Kazakhstani free riders aim to host Freeride World Tour in Almaty18 november 2014, 18:08
Kazakhstani freestyle association Off-Piste aims to conduct the international freestyle championship Freeride World Tour in Almaty, Tengrinews reports.
The head of Off-Piste Yuriy Shneidmuller noted that freestyle had been developing in Kazakhstan with more and more Kazakhstanis willing to take to natural ungroomed terrains. However, there were a number of barriers and obstacles that hindered the development of the winter sport and tourism for local and foreign skiers. “The problem is in our weak infrastructure. For instance, it is difficult to get to us. There are no convenient flights; cheap hotels and the resorts are completely booked out. Usually foreign freeriders visit our country only once, just to get it off the checklist. It is expensive and it takes a long time to get here. There are so many opportunities here. But these things scare away the guests,” Shneidmuller said.
The head of the free ride association said that the issue with the development of free ride tourism in Kazakhstan required combined solutions: creation of favourable conditions for businesses in alpine tourism, governmental support of the free ride sport and improving accessibility of off-piste skiing. Moreover, Kazakhstan has to make itself known on the international level.
“One of our goals and dreams is to host the International Freeride World Tour competition in Almaty. However, the competition is very demanding in terms of infrastructure. Representatives of the competition come and evaluate locations. We have not reached this level yet. But we have a goal. We have to foster our sportsmen who would be participating in such competitions. We have everything in terms of the terrain and mountain availability. We have all the pre-requisites for hosting such events here and have our own sportsmen to represent Kazakhstan internationally,” Shneidmuller said.
Off-Piste and free ride have been strongly supported by famous Kazakhstani mountaineer Maksut Zhumayev. Zhumayev with his Kazakh Alpine Club project is working on development of alpine infrastructure and tourism.
Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova