Who We Are


Ryan Koupal
Founder/Director
Tail Guide
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Ptor Spricenieks
Lead Ski Guide
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Greg Johnson
Lead Splitboard Guide
Avalanche Instructor
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Kasidin Musaev
Primary Local Partner
Yurt Host
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Nurbek Kasym Uulu
Village Coordinator
Homestay Host
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We are 40 Tribes, a collective of professional mountain and river guides working in partnership with local hosts/guides-in-training from the Kyrgyz Republic to promote a more innovative and adventurous edge to the country’s community-based ecotourism industry.

Our passion for the backcountry means that we’re stoked on the places and experiences that you won’t read about in the guidebook – villages on the fringe, lost stretches of river, and world-class mountains that haven’t been mapped since the Soviet Era. In those places, we offer one-of-a-kind skiing and fly fishing adventures that emphasize environmental sanctity, sustainability, and community involvement and management.

The ethnonym Kyrgyz derives from the Turkic words kyrk and uz, meaning “forty tribes,” presumably referring to the epic legend of Manas, a warrior who united the original forty Krygyz tribes against Chinese and Mongol invasion. Today, a 40-ray sun is the central emblem of Kyrgyzstan’s national flag.

Our programs pledge to employ village members in a variety of roles. Via our VolunTourism program, we are providing local Kyrgyz with the unique opportunity to train under talented caretakers, chefs and guides from around the globe – helping them develop skills to support winter tourism initiatives in their own backyards. A significant percentage of 40 Tribes’ profit is directed back into the communities in which we work, providing salaries for our local partners and the basis for a locally-held fund intended to support further program and community development goals.