Ryan Koupal’s 40 Tribes Backcountry offers Asia’s most exotic yurt trips

Wake up, drink coffee, eat breakfast, climb outside to ski—it’s a classic yurt-trip experience. But instead of emerging into Colorado’s snow-covered aspens or British Columbia’s blanketed conifers, you awake in a high-mountain pasture where 12,000-foot peaks surround the yurt’s traditional woolen-felt cover. It is the farthest out, most exotic yurt-based ski setting imaginable—and that is exactly what Ryan Koupal set out to create in Kyrgyzstan seven years ago.

The Seventh Sojourn: It’s impermissible to ski on Kilimanjaro. Will it soon be impossible?

When Hannah Follender was studying abroad in Kenya in 2009, she climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft.), where she saw a large basin filled with snow. Although she wasn’t there to ski, the glaciers sparked an idea—she would return someday with skis in tow.

The Wild, Wild South: How a handful of South American countries are reshaping guiding and avalanche safety

That emphasis on certification, and on overall avalanche education, is relatively new for much of South America, says Greg Shaffran, an avalanche instructor and guide for Aspen Expeditions who has spent the past three summers in Chile and, last season, began teaching avalanche courses in Ushuaia, Farellones, Laguna Del Maule and Chillán.

Backstory: Hot, Flat and Snowy

My heart jumps. There’s more snow than I expected, covering the summits of Mt. Stirling, the west ridge of Buller and the high edge of The Bluff. Closer to the mountains, I follow the Delatite River, which runs fast with snowmelt, and then, finally, starting up the mountain itself and into the alpine ash forest.

Mountain Skills: Planning a trip to an offbeat location requires more than Google

Chamonix. Hokkaido. Portillo. Certain locations are synonymous with international ski travel, meaning resources for trip planning are as plentiful as some places can be crowded. But what about planning a trip to Kosciusko, Aoraki, Vielha or some other little-spoken-of locale with limited beta, few available maps or no guidebooks? Where do you start?

css.php