Skiing in Kyrgyzstan

Ski potential of Kyrgyzstan very large – there are enough mountains here, but there are not so many well-equipped resorts. Most of them are located in the vicinity of the country’s capital, Bishkek.

The ski base “Norus” is located at an altitude of 1950 m above sea level, 30 km from Bishkek in the Issyk-Akta region. It is equipped with two cable cars, 600 m and 1600 m long. Especially for beginners, there is a 650 m long cable car that takes you to the slopes for beginners. Tracks with a height difference from 90 to 550 m are prepared by a snowcat. At an altitude of 3050 m, there is a helipad for heli-skiing, from where you can go down to other slopes and lifts. Equipment rental, transport rental and instructor services are available. Hotel accommodation, there is also a restaurant with national and European cuisine, a cafe-bar, a disco-bar, billiards, a skating rink.

There are several ski bases in the Kashka-Suu gorge: Polytechnic (25 km from Bishkek), Kashka-Suu (28 km), Oruu-Sai and Edelweiss (35 km), Kyzyl-Beles (40 km). Of these, the most famous is the Kashka-Suu base. which is located at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level. The length of the chairlift is 1500 m, 6 tracks with a height difference from 260 to 380 m, the tracks are prepared by a snowcat. There is a rental of equipment, training from an instructor. It is possible to stay in cottages, among additional entertainment there is a skating rink, a bar,

According to Healthvv, the Oruu-Sai ski base is located in the Kashka-Suu gorge, 35 km from Bishkek, at an altitude of 2200 m above sea level. There are 3 cable cars here: medium-difficulty pistes (1000 m), easy pistes (800 m) and high-difficulty pistes (850 m). The length of the slopes is up to 2800 m (altitude difference 600 m). Ski instructor services and equipment rentals are available. Accommodation in a hotel with a restaurant, bar, table tennis room and sauna.

Ski base “Orlovka” is located 100 km from Bishkek. There are 9 tracks of different categories of difficulty, with a length of 150 to 2900 m, with elevation changes from 30 to 560 m. lift length 500 m and drop 110 m (speed 3.2 m/s). And also there are two towing cable cars: length 600 m and drop 120 m (speed 2 m/s); length 150 m and drop 30 m (speed 2 m/s). You can use the services of ski instructors and equipment rental. For recreation and entertainment, the organizers offer a sauna and billiards.

The ski base “Karakol” is located in the forest zone at an altitude of 2300 m on the slopes of the central Tien Shan, 7 km from the city of Karakol. More than 20 km of trails with a length of 400 m to 3.5 km are prepared for skiing. The highest point of skiing is 3040m. Elevation difference 800m, minimum slope 7%, maximum slope 53%. The mountain slopes are serviced by 5 cable-towing lifts, the tracks are prepared using a snowcat. There is a rental of equipment, training from an instructor. The base has a helipad. Accommodation in a small hotel or cottages for 8-10 people. On the territory of the base there is a restaurant, billiards, table tennis, sauna.

In addition, a new type of skiing holiday is being developed in Kyrgyzstan called “Heli-skiing”, which in free translation means riding from a helicopter. Tourists are accommodated in ordinary ski resorts or in a hotel, and they are delivered by helicopter to the untouched mountain slopes. The tracks are specially selected, but this type of recreation is suitable for those who are already confident on skis. Sometimes the descent starts from a height of more than 4500 m above sea level. “Heli-skiing” is carried out on the slopes of the Kirghiz Range and the Terskey and Kungei Ala-Tau Ranges of the Central Tien Shan.


Most mountaineering and tourist facilities in Kyrgyzstan are concentrated near Bishkek , Osh, as well as Karakol and other cities on the coast of Issyk-Kul. During the years of existence of tourism in the Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai several dozen developed routes appeared. All tourist routes are divided into 6 categories according to difficulty, from category 1 (the easiest trips) to category 6 (the most difficult). Simple and short walks (walking, cycling, water or in the mountains) are called non-categorical hikes.

The Trans-Alay Range, in the central part of which is its highest point – Lenin Peak (7134.3 m), forms the northern border of the Pamirs. This ridge stretches in the latitudinal direction for 150 km from the spurs of Kokshaal-Too (Tien Shan) in the east to the confluence of the Muksu and Kyzylsu rivers in the west. The northern slope of the ridge faces the Alaai valley, the southern slope faces the Pamirs. Over a considerable distance, the average heights of the Zaalai Range exceed 6000 m. Lenin Peak – today one of the most famous and frequently visited seven-thousanders of the Pamirs.

Tien Shan means “heavenly mountains” in Chinese. Perhaps, after the Pamirs, these are the highest, most distant and unexplored mountains in the territory of the former Soviet Union. There are still areas in the Tien Shan that have not been fully explored due to severe climatic conditions, difficult terrain, lack of villages and roads, as well as mountains and gorges in which no human has yet set foot.

The Tien Shan ridges are located mainly in the latitudinal direction, except for the Meridional ridge. The ridges are cut by river valleys up to 50-70 km long. Due to differences in relief in the Tien Shan, three regions are usually distinguished: Central, Northern and Western Tien Shan (Eastern Tien Shan is located on the territory of Mongolia and China). The Kungei and Terksei Ala-Too ridges, the Kyrgyz, Chatkal and Fergana ridges, Chaar-Tash, Kakshaal-Too and Temir-Too are often distinguished into separate areas.

The highest and most inaccessible mountains are located in the Central region and in terms of relief and harshness of the climate they resemble the Himalayas. In addition to the world-famous peaks of Khan-Tengri (6995 m) and Pobeda (7439 m) m in the upper part of the Northern and Southern Inylchek glaciers there are more than 30 peaks over 6000 m high and a huge number of peaks from 4000 to 6000 m high. Hiking in these areas is limited due to the difficulty of crossing the passes between the valleys. Tourism here is recommended exclusively for experienced mountain tourists and climbers. The Central Tien Shan is a relatively explored area, but entire mountainous countries are still waiting for their pioneers, such as Ak-Shyirak. There are a large number of passes in this area, ranging from the simplest (1A) to the very difficult (3B*).

Western Tien Shan somewhat lower, has an alpine relief and is characterized by numerous peaks over 4000 m high, glaciers, a large number of mountain lakes, and a mild climate. In the north-west of the Tien Shan is the Kirghiz Range with the highest point of the Western Tien Shan – Semenov-Tian-Shansky Peak (4875 m). In the southwest – the Ferghana Range. Mountain hikes and ascents of 1-5, hiking trips of 1-4 categories of difficulty are mainly carried out here. These areas are very accessible for tourists, because. mountains are crossed by roads. In the Western Tien Shan there are many caves of 1-5 categories of difficulty.

The Northern Tien Shan is famous for its numerous large lakes, its natural southern border is Issyk-Kul. The border between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan runs in this region along the ridges: Kungei Ala-Too belongs to Kyrgyzstan, Zailiysky Ala-Too to Kazakhstan. Hiking up to 4 or mountain 1-5 category of difficulty is carried out mainly in this area, a 2-3-day transition from Alma-Ata to Issyk-Kul through low (up to 3500 m) and simple passes is especially popular.

Skiing in Kyrgyzstan