Finally! Ski opening in Shymbulak close to Almaty. It’s a mere 25 min ride from Almaty to the ski resort or less even if you get into the cablecar at Medeo. Unfortunately there wan’t an awful lot of snow, but the snow which I could sample was promising: nice and soft, in the same league as the Rockies’ champaign powder, I would say. The bottom section of the ressort was still closed, so there were only two slopes open on top of the ressort. Too little snow to go offpiste – I got a couple of good scratches on my skis now which illustrate this. That said, it’s a great place to be: season opening day, Saturday, the 29th Nov 2014, was a gorgeous bluebird day at initially -16 Celsius – phantastic views into the mountains and over smoggy Almaty.

Excellent fun! And I might have introduced telemarking to Shymbulak. Which wasn’t as spectacular as my Georgian skibuddy crashing onto the slope: