ASTANA – With its gorgeous mountain views and large variety of slopes for outdoor enthusiasts, a tour of the East Kazakhstan region is the perfect winter trip idea. Located 24 kilometres from Ust-Kamenogorsk, the Altai Alps ski resort is an amazing and affordable vacation destination for families and friends.
The cozy and remote resort is included in the list of top 10 popular destinations in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and neighbouring countries.
“Clean air and pristine nature make our resort an excellent place for family holidays. We offer night skiing and snowboarding for people with different levels of skills, as we are a beginner-friendly ski resort. The slopes are also recommended for freeriding. Here there are the ski lifts, T-bars and other modes of transportation to get up the mountain,” said representative Yana Saikovskaya.
The resort is also famous for its healing procedures including pantotherapy, massage, physiotherapy, a weight loss programme and bath treatment.
“We offer new warm cottages with all the conditions for a large group of people,” she noted.
The resort hosted basic instructional ski and snowboard training Nov. 21-30 in accordance with International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA) standards.
“Our coaches took part in the National Russian League of Instructors programme and became C-category instructors. They constantly improve their skills and follow new trends. The school attaches great importance to safety. Instructors offer specially-equipped safe routes for teaching children and speak three languages – Russian, English and Kazakh,” noted Saikovskaya.
The Assyl Tau ski school team includes professionals with a great deal of pedagogical and sports experience, sports masters, prizewinners and participants in the European Cup and International Universiade 2017.
“At the moment, we have visitors from China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. There are also a lot of tourists from Europe. We can accommodate 3,000 tourists in the winter season, which lasts from mid-November to Apr. 10,” she said.
Altai Alps may be accessed by air or ground. Air travel is $180 and a 40-minute ride from the airport to the resort costs approximately $10. The 15-hour Talgo high speed train from Almaty and Astana to Ust-Kamenogorsk is $60.
Accommodations start from 10,500 tenge (US$31) per person a day. Meals, equipment rental and ski lifts are included.
“This place is really beautiful. There’s a lot of trees on the mountains. Most people come here with their families,” said capital resident Aibarshyn Akhmetkali, who recently visited the resort. “The prices are much cheaper compared with the Shymbulak ski resort. We first improved our skills with an instructor who taught us some basic tricks. It cost approximately $12. All the outdoor sporting equipment is available for rent except for ski clothing.”