Tuyuk-Su is a new spot on the ski tour map. You’ve got a chance to join the few riders who will put their signatures on mountain slopes in the northern Tian Shan. Nothing is lacking in here: rocky couloirs, sharp glacial slopes, snow fields and even ski mountaineering lines. Tuyuk-Su Camp is designed for those who wish to freeride winter snow in the springtime, seek for a company of soul mates and hunger for backcountry in a non-trivial ski tour region.

General information on Tuyuk-Su Camp:
Backcountry at Tuyuk-Su, Igly Tuyuk-Su, Manshuk Mametovoy and Molodezhny glaciers. We plan 1–2 descents per day based on weather conditions and physical conditions of the group. Most lines are located within 2–4 ski tour hours from T1 station. Terrain specifics with its steep slopes of up to 40 degrees limited by icefalls, crevasses or crags requires camp participants to be physically and technically trained.


  • Dates: 19–30 May 2018
  • T1 base camp altitude: 3,500 m
  • Hiking distance to Т1: 3–6 hours
  • Lodging:
    19 May, 24–25 May: Almaty Backpackers hostel
    21–24 May and 26–30 May: T1 glaciological station


    Backcountry features:

  • Ascend start time: 5am–7am
  • Return to camp: 12pm–1pm
  • Altitude gain: less than 1,500 m (ski/hike ascent)


Area description:

Located on the northern slope of the Zailiysky Alatau range, the Tuyuk-Su glacier area is only 20 km away from former Kazakhstan capital Almaty. It is a U-shaped high-mountain valley with northern exposure, a glacial limit starting at 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) and peaks exceeding 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Area’s complex terrain features glacial and rocky forms as well as talus deposits and crags on couloir slopes and morainic debris in valleys.


Weather in May is perfect for backcountry: highest precipitation levels, weaker winds, and snow quality reaching winter standards. The temperature is sub-zero in the morning and quickly warms up in the afternoon giving a feel like +20°C in windless weather, while cold snaps up to -10°C are common at night.

Food and lodging:

The base camp is located at the T1 scientific glaciological station at 3,500 meters (11,500 feet). You will stay in mountain barrel huts (4 guests each) or a heated wooden hut (10–12 guests; available if booked in advance). Power outlets to charge portable devices can be used in the evenings. You will cook meals using gas stoves; stocking up will be arranged in Almaty prior to the arrival to the camp.

Organizational aspects:

  • 19 May– meeting in Almaty Backpackers hostel in Almaty, briefing, stocking up, gear fitting and packing
  • 20 May – wakeup, transfer from hostel and hiking to Т1
  • 21–30 May ski tour days. Rest days in Almaty is scheduled on 24 and 25 May (date may change depending on group’s preferences and weather conditions)
  • 30 May – camp’s final day and departure for Almaty before 07 p.m.
    For overnight in Almaty Backpackers Hostel, lodging is arranged by participants (booking by guides is negotiable)
  • For lodging at T1 glaciological station, booking is arranged by guides, fees are covered by participants upon arrival
  • For rest day in Almaty Backpackers Hostel, booking is arranged by guides, fees are covered by participants upon arrival
  • Depending on road snow conditions, transfer distance may vary from Shimbulak ski resort (2,000 meters / 6,500 feet) to T1 glaciological station (3,500 meters / 11,500 feet). Transfer fees will depend on the distance.


Camp cost: €850

Cost includes:

  • guides’ remuneration
  • transfer booking
  • T1 lodging booking
  • advice on personal gear
  • advice on master menu and help in stocking up
  • guiding from hostel to base camp and return
  • advice on and assistance in housekeeping and technical issues
  • first aid kit

Cost does not include:

  • airfare to Almaty
  • T1 lodging fees (€10 per day)
  • Almaty Backpackers hostel fees (€10 per day)
  • food and meals (€50)
  • transfers (€50)
  • gas (€20)
  • extreme sports health insurance

Requirements to participants:

  • confident rider (complex mountain terrain, difficult snow conditions, up to 40 degrees slopes)
  • basic knowledge of avalanche safety and confident handling of avalanche equipment
  • good physical condition
  • extreme sports health insurance for the camp period from 20 May 2018 to 30 May 2018
  • mountaineering experience would be an asset

Minimum required equipment:

1. Ski tour gear

  • avalanche beacon (transceiver)
  • avalanche probe
  • snow shovel
  • ski tour ski / splitboard
  • helmet
  • adjustable trekking poles (for snowboarders)
  • repair tool for equipment


2. Clothing, footwear and accessories

  • hard shell jacket
  • hard shell pants
  • hiking backpack (60–80 l)
  • alpine&ski backpack (25–35 l)
  • thermal underwear
  • thermal socks, 3 pairs
  • gloves / mitts, 2 pairs
  • goggles (preferably 2 pairs, for sunny and cloudy weather)
  • glacier glasses, UV3+
  • snowboard/ski boots
  • down/synthetic jacket
  • fleece jacket
  • down/fleece/synthetic pants
  • headlamp + extra batteries
  • sunscreen (SPF 50+)
  • light bivouac shoes
  • vacuum flask (preferable) or water bottle
  • personal first aid kit


3. Bivouac gear

  • bowl, mug and spoon
  • sleeping pad
  • sleeping bag (-5…-10°C comfort)
  • portable gas stove (per 2–4 persons)
  • casserole (per 2–4 persons)


4. Climbing gear

  • alpine climbing harness (or ski tour harness)
  • ice axe 50–60 cm
  • alpine crampons
  • screwgate carabiners, 4–5 pcs
  • quickdraw carabiners, 3–4 pcs
  • cord 7 mm, 12 meters
  • ice screw 16–22 cm, 1 pc


Application form:

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