2018 Tian Shan travel: Part 41

2018 Tian Shan

August-September 2018 travel to Kazakhstan reviewed in 2021

Commentary from 2021

This post described the return from the higher mountain station in Shymbulak resort in 2100 metres. There I noticed in that in the middle of summer people tend to forget that if you go up to that height, temperatures are much lower and you just have to take a jacket. They didn’t and when temperature worsened, I am sure many spent their vacations sick.

It was also unusual for me because I got early into the cable car cabin, with some other people, and while the journey down normally takes 15 minutes, in this terrible weather it took it 1 hour.

Original blog post link:
Original post from 29.08.2018 is copied below.

Windstorm around the cable car cabin

Weather in the mountains changes rapidly. And it gets colder the higher you get. Everyone knows that. And most people still ignore it.

On 2100 metres I’ve seen folks go up in supershorts (half butt out), sandals, t-shirts. I almost looked weird with a jacket and a hat. Then, they looked weird when weather suddenly changed from +18 in the sun to +7 with frigid rain in a windstorm.

Wind got really strong and everyone rushed to the cable car. Some people, including children, were standing there with bare legs and arms, not even a blouse or a jumper. People were packing more to cable cars than allowed – especially that soon it was supposed to be closed.

The trip up in good weather took 15 minutes, the trip down in terrible weather took 60 minutes. Fortunately, equipment is modern and well maintained. Especially in area with earthquakes, one would imagine the equipment to be prepared for more than just bad weather. I could see the dampeners above the cabin work with ease to make sure we all arrive safely.

Still, when there’s wind whistling around you, and the cabin sways like a pendulum, it gets people nervous.

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