Gorelnik Hot Springs and Medeu Ice Rink in Almaty [with Video]

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I was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A city surrounded by beautiful mountains. As you can guess, I’ve spent days and days hiking, climbing and just recharging my inner-batteries in the mountains.

Check out my recent trip to Kastek Gorge.

Last week my friend and I had a half-day trip to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Almaty – Medeo Ice Rink (or Medeu, Медео, Высокогорный каток медео).

Most of the citizens believe that Medeo is the world’s largest high-mountain skating rink. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but it’s located at an altitude of 1691 meters above sea level.

Medeu dam. Селезащитная плотина Медеу.

Medeu dam protects the city from potential stone and mudflows.

Medeu Ice Rink (Высокогорный каток медео)

Medeo ice rink. Высокогорный каток медео.

Medeu Ice Rink is usually crowded. Most of the citizens go there for ice skating at least once a year.

Medeu stairs. Ступени на Медеу.
Medeu stairs. Ступени на Медеу.

We’ve counted 848 stairs to the top of the dam.

Medeu stairs. Ступени на Медеу.

Some of the stairs are quite steep. Make sure you challenge them when you’re sober.

Ruslan. Ступени на Медеу. Руслан.

Ruslan, my buddy, climbing partner and just a good person.

Medeu dam architecture.

Not sure what these swallow wings mean. They were built in Soviet Union time.

Medeu stairs. Ступени на Медеу.
Medeu stairs. Ступени на Медеу.
Medeu dam. Shymbulak cable car. Канатная дорога на Чимбулаке.

This is the view from the top of the Medeu dam. You can see a cable car that can take you straight to the Shymbulak Ski Resort (or Chimbulak, Чимбулак, Шымбулак).

Shymbulak funicular. Фуникулер на Шымбулаке.

6 person cable car starts at the base of Medeu car park and takes you to Shymbulak Ski Resort in about 20-30 minutes. You can go even further, all the way to Talgar pass (3200 meters above sea level) by cable car.

Some warnings.

Medeu. Медеу.
Medeu. Медеу.
Shymbulak. Шыбмулак. Чимбулак.

You can see Shymbulak Ski Resort on this photo.

Shymbulak. Шыбмулак. Чимбулак.

You can see Abay peak (Пик Абая) on the left. 4010 meters above see level.

Shymbulak. Шыбмулак. Чимбулак.
Hicking path sign.

I have never seen this path before. It’s actually a short-cut from the hot springs (next photo) to Medeu dam. I’ll show this path in more details below.

Gorelnik Hot Springs (Горячий источник Горельник)

Gorelnik Hot Springs. Горячий источник Горельник.

This was our final destination. It took about an hour and a half from Medeu Ice rink to Gorelnik Hot Springs (Горячий источник Горельник).

Gorelnik Hot Springs. Горячий источник Горельник.

This is place is available for public for free.

Gorelnik Hot Springs. Горячий источник Горельник.

The water is pretty warm. I’d say around 20’C.

Gorelnik Hot Springs. Горячий источник Горельник.
Sleepy cat. Спящий кот.

There’s a cat family living near the hot tubs. They seemed well-fed and happy. Ignore this father cat, he was just sleepy.

Sleepy cat. Спящий кот.
Cat. Кошка.

This is a baby cat. She was hiding under the floor until she got used to us.

Cat. Кошка.

Time for massage.

Cat. Кошка.

This is the fastest cat.

Cat. Кот.

Happy father cat.

Cat. Кот.

Happy cat face.

Gorelnik Hot Springs. Горячий источник Горельник.

When we were leaving a few more groups of people arrived.

Shymbulak. Шыбмулак. Чимбулак.
Medeo dam. Селезашитная плотина Медео.
Medeo dam. Селезашитная плотина Медео.

This is the path I mentioned earlier. A short-cut. I’ve never seen it before.

Medeo dam. Селезашитная плотина Медео.

It’s not far from the Small Almaty River.

Hiking in Almaty mountains.

Hiking in Almaty mountains.

Medeo dam. Селезашитная плотина Медео.

Medeo dam.

Medeo dam. Селезашитная плотина Медео.

Medeo dam.

Shymbulak Ski Resort.

Enjoy the views.

Medeu dam.
Medeu dam.

Medeu dam.

Medeu Ice Rink. Каток медео.
Medeu Ice Rink. Каток медео.

Last photo: Medeu Ice Rink (Высокогорный каток Медео).

It was a quick but fun hike in the Almaty mountains. I recharged my inner batteries and cleared my mind.

I recommend this place if you ever visit Almaty or travel to Kazakhstan.

Let me know if you like this kind of posts and I’ll publish more. Oh, you can check my last year’s vlog about rafting in Almaty.

Cheers,
Renat Galyamov

PS: want to share this with your friends?
👉renatello.com/gorelnik-and-medeu

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