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3. The whole lift system Karakol, Kyrgyzstan.

16:00 12th December 2013 by Chris Moran @chrismoranACM


Photo: Tristan Kennedy

Type: Chairlifts.

Route: All over Kyrgyzstan’s premier resort.

Highest point above the ground: Surprisingly there’s nothing over about 20 metres high in this resort, but then again it’s not height that make these lifts scary. No, the fact that the power sometimes shuts off in resort and leaves holidaymakers stranded in the minus 20 conditions is what puts people off.

Age: Most lifts were built in the 80′s, but some date back earlier. Until recently they were still operating a lift that (rumour had it) the Red Army brought back from a German resort at the end of World War Two!

What happens? Not much… if all goes to plan. But Karakol is still probably the sketchiest resort in this article, because while it would be hideous to experience a cable accident anywhere (and there are certainly higher lifts out there) it’s a long way from Karakol to the nearest hospital – down a frozen dirt road.

Danger: Danger… Low Voltage! When we touch, when we freeze.

Random fact: If the resort shuts for a day, it may be because President Nazarbayev is over from neighbouring Kazakhstan and wants to ski without the crowds. Yes – it happens from time to time.

Chance of a chair coming off the cable: High. But don’t worry, you’ll probably land in some powder – it’s what the country is famous for.

Don’t get on… Without your thermals on.


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