In the Indian hill resort of Manali, Tibetan Peter Dorje runs an operation dedicated to the most implausible extreme sport in the world: yak skiing. In winter, he takes up to five skiers and his herd of beasts to the hills above town, making overnight camp. Come morning, Pete heads to a high slope with the yaks, trailing out a rope behind him. You wait below, wearing your skis and holding a bucket of pony nuts. When Pete reaches the top, he ties a large pulley to a tree, loops the rope through it and onto a stamping, snorting yak. Now it's your turnand this is the important part. First tie yourself onto the other end of the rope, then shake the bucket of nuts and quickly put it down. The yak charges down the mountain after the nuts, pulling you up it at rocket speed. If you forget yourself in the excitement and shake the bucket too soon, you'll be flattened by two hairy tons of behemoth. Or as Pete says, "Never shake the bucket of nuts before you're tied to the yak rope." This piece of Himalayan sagacity can be restated in many ways that apply to everyday life: do things in their proper order, make adequate preparations before embarking on a risky venture, and so on. Or it can be seen for what it is: a barmy injunction to even barmier tourists. There's one thing Pete won't tell you, though. If you spike the nuts with pain au chocolat from the bakery at the northern end of town (where you'd also find Pete), you'll transform the yaks into slobbering, compliant puppies. That you'll have to discover for yourself.