paragliding, snow tubing, or go on quad bike tours. Let us dwell on these activities in more detail.

In Alpine Park, you will experience all the delights of mountaineering. You will have to pass a bridge, overcome a small «gorge», and even climb a peak. Generally speaking, you will experience what mountaineers do but in a safe way. The park also has a Mountaineering Museum, where you can learn the stories of Kazakhstani climbers.

Chimba Truck Taxi is the opportunity to ride on a special snow-clearing snowcat. The cabin can accommodate 10 people. You can ride a snowcat only in the evenings, when it prepares the slopes for night skiing. Tickets are sold at the upper information center, and the schedule can be found on Shymbulak's official website.

Gorilla Zipline Medeu will have your heart race. It's a chance to enjoy the mountain views while sliding down at a speed of 80 km/h (50 mi/h). The cable length is a little more than 500 meters (547 yd). Ready? Then go ahead!

The Rope Park is a great way to relieve stress and test your endurance. It offers 3 levels of difficulty, which everyone can pass without special preparation. The rope park is even available for little thrill-seekers.

Do you prefer something more calm and relaxing and enjoy the company of animals? Then you can book a horseback riding tour across the picturesque corners of the tract. The routes vary in duration (from 15 minutes to 10 hours).

Paragliding over mountain slopes is fascinating yet scary for some. However, the resort's experienced pilots will make sure the flight is safe and enjoyable. Take a 15-minute flight from Talgar Pass to Shymbulak and enjoy the amazing views.

For those who want to explore the beauty of the tract while driving, Shymbulak offers ATV tours. Fascinating routes that take from 20 to 180 minutes will lead you through the enchanting coniferous forests straight to the peaks of the Ile Alatau Mountains. Trips are absolutely safe and are carried out under the guidance of instructors.

Shymbulak Ski Resort

Looking for a great way to spend the entire day? In Shymbulak, you can do such a fun activity as snow tubing. Riding a tube will return you for a moment to a cloudless childhood.

Shymbulak meets the needs of couples who want to relax and have some time together without their children. There is El Kiddo Shymbulak children's room where kids can play, take part in various master classes, and learn to ski. The children's room is video monitored so parents can see what their children are doing.

The Shymbulak Ski Resort is a wonderful place where everyone will find something to their liking.

How to get there?

Address: Kazakhstan, Almaty, 558/1 Kerey-Zhanibek Khandar St.

You can get to Shymbulak by car. First, drive along Dostyk Avenue to the southeast of the city. On the outskirts, Dostyk Avenue changes into Kerey-Zhanibek Khandar Street. Don't turn anywhere and the road will lead you to the base cable car station. The trip will take you 20-30 minutes. If you drive a little further, you'll find yourself at the Medeu Skating Rink. Be sure to visit it too as it's one of Almaty's iconic sights.

You can reach the cable car base station by taxi or city bus #12. The bus departs from the Almaty-2 train station, passes through the city center and then follows to the base station and the Medeu Skating Rink. Tickets for the cable car can be purchased on the official website or at the resort's ticket office. You can also take an eco-bus from Medeu to the ski resort.

If you're up for hiking, you can hike all the way up to the resort from Medeu. The distance is approximately 5.5 km (3.4 mi).

Opening hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Other tourist attractions near Shymbulak Ski Resort:


Recommended tours:

View all offers

Read more:

Send comment

Your email address will not be published
Please Rate 1-10