Address: just ahead of the Medeu Ice Skating Rink
A large, 6 million cubic meters reservoir, situated 1900 meters above sea level, built in 1956 to protect Almaty from frequent landslides in the spring due to melting of ice.
You can go see the dam either by car or on foot – park your car at the skating rink. Going on foot is definitely a much more enriching experience – you can never get enough of the steep mountainsides, the towering forests, and the fresh smell of wet leaves and soil!
A series of steps leads up to the dam. Tradition goes that you guess the number of steps before starting your journey upstream and if, on reaching the dam, your guess was right, a wish will come true (you will probably lose count of the steps along the way, but who cares – it sure is fun to try it out!)
Once you reach the top, you will see what all that climbing was worth – great views of the mountainside, the river valley, the ice rink, and, further out, the outlying Almaty!
A further 5 km drive upstream from the dam will bring you to the Chimbaluk Ski Resort. The road is quite uneven and has sharp turns – drive slow, and very carefully.