Terskey Ala-Too

Terskey Ala-Too

The most interesting and varied area is considered to be the Eastern Issyk-Kul region.  The Lake lies at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Its dimensions are 180 km in length and 70 km in width, depth in the deepest point-702 m. The lake basin is surrounded on all sides by powerful mountain ranges. The western part of droughty, rains are rare, snow almost falls out. All air masses are carried by the winds to the East, to Karakol. Here, the high mountains prevented further advancing clouds, and a large ...

The most interesting and varied area is considered the Eastern Issyk-Kul, Karakol district.

Lake Issyk-Kul lies at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Its dimensions are 180 km long and 70 km wide, the depth at the deepest point - 702 meters. Basin of the lake is surrounded on all sides by powerful mountain ranges.

The western part of the basin is arid , rains are rare, snow almost never falls. All air masses carried by the winds to the eastern side, to Karakol town. Here, the high mountains prevent further advancement of clouds, and most of the precipitation falls on the northern slopes of Terskey Ala-Too chain.


Climate combined with mountainous terrain creates ideal conditions for skiing. A weak infrastructure opens up endless possibilities for ski touring and freeride enthusiasts.

Issyk-Kul lake Basin is located at an altitude of 1600-1700 meters, with the height of the main ridge of more than 4500 m average length of valleys is 25-30 km. Only some of them (about ten valleys) are longuer, to 100 km. The most interesting ski area lies at an altitude between 2500 and 3700 m. They are ideal for day backcountry tours.

Winter weather also contributes to a comfortable journey. The proximity of a large lake creates a warm microclimate without strong winds and extremely low temperatures. The number of sunny days prevails over the bad weather. Large cyclones are rare and short enough. As well, while light snowfalls it is also possible to do a good ski-touring.


Driving with a car from Karakol takes about 1 hour . Get up on skis at an altitude of 2200 m, usually at the highest villages, where roads for accessing are stoped. To arrive to the interesting slopes necessary to go for about one hour along a valley, smoothly going up. Somewhere as Karakol ski station it is possible to use a snowmobile. Total altitude gain from the car to the top is of 1000-1500 m and more, at a distance of about 10 km. Time to approach up is 4-5 hours, so per day can be done 1-2 descents.


Season duration is about 4 months from January to April. You can ride longer, but the lowest part snow conditions is poor. First snow normally falls already in November, creating a substrate. Snowfalls are not long, not more than 30 cm of snow per each one. By the end of the winter snow layer of 1.5-2 meters. But in practice it is very important point is the slopes exposure and form of landscape. The southern slopes are often without any snow; from the western snow carried by the wind to the eastern. It is interesting that during the winter, the snow is not compacted much and almost never become a firn (neve=hard snow surface). Therefore, as a practice shows, a classic ski-touring skis are not very good here, it is more recommended to have wider ski (ab 100 mm in the waist). For snowboarders also poorly proven snowshoes.

 Downhill terrain is very diverse. You can find both flat snowy field with a slight excess for begginners and steep couloars between the rocks for craizys riders. There are two main ski areas - forest and higher forest zone. Forest, mostly firs, rarely pines and hardwoods. It needs some skill, because forests are sometimes dense, stumps and windbreaks. But in the forests the snow is longer as a powder.

Fir forest in Terskei found up to an altitude 2800-3000 meters. Higher are bald (hairless) mountains. From there we have the majestic views to Lake Issyk-Kul from one side and peaks of five thousand m from another. As well as a vast expanse and a large selection of slopes to ski. Sometimes there is a blow crust that keeps the bad. This condition is enhanced by the spring snow. The most attractive sector for skiing is between the north and the east directions, where the greatest amount of snow.

Total for the day goes about 1000 meters (height ) slope interesting , the rest rolled out flat , on his trail .



Caucasus tours Bezengi valley Elbrus region Arhyz Dombai

Kola Peninsula

Kola Peninsula tours


Kamchatka tours Kamchatka geographical review Kamchatka trekking


Karelia tours


Altay tours Ukok plateau Mt.Belukha Chuiskiy ridge The valley of Chulyshman river and Teletskoe Lake


Georgia tours


Kyrgyzstan tours Suusamyr Valley Terskey Ala-Too


Saint-Petersburg tours Hotels Transfers Museums

Polar Ural

Nomad Adventure Trans-Ural Express

Marshrut LLC,
Fonarny str., 12, 2N.
190068, St. Petersburg, Russia
tel/fax 007 931-354-17-77