One of the advantages of living in a place where winter lasts for a 1000 years (or so it feels), is that there are a lot of winter activities to be had and held. And because Almaty is also situated in and around the Tien Shen Mountains, this means that there’s a fair bit of skiing, etc. For the Asian Games 2011, the government built a number of sports facilities including a platform and ramp for the Nordic ski jump competition.
A few weekends ago, our university’s English club went out in sub-zero Celsius weather to watch the international Nordic ski jumping competition held in town and a few faculty members (myself included) tagged along. I actually went out to a similar facility in Willingen, Germany when living in the Netherlands. (Unfortunately, the winter I went, it was such a mild winter that instead of snow, all we saw was mud. But it did make for some decent hiking.)