Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Photo(s): Embracing an Almaty Winter

Skiers at Shymbulak January, 2013
If you are in (or plan to be in) Almaty anytime between November and the middle of March, you might as well get used to one simple fact:  Almaty winters are snowy and cold.  You can beg, cry, and plea with the weather gods all you want but nothing can change this fact.  You have two choices when it comes to dealing with the cold: you can stay indoors for five months, or you can embrace the winter by finding and trying as many fun cold weather things as possible. 

A man cross-country Ski-ing in Gagarina Park, Almaty
During the course of an Almaty winter you can ice skate, sled, ski, snowboard, back-country ski/snowboard, snowshoe, cross country ski, Build snowmen, or practice sliding down the icy sidewalk on the bald soles of your shoes. If enjoy attending live sporting events, there is hockey, basketball, bandy, and the occasional ski-jumping, and ice fishing competitions.

Almaty HC January, 2013
Personally, I recommend ice skating at Medeo (common, how many people can say they've skated on some of the fastest ice in the world?!), catching a free Almaty HC hockey game (it's free and you can't beat free), and spending the day and perhaps a night at Shymbulak or Ak Bulak.  Whatever you decide to do, go prepared with warm clothes, warm drink, and a great attitude.  Bring on the winter!!

 P.S.  I tried snowboarding for the first time last weekend.  The pain was definitely worth it!
Shymbulak by night from the Gondola

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