Things to do in Kazakhstan: mountaineering and rock climbing

Almaty is surrounded by mountains. When look to the south from any point of the city, you see ice covered peaks of the Northern Tien Shan, and they are so close! Imagine, just in an hour you may find yourself at an altitude of 3,000m in the land of glaciers and rocks. Looks like a climber’s paradise, doesn’t it? It really does for the local mountain fans, as well as for those coming from abroad. In case you already have a mountaineering background, you will definitely find things to do in the Touyuk-Su gorge, which considered to the closest one to Almaty (located above Shymbulak ski resort), and advanced in terms of infrastructure. There is variety of 4.000m summits with countless number of routes, rated from 1B to 5A of Russian mountaineering scale in the Touyuk-Su glacier circus. Those preferring dry rock climbing will surely enjoy multi-pitch lines on the Oktyabrenok bastions. The only limit is the season: March-May and October-November are the months of high avalanche danger. Still, during this risky time you can keep training in Tamgaly-Tas (steppes to the north from Almaty) – incredibly beautiful rock massif on the right bank of Ili River.

What if you’re fascinated by the mountains, but your experience is not enough to climb safe on your own? Almaty suits you well, again. Because it is a perfect place to start. As a destination, Almaty is easily reachable by air, train or by road - the city is a main entrance point in Kazakhstan. Being in Almaty means being one hour from Touyuk-Su and glaciers. And in Touyuk-Su, there is a Trekking Club mountaineering school led by famous alpinist Alexey Raspopov.

If you’re interested in taking mountaineering or rock climbing course, you may check relevant section at a Trekking Club website and write e-mail with some info on your background, timeframe and course expectations

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