Shymbulak Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Shymbulak Ski Resort
November 07, 2011
Mark Burnell from Kazakhstan
Chimbulak is very different now! A new gondola takes you from Medeu to the base of the mountain. Then you can ride two new combi lifts, combination chair lift and gondola cabins, to the top of the mountain. These are high speed lifts like Europe. The new lodge building at the bottom has three restaurants, lockers, ski rental, and Snow School. It's great!
Overall: 3.1. Based on 9 votes and 6 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Shymbulak.
Public Transport: 3.6
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Shymbulak, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Shymbulak, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.1
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.4
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Shymbulak.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.2
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Shymbulak, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Shymbulak is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Shymbulak relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.1
(1) There are no snow groomers at Shymbulak, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Shymbulak are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Shymbulak is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.3
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Shymbulak, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.4
(1) Shymbulak usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.7
(1) The staff at Shymbulak are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Shymbulak are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.1
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 2.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Shymbulak has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Shymbulak, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.1
(1) Not even a kicker at Shymbulak, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Shymbulak, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Shymbulak has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.4
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 1.9
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 2.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.4
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 2.1
(1) Overall, Shymbulak is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 2.5
(1) Overall, Shymbulak is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
November 09, 2009
john smith from Canada
The facilities at Chimbulak are bad.
Price is cheap: 5000 kzt is barely 34 USD. Extreme shop in Almaty on Dostyk is the best place for rentals if you don't have your own gear.
The snow early in the season leaves a bit to be desired but around Feb/March there are some great days. Only on those days will half the hill at Chimbulak be closed due to their inability to manage a mountain or fully understand avalanche control.
It's a good escape when you have to live here but until you get to the top it's a bit frustrating.
The beer is cold though.
October 08, 2009
Ascanio Martinotti from Luxembourg
Chimbulak is a great place. Where else in the world can you be on the slopes in 20' from the office? Of course, it's not the Alps, and the northern exposure means that sunlight in winter is poor. The cafe higher up from base lifts at Chimbulak has the best shashlyks in the area. For a romantic weekend, try the charming Tuyuk-Su Gates Hotel in Small Almaty Gorge, further up the road from base lifts at 2650mt elevation is perfect. You can take a cottage with fireplace and wake up in a perfect setting amidst the woods. Highly recommended.
February 09, 2008
Michael Simon from Germany
It's great for a day or two to ski, but not really challenging for experienced skiers. I was there a couple of days ago using a day off during a business trip. It's very convenient with only approx 20 - 30 minutes away from the
Lift and ski rentals prices have inflated quite heavily lately as I understand. 1 hours lift pass for 1300 KZT, day pass 5000 KZT, ski rental for a decent pair of ski's up to 50.000 KZT, hence more than you would pay in Switzerland or Austria. I was most pleasantly surprised about the very empty slopes when I was there last week, less than 200 people on the mountain.
In a nutshell, a great place to go skiing and take a break from the city.
January 28, 2006
Derek L from Australia
I've just got back after being there for the last 2 months. It's a great place to ski but beware the temperatures get down to -25C. On a warm day it's a great place to ski with the quad chairlift and the main ones. The new quad is great but the old ones are a bit slow compared to what you would get in Europe.
I also recommend a place called Alatau, a lot smaller & cheaper than Chimbulak but great skiing.
For rental you can rent at Chimbulak or there is a good place in Almaty called "Extremal" where you can rent top of the range equipment for a good price.
I recommend skiing around Almaty, it's a great city with good food and good snow!
January 03, 2006
Christoph S. from Germany
Chimbulak is a great place. I was there first time in year 93. Since that time, when I am on a businesstrip in Almaty, I go there for skiing. You can rent ski equipment directly there. You will find restaurants and new lifts to European standards.
Go there, enjoy it...
Christoph S. from Germany