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Skiing in the Middle East & Central Asia

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I've just discovered this site and i'm hoping it can prove very useful. I am living in Iran at the moment and am counting the days til winter so i can take advantage of the mountains out here. Skiing out in this part of the world got me thinking about planning a trip to explore all of the incredible and rarely skied mountains that the Middle East and Central Asia have to offer. Any experiences, information or advice anyone can give me from personal experience or any pointing in the right direction for researching such a trip would be greatly appreciated. Although still just a pipe-dream , I am hoping to try and go from Turkey all the way to western China meandering my way through the various mountains and ski resorts. Also any info about heli-skiing in these areas would be very appreciated.

In return I can offer you my gratitude and any information about skiing in Iran that I can help out with.

Many thanks, Cyrus
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
cyrus, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead

Can't help you myself, however there are a couple of other snowHeads who have skied in Iran, and someone has posted on Kulmarg in (a place which may be India or Pakistan)...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Welcome to snowHeads cyrus! snowHead

I have skied in Turkey although I wouldn't say it was incredible or rarely skied - Uludag. A poster here, kuwait_ian, funnily enough used to live in Kuwait. I don't know if he skied anywhere in the Middle East - if he doesn't spot this thread you could try PMing him
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
cathy wrote:
Welcome to snowHeads cyrus! snowHead

I have skied in Turkey although I wouldn't say it was incredible or rarely skied - Uludag. A poster here, kuwait_ian, funnily enough used to live in Kuwait. I don't know if he skied anywhere in the Middle East - if he doesn't spot this thread you could try PMing him

I think Ian skied in Iran sometimes when he was based there.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not skied in that area myself, but a mate (low-intermediate skier) has been in Turkey a couple of times. I think it was Uludag. He took a long coach-ride there from Istanbul where his then girlfriend lived. He said it was okay, if a little busy. He didn't mention any lack of snow.

Another friend (adv-inter snowboarder) now lives in Kazakhstan. He says Almaty in the south-east is okay, not huge, but some wide, smooth blue & red runs to have fun on. Hire gear is total cr4p, take your own stuff. He doesn't really do off-piste, but I would imagine the heli-skiing involves a rickety old soviet-era Mil helicopter, and a few Hail-Marys!!

Good luck! snowHead
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Re. Almaty

Different from Switzerland!

The resort is Chimbulak (or Shymbulak) and interesting for a day or so. Website (.kz) is down at the moment, but Googling produces some blog info. Top run is from 3200m.

Ice Perv's friend is right about the hire gear, it was pretty awful, though if you pay a bit extra they can find some good stuff. Crowded at weekends. No nonsense about piste inspections at the end of the day, and hire your own taxi or 4WD, and public transport, although cheap, is a bit unreliable. If you get stuck overnight, there's a basic hotel up there. Take a well-charged mobile phone, pre-hooked to someone who speaks Russian, or else you haven't a chance if you get lost. And, yes, those choppers are to be avoided, although the ones we saw were military. Interesting avalanche risk in March.....

Good luck!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
cyrus, welcome to snowHead s

I've skied the Dubai snowdome, if that's any help!

Give my regards to Cambyses! Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Re. Almaty again.

This looks up-to-date gen.

http://expat.nursat.kz/?218

and gives info on another nearby resort - Almatau.

Boswell
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
cyrus, sorry for the delayed reply. Where are you in Iran?? If in Tehran, the 'best' area is Dizin - either accessed off the main road to Chalus on the Caspian Sea or via the back road up to Shemshak (also a good slope but better for the more experienced). Stick Dizin or Shemshak into the site's search engine (in the User Facilities pop down menu - top left) for previous threads / photos, etc. Skiing in Iran can be wonderful but I'd suggest you get your own kit - hired stuff tends to be rubbish. Try the Iran Ski Federation site for info about other areas. http://www.skifed.ir/ski.htm - skip the intro. It's in English and really quite good. There is also a slope or two on the south facing side of Towchal mountain overlooking Tehran itself and accessible via a long gondola from the northern suburbs.
For the north Indian stuff on snowHeads, plug Gulmarg into the search engine. Have a good trip.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
How about Lebanon?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
cyrus,

If it is possible head for the Alps, anywhere in France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland or even Germany will do.

Iran's Towchal may be higher than any European resort but you are comparing skiing 2 to 3 lifts with 200 lifts (3 Vallees)! Some of these places take a day to ski around a loop and can offer over 1200km piste to choose from.

Tehran does have the advantage of having a skiing resort at the edge of the city and about a skiing season lasting about 9 months.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
kuwait_ian wrote:
cyrus, sorry for the delayed reply. Where are you in Iran?? If in Tehran, the 'best' area is Dizin - either accessed off the main road to Chalus on the Caspian Sea or via the back road up to Shemshak (also a good slope but better for the more experienced). Stick Dizin or Shemshak into the site's search engine (in the User Facilities pop down menu - top left) for previous threads / photos, etc. Skiing in Iran can be wonderful but I'd suggest you get your own kit - hired stuff tends to be rubbish. Try the Iran Ski Federation site for info about other areas. http://www.skifed.ir/ski.htm - skip the intro. It's in English and really quite good. There is also a slope or two on the south facing side of Towchal mountain overlooking Tehran itself and accessible via a long gondola from the northern suburbs.
For the north Indian stuff on snowHeads, plug Gulmarg into the search engine. Have a good trip.






"Ian, thanks for your reply. I have actually been in Tehran now for eight months or so and managed to explore a lot of the skiing on offer at the back end of last season. It was more the surrounding countries and on through into central Asia that I was after, the 'stans' etc. Ill check out Gulmarg.

Any chance you or anyone else knows anything about Sabalan in Iranian Azerbaijan. They recently started building a resort there and I have heard vague rumours that the skiing is pretty good up that way but didnt get a chance to go and find out for myself. I am actually going to be going on a trip that way in a few weeks and plan to have a look at whats gone up there. Thanks again for the reply.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

If it is possible head for the Alps, anywhere in France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland or even Germany will do.

Unbelieveable.......... it nevers ceases to amaze. No matter what question is posted on snowHead snowHead snowHead somebody always pops up and writes "go to France" Evil or Very Mad Puzzled
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