Guided Ski & Splitboard Tours
There are undoubtedly adventures you think you will never have. Skiing big mountain lines by day and playing Yahtzee around a wood-burning stove in a cozy Kyrgyz yurt by night is probably one of them. Since 2010 40 Tribes has provided the ultimate setup for adventurous, experienced skiers and riders to come explore Kyrgyzstan’s remote Tien Shan Mountains. We offer 2 winter-ready yurts in one of the most beautiful locations in the country, located at 2,650m with immediate access to +3,600m summits, overlooking the second largest alpine lake in the world. Our yurts are run in collaboration with locals from the village at the foot of the mountains we play in, contributing an irreplaceable intercultural element to the skiing experience.
For the 2014-15 season we are offering 4 to 7-day guided tours from February 1-mid March, the primest time of year in our zone. We will also run 1-2 custom expeditions to other ranges in Kyrgyzstan in late March-April.
Group Size: A group of 6 will secure the yurts for just you and your crew. No worries if you cannot meet the minimum requirement, however in this case we reserve the right to fill the remaining spaces – up to the max of 8. We will prioritize matching skill sets and backcountry experience when filling spaces.
Experience: Participants must be advanced to expert level skiers or snowboarders, with at least 1 year off-piste/touring experience. For safety, efficiency, and to maximize everyone’s skiing experience ALL group members must have comparable physical abilities and backcountry skill sets. Participation in our guided tours does not require any formal avalanche safety certification or glacier travel or ski mountaineering experience.
Gear: We require fat powder skis (minimum 108-115mm+ underfoot…the fatter the better!) and splitboards for snowboarders. Trust us on this one. Kyrgyzstan’s bottomless continental snowpack is one of the most unique in the world – you must be able to float big turns, at speed. Participants must additionally be prepared with essential touring and avalanche safety gear.
Physical Requirements: Participants must be in excellent physical condition, and comfortable touring for long distances and carrying their own backcountry packs. Tours from the yurts will typically offer 400-1000m in vertical gain, to maximum elevations of around 3,600m.
Don’t have the #s to meet our minimum requirement? Check out our Small Groups/Solo Travelers Bulletin.
Get acquainted with our amazing guides!
While we are training our local partners to work in the Tail Guide position in the near future, we employ France and Canada-based professional ski and splitboard guides in order to provide our clients with the highest quality backcountry experience. Our Lead Guides, Ptor Spricenieks (La Grave, France) and Greg Johnson (Nelson, British Columbia), both have excellent area knowledge and extensive guiding resumés.
Get acquainted with the amazing terrain accessible from the Jalpak Tash Yurts:
Village Stay: All of our yurt-based guided tours begin with an overnight in our partner family’s home. The homestay experience includes an amazing traditional dinner, comfortable sleeping arrangements, and breakfast before we begin our tour up to the yurts the next morning.
Good Food…And Lots Of It: That’s right, guided stays are fully catered. Our local partners will accompany the group to host, cook, clean, and manage yurt chores.
You coordinate your transport and lodging independently. Grab a taxi to Karakol from the airport or Bishkek bus station and our guides will greet you there. Karakol is approx. 5 1/2-6 hours by road from Bishkek, and a popular tourist destination.
40 Tribes Travelers (transport and lodging included)
Make it easier! Let us arrange private, direct transfers for your group between the Bishkek airport and Karakol, where you’ll meet our guides. Also includes one night lodging in Karakol and one night lodging in Bishkek at the tail end of the trip (can be further customized to fit your needs – more or less days in town, as your schedule allows).
Book before August 1 and receive 5% off
Groups of more than 5 always receive 5% off
*Only one discount may be applied per reservation