Editor’s note: This article was published before the coronavirus pandemic, and may not reflect the current situation on the ground.

For a skiing expedition with a twist, adventurer Huw Kingston journeyed to Tajikistan’s remote Fann Mountains, where you’re more likely to spy untouched glaciers than you are any other travelers. Because there are none.

“Fancy skiing in the Fann Mountains?” my friend Dave asked me. “Doesn’t seem like anybody ever has.”

I’m not very good at saying no.

Fast forward a few months and a long-haul flight later, and we found ourselves at Dushanbe airport, loading our ski bags and packs into two small, beat-up cars that were neither Uber nor taxi. You are perhaps at your most vulnerable arriving at the airport in a new country at an ungodly hour.

With the streets of Dushanbe deserted, our drivers were free to put the pedal to the literal metal, and they raced to deposit us, at the first hint of dawn, to Hotel Tojikiston, to sleep off our jetlag.