Almaty is beatifully located at the foot of the mountains. If it wasn't for the highrises, you would have panoramic views over these parts of Tian Shan from anywhere in the city. One of the valleys, Malaya Almatinka, was developed into one of the best ski resorts, Shymbulak, in the region with several cablecars and even a giant ice skating rink. Other valleys are still undeveloped with great outdoor activities possible during both summer and winter. For one day trek, try the Shymbulak – base of Pik Komsomola (4330 m). Just follow the road from Shymbulak (one cablecar ride from Medeu), which quickly turns into a rough 4x4-only track, to the end at 3300 m (about 8 km). There are also multi-day treks connecting the valleys for those with a tent and sleeping bag. For the lazy ones, there is the cablecar which can take you up to the Talgar pass at 3163 m. Bring warm clothes for it's cold up here.