Yurt Living and deep snow can go hand in hand, and yet there are things that need to be understood about this relationship.
We would like to help people that are embarking upon Yurt Living to be sufficiently educated about what they are getting into so that they will have positive experiences!
OK, lets talk about snow. We lived in Yurts for almost seven years in NW Montana. My children were very young when we began our Yurt Living journey. It was important to me to create a comfortable and safe home. We did this and had a wonderful experience!
We insulated our Yurts well and also added snow load supports. Also, we learned from our experiences and we upgraded our Yurt design so that a Yurt could tolerate extreme weather conditions.
First, I’d like to make it clear that the smaller Yurts are a better idea in areas where you will get large amounts of snow all at once. Please understand that the ski adventure outfitters that place Yurts out in the mountains in the Rocky Mountains and also in the Northwest use the smaller Yurts for this purpose. Their Yurts are often totally buried in snow! Small Yurts set up properly can tolerate this! The outfitters that I have personally talked with use both the 16 ft. and 20 ft. Yurts for this purpose.
Yes, we lived in large Yurts in the Rocky Mountains where we had potential to receive a decent amount of snow. The most snow that we got in a winter was about four feet. The most that we got in one snowfall was about two feet. When I woke up in the morning and there was a lot of snow on the roof, I would go out with a broom and knock off as much snow as I could reach around the perimeter of the Yurts. We were always home, and were able to keep the fire going (which melted some of the snow on the roof) as well as physically knock off as much as we could.
If I were going to set up a Yurt in the mountains as a get away place where I would not be present except on weekends or special occasions, I would definitely set up one of the smaller Yurts. If I wanted more space, I would add more Yurts. I would add the snow and wind kit, and make sure that all reinforcements were in place. (All of our Yurts come with rafter brackets and also each rafter has a pre-drilled hole at the cable end so that you can easily set a keeper screw on that end so the rafter will stay on the cable in the event of big winds.)