International (Europe/Japan/Southern Hemisphere) Upcoming 2022 Trip Reports - N. Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Georgia

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Mattadvproject

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
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My wife and I are going to have 1.5 days or so, to explore the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand. Originally the plan was to take a week and explore a couple of places (Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva) but our plans changed and now we only have enough time for a quick jaunt around Samarkand.

Uzbekistan, prior to the Pandemic was quickly emerging as a new hub of international tourism. They had recently completed a high-speed rail network that linked all of the Silk Road cities together, making train travel from Tashkent quick and easy. Here's a look at one of the trains that we will use to get to Samarkand (344km), about a 2hr 15 minute high-speed train ride away. It costs around $12 one-way, for an economy class ticket.





Samarkand looks phenomenal, I can't wait to see it. It's one of the ancient Silk Road cities that's still pretty much intact (most of Tashkent's old city was destroyed in the 1960's during a huge earthquake, so most of that is old Soviet architecture and history, which will be an interesting contrast to Samarkand). It has a ton of history. I will save my fingers from typing and post a couple of video's from Samarkand that best highlight what there is to see.....






Looks awesome to me! I can't wait to see some of the sites and try some of the local food. The kebabs, plov and breads have me watering at the mouth......

- Matt
 
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Mattadvproject

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
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So we'll have a little time to explore Samarkand and then we have to head back to Tashkent. Then the group convenes and we head up to Amirsoy, about a 2 hour drive from the city in the Tien Shen Mountains. We'll be staying at a complex called "Le Chalet", a group of slopeside (allegedly) 5-star chalets with a large onsite restaurant and spa facility. We should be able to ski to one of the lifts, a high-speed quad on the beginner runs. From there, we can access the gondola which will take us to the top of Amirsoy Mt at 2,290m (7,513ft). There are some other surface lifts for beginners, but that's about it. Vertical drop is 645m or 2,116ft. This is what it looks like......




Now on it's own, that doesn't sound super exciting and not really a reason to travel half-way around the world, but what really excites me, is the access to the sidecountry and the lack of eager powderhounds. This is a new zone for freeriding and I'm keen to get in there early before this place is on the map. Our local guide guided this Russian crew of snowboarders and they found some amazing snow and lines in this next video. Nothing looks crazy steep, but the endless ridgelines and amazing looking snow quality, have me keen to try it for myself..... (this video is in Russian, but it's well worth your time. The action gets good after only 0:25)....




Next up, the ski areas of Chimgan and Beldersay, only 20-minutes drive from Amirsoy.....

- Matt
 
Thread Starter
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Mattadvproject

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
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Next up, Chimgan. This area is smaller than Amirsoy and has 6 surface lifts. It has a lot of sidecountry lines with plenty of tasty looking ridgelines and is perhaps a little steeper than Amirsoy? Snow quality looks like it can be pretty nice. Lift tickets here are around $10! (Amirsoy is $19 mid-week and $23 weekend, I forgot to add that in the previous post)








We can ski here for 3 or 4 days if we like, if conditions warrant it.

- Matt
 
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Mattadvproject

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
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The last ski area we will have access to in Uzbekistan will be Beldersay. They only have one really old double chair and a t-bar, but again, the access to the sidecountry looks great. This is only 20 minutes from Amirsoy and they look like they have similar terrain, with countless ridgelines leading out from the lift/tow, but with some steeper faces under/near the chairlift.






It all looks like fun and hopefully we can get some nice powder and safe lines. Fingers crossed!

- Matt
 
Thread Starter
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Mattadvproject

Mattadvproject

Love that powder!
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Joined
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Location
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Here's our accommodation in Amirsoy, Le Chalet, a new chalet complex next to the beginner area. They say it's 5-star, but we'll see. It does look nice though.....




We finish our stay in Uzbekistan with 2-nights in Tashkent. We have a nice hotel in the heart of the city and we can use the Tashkent metro to get around. The stations themselves are worth seeing as each one has it's own theme and unique decorations. Our closest station tells the story of how Uzbekistan was involved in the Soviet space race, can't wait to see that. The food and cultural sites look really interesting, can't wait to check it all out and report back here.....









That concludes our intro to Uzbekistan, next up, Georgia!

- Matt
 
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