WHAT IS A YURT
A yurt is a moveable, circular dwelling made of a lattice of flexible wood and covered in felt or canvas. They are a sturdy, reliable type of tent that can house between 5 and 15 persons. Yurts have been the primary style of homes in Central Asia, particularly Mongolia, for thousands of years. They are ideal dwellings for the nomadic cultures of the Central Asian steppe. A steppe is dry, flat grassland with no trees and a cooler climate than other types of grasslands, such as savannas and prairies. The steppe is a very windy biome because no trees, shrubs, or tall grasses serve as windbreaks. The circular shape of yurts makes them able to resist winds from any direction. Even now, the day to day existence of many pastoral families on the Asian plateau centers on the rhythm of nature, the seasons, and life in a yurt home.
HOW A YURT WORKS?
The structural integrity of a yurt is based on compression and tension working together to form a freestanding, clear span structure. At the top of the yurt, the hub or compression ring is under pressure from the rafters, which radiate out from it. The rafters span out and down from the ring at a thirty-degree angle, and hook onto the main cable— which is under tension. The main cable is a continuous loop, preset to the exact circumference of the yurt. It is supported by the lattice wall and doorjamb, which bolt together to form a continuous circular wall. The roof material, the fabric walls, the dome and the door enclose the yurt framework.
An hour and a half outside of Salt Lake City, the Uinta Mountains are a gem. The Uintas are a high, pristine mountain area in northeastern Utah that is popular for fishing, hiking, backpacking, horsepacking, hunting and winter activities. Much of the area is designated as a roadless wilderness where vehicles are prohibited. The Uinta Range is the highest in Utah, and is the only major range in the contiguous United States with an east-west orientation. Elevations range from 8,000 feet in the lower canyons to 13,528 feet atop Kings Peak - the highest point in Utah. Ridges divide the area into large, scenic basins; many ridges rise abruptly several thousand feet above the basins. There are well over 1,000 natural lakes in the Uintas and more than 500 of them support populations of game fish. There are also over 400 miles of streams. In contrast to the surrounding desert, the Uintas receive about 40 inches of precipitation annually, mostly as snow. The growing season is short. Temperatures in areas above 10,000 feet are seldom above 80 degrees during summer days. Night temperatures during summer are 30-40 degrees, with freezing possible at any time. Summer afternoon thunderstorms may occur with little warning. Most of the mountain slopes are forested. Coniferous trees (lodge pole pine, Engelmann spruce, Douglas fir, sub-alpine fir) grow in large continuous stands. Quaking aspen occur in scattered patches throughout most of the lower elevations. Isolated meadows - resembling large parks - and willow fields add variety to the timbered areas. Many peaks extend above tree line.
• You will meet the NAC guides in the morning at your pre-determined meeting location (see your trip confirmation for details).
• Once everyone has arrived, we will start our trip with an opening circle in which we get to know everyone’s names and goals for the trip.
• After introductions, we will provide a safety briefing, in which we lay down some general rules to keep the group safe, how to use the gear, and how to keep warm. Then we will pass out gear and make sure everyone is fitted appropriately. We will also load your personal gear onto sleds to take to the yurt.
• Next, we will teach specific cross country skiing or snowshoeing techniques, depending on which activity your group has requested. We will practice a skills progression, using games and drills. We will make sure everyone is comfortable on their skis or snowshoes before we get started.
• Once on the trail, your group will continue to improve their skills, building on some of the basics we covered and challenging themselves with different activities, games, and terrain.
• After an hour, we will get to camp. We’ll warm up in the yurt and get settled.
• For those needing a bit more adventure and activity, we’ll head back out for some more exploring in the afternoon. For a little less adventure there will be activities to participate in at the yurt.
• In the evening, we’ll make dinner, play games, and recount our favorite moments of the day.
• The next morning, after breakfast, we’ll pack up and make our way back to the vehicles.
• If your group is doing a two-night adventure, then there will be another day of fun-filled adventure before packing up.
• At the end of the trip, we will gather once again for a closing circle, during which we’ll share highlights and lessons learned from the trip.
*This is a sample itinerary. Your trip may vary per your goals and requests.
WHAT NAC PROVIDES
NAC will provide snowshoes or cross country ski gear, camp kitchen, chairs, and all food.
DRESSING FOR WINTER WEATHER
In order to be prepared for any weather, it is important to dress in loose fitting clothing which can be layered. Wearing long sleeves and long pants is a good way to protect your skin from cold and wind. If possible, avoid anything cotton (e.g., jeans, hoodies, etc.), as it is a poor insulator when wet. Additionally, snowstorms can happen unexpectedly in the winter so it is important to bring along a waterproof jacket & pants and an additional warmer layer with you.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
• Waterproof long pants
• Waterproof jacket
• Warm top and bottom layer
• Non-cotton T-shirts (2)
• Gloves or mittens
• Warm hat/ neck gaiter
• Waterproof boots
• Warm socks (2-3 pair)
• Water bottle
• Sunscreen & sunglasses
• Warm sleeping bag & travel pillow
• Slippers for inside the yurt
• Toiletries & personal medications
If you have any other questions that are not addressed please call (435) 649-3991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
After you have paid your deposit, we will send you a link to fill out your paperwork electronically. If you’re unable to fill out the forms electronically, please contact our office for other arrangements. Paperwork must be completed for everyone on the trip.
THE WEEK OF YOUR TRIP
If your numbers have changed, please contact our office at least two weeks prior to your trip so you are not charged for extra people, or if you want to add people, to ensure that we can accommodate additional people on your trip. If you, or a member of your group, has experienced a change in health or experienced a recent injury, please contact the NAC office so we can make necessary accommodations.
THE DAY OF
You will meet NAC staff at the designated time and location on your trip confirmation. Have fun!
Our guides are capable of handling emergencies as they arise (although they are generally few and far between). Trip leaders and guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder and CPR. Our emergency equipment includes wilderness oriented first-aid-kits and satellite communications systems. We are able to call for medical assistance or evacuation if necessary. If an evacuation is necessary, you will be evacuated to the nearest medical center. The cost associated with evacuation and subsequent medical treatment is the financial responsibility of the ill or injured person.
Winter conditions can be extreme. Be prepared for snow, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures.
You can visit www.noaa.gov for up-to-date weather information.
Photos by Bailey E