Shumbulak is a ski resort near Almaty. It is the largest ski resort in Central Asia. It is located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zailiisky Alatau mountain range, at an elevation of 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) above sea level. The resort area is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Almaty city by Medeo road. It is popular for its mild climate, large quantity of sunny days and great amount of snow through the winter (from November till May).
Şymbulaq (also known as Chimbulak) was discovered by amateur skiers in the 1940s. Soon after, it became the first downhill route in the Soviet Union. Skiers originally needed to climb up the mountain tops on foot (which took roughly 3 hours). In 1954 a 1500 meters ski tow was built. Starting from 1961, Şymbulaq hosted several USSR Championships and the Silver Edelweisse prize skiing competitions. In 1983 it became the Olympic ski training center for the USSR. During this time, various commodities were built including restaurants and hotels.
In 1995 the school of alpine skiing and snowboarding Shymbulak was opened. The school is a member of the International Ski Instructors Association ISIA.
The annual Artyemenko Prize competition has been held in Şymbulaq since 2011. The competition is held in February. Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games, bid for 2014 Winter Olympics, considered a bid for 2018 Winter Olympics, but decided to bid for 2022 Winter Olympics instead; Şymbulaq was a venue for the alpine skiing events (both speed and technical), and would have been for the latter.
The Shymbylak ski resort is located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Alatau mountain range, 25 km from Almaty. The resort can be reach by Gondola cars from Meadeu.
The weather varies from 20 °C (68 °F) in summer to −7 °C (19 °F) in winter and the snow base is about 1.5 to 1.8 metres (60–70 in).The average snowfall is around 1.5 m. The duration of the ski season is from November to April.
The ski areas span over 3000 ft of vertical drop (920m) and nearly 7.5 miles (12 km) of ski runs. There are three ski lifts at the resort with the highest going to 3200 meters above sea level. There is also a Hotel located at the Resort, enabling those wishing to ski during the day, have a place to stay at night.
It is popular for its mild climate, large quantity of sunny days and great amount of snow through the winter (from November till May). The resort offers a ski and snowboard school. There is also Shymbulak hotel (4 stars) and ski, snowboard and sleigh rentals.
There are three ski lifts, which cumulatively reach Talgar pass (3,200 metres [10,500 ft] above the sea level), the highest point of the ski resort. The total length of the lifts is 3,620 metres (11,880 ft). There are 3 stations of them; the first one is Intersection Station (2,260 metres [7,410 ft] above the sea level) (9 minute trip), then 20th Prop Station (2,630 metres [8,630 ft] above the sea level) (16.5 minutes) and Talgar pass Station (3,200 metres [10,500 ft] above the sea level). There is also Snow-Park for the fans of snowboarding.
In November 2021, the Shymbulak Ski Resort held an opening ceremony for a night skiing course on the Talgar Pass.
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