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Lessons in the Backcountry: One Beginner's Remote Ski Touring Experience in Kyrgyzstan post image

Lessons in the Backcountry: One Beginner's Remote Ski Touring Experience in Kyrgyzstan


Ana Rosberg

June 14, 2022

Last updated on September 4, 2023 by the Explore-Share team


You don't need to be an advanced master of the mountains to enjoy an exciting adventure in the wild backcountry of remote Kyrgyzstan.

Eugene and his friend Andy went on a thrilling Jyrgalan powder fest with IFMGA guide, Anastasiya, who was key in leading them on their first ski touring experience safely.

Photo courtesy of Eugene Wojciechowski

Andy had sent Eugene a clip of ski touring and powder skiing in Kyrgyzstan, and it was so amazing, that they decided to go. They booked the tour through Explore-Share with Anastasiya, one of the best guides in the region. She is actually from Kyrgyzstan, and she is also a "Snow Leopard", a title given to those who have climbed the highest mountains in the former Soviet Union.

Photo courtesy of Eugene Wojciechowski

The ski touring program that the two friends chose usually takes place in Suusamyr, but it was adapted to take place in Jyrgalan instead because there was more snow in Jyrgalan when they traveled. Both locations offer amazing skiing opportunities.

In Jyrgalan, you can stay in Jyrgalan village and then head out to the backcountry from there, while in Suusamyr, options include staying at a mountain skiing base with standard services, or at a luxury yurt. Jyrgalan is also just 60km away from Karakol, where the main tourist circuit in Kyrgyzstan is located. All levels can ski there, from beginner to advanced.

Photo courtesy of Eugene Wojciechowski

In terms of the actual tour, it was flexible enough that it could be adapted to the preferences and levels of Eugene and his friend, as well as to the snow conditions. They enjoyed learning how to ski tour, and went on some amazing powder runs putting to practice the skills that they had learned. Plus, they just loved the experience of visiting Kyrgyzstan in general. There is definitely a motivating factor in learning a new skill in an exciting location. It's double the sense of adventure!

Photo courtesy of Eugene Wojciechowski

Eugene's final verdict:

"We spent our time skiing in Jyrgalan as there was a lot more snow there than in Suusamyr Valley. Jyrgalan was fantastic - blue skies and deep powder! It was a truly remarkable few days. Our guide, Anastasiya, was excellent and she is highly recommended - friendly, good fun, highly knowledgeable (particularly in respect of managing avalanche risk), and extremely helpful."

Photo courtesy of Eugene Wojciechowski

Ski touring in Kyrgyzstan is truly an amazing experience, and although many may have the idea that you have to be an advanced backcountry rider to enjoy its pow, it actually offers options for all levels. Provided that you go with a certified guide that can show you the pointers you need, lead the way, and overall, keep you safe, you can spend a thrilling ski holiday in Kyrgyzstan whether you are a beginner or intermediate or advanced rider. Of course, going with a sense of adventure is a must!

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