I grew up skiing in the mountains of North Carolina, so I was looking for a good place in Turkey to carve up some ski slopes. A few weeks ago, I thought I would give the slopes of Uludağ a try. I was pleasantly surprised by the skiing I found on Uludağ. It was fun and challenging in a few places and made for a great skiing experience. There are even a few slopes that would be classified as black diamonds by U.S. standards. Uludağ’s high altitude usually gives the mountain a good base for skiing all winter long. While I was there, a fresh meter of snow fell in over a period of 3 days, making the powder perfect for good control on the slopes.
Some of the runs on Uludağ seemed a little spread out and I couldn’t find a good map of the system, so I had to simply start skiing the basic slopes and figure out how to ski over to the connecting runs and chair lifts. On the basic slopes, T-bar lifts carry skiers up the mountain. I was able to get a hang of the lifts after the first run or two and quickly moved up to more difficult slopes. When I was ready for a break, I found plenty of cafés and hotels to sit down in and have a snack or a cup of tea.
I found the best option for me was to buy a general ski pass that includes nearly all the slopes and lifts. These are sold at the sales booths with large red Avea advertising signs all over them. Adult prices were 50 Turkish lira for 4 hours or 70 lira for the entire day. Keep in mind when buying an all-day pass that the lifts all close a little before dark. Also note that there are a few private chair lifts run by hotels. If you buy a pass with these hotels, you can only ride on that one chair lift. Of course, these hotel lift tickets are much cheaper, but you may prefer a general pass for all the slopes.
For ski equipment rental, I was able to get everything I needed in the local shops at the base of the slopes. I found that Rent Play stores had good prices and quality equipment. For 30 lira I rented boots, skis, and poles for the day. Helmets were an extra 10 lira, as well as ski pants/suits. I noticed that a few shops advertised higher prices (50-55 lira) for daily equipment rentals, but that’s simply because their skis were brand new. I also saw that most snowboards and boots were rented for around the same prices, with some places advertising 40 lira per day.
I heartily recommend Uludağ’s slopes. It really is an excellent place to escape for a few days of fun and my friends and I had a great time. Happy Uludağ skiing!