For the past six winters, I’ve joined a group of intrepid friends on snowshoe trips to backcountry yurts deep in the Colorado wilderness. While this sounds to me a perfect blend of adventure, solitude and relaxation, whenever others heard what I was doing, their first instinct was to question my sanity. For those people, the idea of snowshoeing for hours with a heavy pack to reach a remote canvas structure in the dead of winter seems a bit ridiculous, especially when they learn there’s no electricity, cell service, running water, indoor toilet, or room service.
Rather than continue to defend my vacation choices, I decided to make a film to provide some reasoning for this “thing we do” and answer the question, “why?”.
The result is a justification of why any of us go to the mountains; why we seek solace and adventure in uncomfortable and difficult places. When you strip away modern conveniences and spend a few days high in the mountains in the dead of winter, you fall into a routine that’s very different from your normal “civilized” life. Influenced by this simple life, your mind clears and you starting thinking differently about what’s important. Cell phones are silent, reality television is miles away, bosses and spreadsheets are long forgotten. The only things that matter are feeding the fire, sweeping the deck and soaking in the mountain wonder surrounding you.
With options in many U.S. and all over Canada and Europe, yurt trips are surprisingly easy to plan and are relatively affordable. A simple internet search will likely yield results in your location, or go directly to state park websites, local tourism directories, vacation rental sites like VRBO.com, or the “specialty lodging” tab on TripAdvisor. And while no means comprehensive, the following lists will jump-start your search: