The single most iconic image of Kyrgyzstan is, no doubt, the traditional Kyrgyz Boz-ui/Yurt deep in the high mountains of the country. While shepherds have long left the high pastures by the time full winter arrives, several yurt camps dotted across the country operate all winter long to cater to winter visitors, from families looking for a relaxing weekend out in the mountains to hardcore ski bums looking to skin up the nearest peak and freeride back down. Even if winter isn't the time our Kyrgyz nomads would typically be in camps, the warm welcome offered by these heated winter yurts and friendly family hosts is no less authentic than at any other time of the year – and it's certainly a unique experience compared to the landscapes that summer visitors see.Kyrgyz sporting traditions are, in many circumstances, easier to find in winter than during the summer months. Practitioners of Salburuun, the traditional techniques in which Kyrgyz hunters train taigan dogs and golden eagles to aid in hunting, were often even more important in the cold months when other meat options were scarce for nomadic families; and certainly the winter backdrop isn't doing tourists' photos of the sport and harm! Likewise, the game of ulak tartysh (known elsewhere in the region as kok boru or buzkashi), in which two teams of mounted riders battle for control of a goat carcass to toss into goals at opposing ends of the playing field, it much more common to find in the winter months; it's not unusual at this time of year to spot a game forming in any random field just between two villages, as local teams come together to play a match on a quiet Sunday afternoon.