Backcountry in

Kotyrbulak Gorge



Duration: 1 day
Season: December – March
Mountain Range: Ile Alatau

About tour:

A distinctive feature of backcountry in Almaty is the close proximity to the mountains and a large selection of backcountry routes, which are good enough for both, beginners and hard-tempered freeriders. Kotyrbulak gorge is one of such amazingly beautiful places, where the Pioneer ski resort is located. It will be the start point of the route with the view to Bukreev peak so far, named in honor of the famous Kazakhstan mountaineer Anatoliy Bukreev. Some time ago the peak was called Pionerskiy (Poineer). Accompanied by experienced skiing guides, you can skin up to the panoramic ridge, where you will see this peak even closer. Descent along the north-western slope in the forest zone among Tien-Shan spruces, whose fluffy spreading crowns keep the snow soft until the end of winter.


 – close proximity to the city

– amazing view of Bukreev peak

– stunning panorama of Almaty city

– riding in mellow snow among Tien-Shan spruces

– acquaintance with biography of legendary Kazakhstan mountaineer Anatoliy Bukreev

– visiting local village for trying local homemade jams, canned goods and apples

– watching hasteless countryside lifestyle

– trying traditional national dishes and beverages


from 41$ per person


10 people

Number of persons:


Ile Alatau


December – March

The highest point:

3000 m.a.s.l.


1 day

Ability level:

beginner, intermediate

Start point:



Almaty – Besagash – Beskainar – Kotyrbulak gorge – Pioneer ski resort


Meeting the guide at the lobby of your hotel/hostel at 8 a.m. Transfer to the ski resort Pioneer, located on the territory of Ile-Alatau National Park in Kotyrbulak gorge at an altitude of about 1900 meters. (40 km, ~ 40 mins). Arrival to the spot, equipment preparing, guide’s instructions. Starting the route and skinning up along the t-bar ski lift towards the eastern ridge of Bukreev peak. Approximately in half an hour there will be first planned stop near the spring and left house, where you will be able to have a short rest, change clothing, if needed and take pictures. Then you will do traverse to the north-west slope and enter into the small gorge. Ascent to the Panoramic ridge with an altitude of 2700 meters. All the way from Pioneer resort to the highest point of the route will take approximately 3 hours. From the ridge you will see the peak even closer and also the rocky ledge on the opposite ridge, which has pretentious name The Cape of Hope. Descent will be made along the ridge among Tien-Shan spruces with getting the wide field with low bushes of juniper. Then after short traverse descent will continue along the spring and end near the summer houses of the resort. Transfer back to Almaty. On the way you will have chance to visit local food stores in Beskainar village, where the residents sell homemade products, like jam, honey, canned salads, apples and other goodies. Lunch in one of the local cafes, where you will be served «shashlyk», fresh salads, «plov» and hot tea with sweets. Coming back to Almaty about 6 p.m.

Read more about Kotyrbulak gorge and Bukreev peak>>

Upon your wish we can arrange evening bath-house in the mountain area nearby the spot (optionally, extra charge). 

Required clothing and equipment


– avalanche equipment (air bag system and avalanche safety kit: shovel, probe, transciever)
– freeride backpack with ski/snowboard fixation (volume 25-40 liters)
– helmet
– goggles with a spare lens for foggy conditions (better to have 2 goggles)

Personal clothing and accessories:

– comfortable functional clothing for riding downhill and skinning up the hill (base layer: thermal underwear, membrane jacket and pants, fleece jacket, additional layers of clothing for insulation, downy sweater or vest)
– two pairs of gloves or mittens (one light and one warm)
– warm hat, light cap, neck gaiter
– sunscreen
– sunglasses
– personal AID kit (adhesive plaster, emergency thermal blanket, individual medications)
– repair kit (spare parts and tools for adjustment and repair your bindings,duct tape, rubber straps)
– thermos
– water tank

– ski/snowboard boots (for skiers with system of switching to walking mode)
– proper freeride skis/snowboard with touring bindings
– snowshoes (for snowboarders without splitboard)
– climbing skins
– telescopic poles
– ski/splitboard crampons

– individual snacks for the route (energy and protein bars, muesli, dry fruits and nuts, special mount nutrition)

Services included in the package:

1. English-speaking skiing guide services.
2. Transfer Almaty – Pioneer ski resort – Almaty.
3. Ecological fee for entering to the territory of the National Park.
4. Lunch in the end of skiing part of the program in cafe (fresh salad, shashlyk, plov, tea and sweets).
5. Bottled water (1 l).

Services does not included in the package:

1. Accommodation in Almaty before or after the tour.
2. Rental of ski and avalanche equipment (available upon request).
3. Meals, not indicated in the program.
4. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required.
5. Personal expenses and other expenses, not indicated in the program.
6. Insurance policy.
7. Expenses for buying souvenirs, products and etc. (it’s recommended to have some cash in
small local currency in the amount of 10 000 tenge).

Please, note:

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

It is required to have travel insurance covering freeride, alpine touring and backcountry in the remote mountain area, including rescue by helicopter.

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