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Shymbulak Backcountry Yurt Lodge (from 3 days)

April 1, 2019

Ski Tours, Freeride & Backcountry | You will feel the spiritual power of ancient nomads when find yourself in traditional Kazakh yurt, surrounded by huge impressive glaciers. You will be besotted by their fresh breath and charmed by stern sharpen character of pointed rocky peaks. It’s a good chance to test yourself at high altitudes and leave your trace on the wild untouched powder slopes of Tien-Shan mountains.

Route: Almaty - Medeu Sport Complex - Shymbulak Mountain Resort - Talgar Pass - Bogdanovich Glacier (Almaty Region, Kazakhstan) 

Season: April-June 

Complexity: moderate, for fit skiers and snowboarders with confident level of riding on wild terrain. *It is required to have set of avalanche equipment.

Height difference: base camp at 3163 m a.s.l., daily elevation gain: 500-1500 meters.


Bogdanovich Glacier is located under the eastern slope of Nursultan peak. The glacier is named by glaciologist Dmitriev in 1911, in honor of Karl Bogdanovich, the Polish-Russian professor-geologist, researcher of the earthquake that occurred in the city of Verny in 1910. After the earthquake, he came to Verny for research. The result of his stay in Verny was the work that contributed to the seismology and outlined the tectonic scheme of the region. Together with I. Karl and D. Mushketov in 1910, he drew up a plan for Verny city. From the observation point of Bogdanovich Glacier a magnificent view of the surrounding peaks opens: Amangeldy Peak, Nursultan Peak, Karlytau Peak and many other.                              


Day 1. Almaty – Shymbulak mountain resort – Talgar pass. 

Meeting the guide at the hotel's lobby at 8 a.m. Transfer to Medeu sport complex. Ascent by cable car to the highest point of Shymbulak Mountain Resort – Talgar pass (altitude 3163 m.a.s.l.) Accommodation in traditional Kazakh yurt. There is traditional yurt, so the sleeping places will be arranged straight on the floor in sleeping bags. The whole yurt and the floor are heated. Electricity and water inside the yurt, rest room is outside. Backcountry in the area nearby resort. Few of the most interesting spots will be taken into consideration: Til’ glacier, couloirs of Shkol’nik, Chkalov and Edelweiss peak. Elevation gain: 500-800 meters, descend length ~ 5 km, duration: 4-5 hours. Slope gradient: 20 – 40 degrees. Coming back to the yurt. Dinner in Kazakh national style. Overnight in the yurt.

Meals included: D

Day 2. Talgar pass – Bogdanovich glacier. 

Early wake up at around 06:00. Breakfast, preparing equipment for the route. Backcountry to Fizkul’turnik peak or Pioneer pass. Elevation gain: 900 meters, descend length ~ 5 km, duration: 4-5 hours. Slope gradient: 20 – 40 degrees. Coming back to the yurt. Free time. Dinner in Kazakh national style. Overnight in the yurt.

Meals included: B, D

Day 3. Talgar Pass - Bogdanovich Glacier – Shymbulak mountain resort - Almaty 

Early wake up at around 06:00. Breakfast, preparing equipment for the route. Not later than 07:30, start moving to the west, in direction of Bogdanovich Glacier. This day you will make ascent to Karlytau peak located in the cirque of Bogdanovich Glacier. Elevation gain: 1000 meters, descend length ~ 6 km, duration: 5-6 hours. Slope gradient: 20 – 40 degrees. Coming back to the yurt, rest. Apreski in "3200" bar on Talgar pass, free time. By the evening packing stuff and coming back to the city. Dinner in café in Almaty.   

Meals included: B 

*Depending on weather, temperature and snow conditions, the guide can make adjustments to the program.

Please, notice, that it’s required to have insurance for extreme sports for participating in this program! 


Til’ glacier (3900 m.a.s.l.). Attached to Fizkul’turnik peak, visible from Talgar pass. Has wide field in the upper part and narrow steep wall at the bottom. One of rhe closest glaciers to Shymbulak. 

Shkol’nik peak (3850 m.a.s.l.). Located between Abay (3650m) and Talgar (3163m) passes. Its eastern slopes are badly destroyed and descend to the lateral moraine of Bogdanovich glacier, a rocky ridge stretches to the north, sharply lowering to the saddle of Talgar Pass, several spurs fan-shaped to the west and north-west, separated by deep ancient punches. The peak has no ice. First ascent to the summit was made in 1937 under the leadership of V.M. Zimin. Name was given to the peak in 1939 after group of schoolchildren from an orphanage reached it’s top (under the guidance of instructors from “Metallurgist Vostok” alpine camp). 

Chkalov Peak (3892 m a.s.l.) The summit is entirely located in Left Talgar gorge and it is the northern extremity of Komsomol spur. The western slopes belong to Sauryksay gorge, the eastern slopes descend into a small narrow Komsomol gorge. Routes are from the simplest to medium category of complexity. All routes originate on the moraines of Bogdanovich glacier. The peak is named after Valery Chkalov, the legendary pilot of the 30s of the last century. There is a legend, that Chkalov landed his plane on the top. Unfortunately, this is only a legend. There is no space for landing the plane there.

Edelweiss peak (3600 m.a.s.l.). Located to the west from Shkol’nik peak and accessible from Shymbulak. Has set of skiable steep couloirs. 

Fizkul’turnik peak (4068 m a.s.l.) The peak is located in the Komsomol spur between Chkalov peak in the south and Nursultan peak in the east. Routes are from the simplest to medium category of complexity. All routes originate on the moraines of the Bogdanovich glacier. 

Pioneer Pass (3870 m a.s.l.) The pass is located in the Azutau spur, an arm of Small Almaty spur, between Amangeldy and Pioneer peaks. It connects Mametova glacier of Small Almaty gorge with Bogdanovich glacier, Sauruksay gorge in basin of Left Talgar gorge. 

Karlytau Peak (4170 m a.s.l.) The peak is located at the junction of the East and Azutau spurs of the Small Almaty Spur. To the east of it Aristov peak is located, in the south there is Manshuk Mametova peak, to the west there is Panfilov Guardsmen's peak. From the northern side, the summit is completely covered by Bogdanovich glacier, on the southern slope there are outcrops of rocks and steep taluses. The absence of rocky slopes and taluses on the northern slope and simple ascent to the peak made this route popular among fans of extreme skiing and snowboarding. The slopes of Karlytau are steep and dangerous because of avalanches, descents from the peak require good physical training and special equipment.

Abay Peak (4010 m a.s.l.) The peak is located in Azutau spur between Yoshkar-Ola peak in the south and Schoolkid peak in the north. Small Abay glacier flows down from the northern slope. Western slopes belong to Small Almaty gorge, eastern ones belong to the circus of Bogdanovich glacier. There are two routes to the peak - the first and the second category of complexity. It is named after Abay Kunanbayev, the great Kazakh philosopher, enlightener and thinker. In 1995, the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, climbed to the top. 

Nursultan Peak (4376 m a.s.l.) The peak is located in the upper reaches of Bogdanovich glacier, north of Karlytau peak, east of Sportsman peak. From the northern slopes Komsomol glacier flows. The right branch of Bogdanovich glacier flows down by the north-western slope. The eastern slope faces Left Talgar gorge. The history of Kazakhstan mountaineering began from ascent to this peak on July 17, 1930. Five routes of the medium category of complexity were laid on this peak. In 1935, name was changed from Small Almaty Peak to Komsomol Peak. Starting from that time mass ascents - alpiniads are held on the peak. Tradition of these Soviet alpiniads was continued by mountaineers of moden time after Kazakhstan has got independence. Mass alpiniad is held every year, on the birthday of the first President of Kazakhstan. Nowadays the peak has name Nursultan.


Required equipment and clothing: 

- Avalanche equipment (air bag system, shovel, probe, transceiver) 
- Helmet
- Goggles with a spare lens for bright sunlight and cloudy weather
- Backpack with volume 25-35 liters with ski/snowboard fixation 
Clothing and accessories
- Comfortable functional clothing for riding and ski-touring (base layer - thermal underwear, gore-tex jacket and pants, additional layers of clothing for insulation, downy sweater or vest, socks)
- Extra set of warm clothes, extra pair of shoes (sneakers or lightweight trekking shoes) 
- Sleeping bag with a temperature zero – minus 5 degrees in comfort zone 
- Gloves, mittens
- Hat, cap, neck gaiter
- Sunscreen 
- Sunglasses
- Swimsuit, towel and flip-flops for visiting SPA-center 
- Personal AID kit   
- Thermos for the hot tea, water tank
- Head torch 
- Personal hygiene stuf
- Proper ski-touring/snowboard boots
- Skis with ski-touring bindings/splitboard 
- Climbing skins 
- Poles 
- Ski crampons
- Mountaineering crampons
- Ice axe
- Snacks (protein and muesli bars, energy gels, ISOtonic or other special mount nutrition) 

Individual tour price:

376 USD per person, provided for 2 people travelling together
368 USD per person, provided for 3 people travelling together
368 USD per person, provided for 4 people travelling together
312 USD per person, provided for 5 people travelling together

Each Additional Day: 

120 USD per person, provided for 2 people travelling together
120 USD per person, provided for 3 people travelling together
102 USD per person, provided for 4 people travelling together
102 USD per person, provided for 5 people travelling together

% Discounts are available for the big groups!


1. English-speaking ski guide services.
2. All transfers according to the program.
3. Meals according to the program.
4. Accommodation in the yurt at Talgar pass with half board.
5. Daily ski-pass at Shymbulak in Day 1. 


1. Rental of ski and avalanche equipment.
2. Visa support and registration in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, if required.
3. Meals (other than specified), personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program.
4. Accommodation in Almaty before / after the tour.
5. Insurance policy. 
6. Cost of the dinner in Day 3 (~15 USD).
7. Lunch (can be arranged in the yurt or in the restaurant nearby). 

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