On the mountain there are six regions numbered with yellow flags. Each region is divided into 6 sections. The sections are numbered from 1 to 6 from the top to the bottom right. Sections are numbered in the same order as the regions are numbered. At the start of the game 6 animals of each of the 6 animal types are randomly placed in each section of the mountain.
In the upper left hand corner of the board is a grid of 15 numbered squares. The small circled number above and below each points chart column specifies the number of camps or animals required to claim that spot. The number inside each points chart square is the number of victory points awarded for claiming that spot. Each player has 5 cubes they can use to claim spots on the points chart (but only one per turn). Once a spot on the points chart is claimed it is no longer available for use by either player for the rest of the game. The two rightmost columns each require 3 adjacent hikers or 3 animals, but they offer a different number of victory points.
Except for the starting value of 0, both players cannot occupy the same spot on the scoring path. If a player lands on the same spot as their opponent they automatically gain an additional point and move to the next spot on the scoring path.
Each player has an animal board in their color. Animals trapped by that player are placed on their player board. When an animal is activated from the animal board it slides from the top of the animal board to the bottom of the animal board to indicate that it has already been activated.
- Trap an animal from the guide's region.
- Replace the animal with a hiker [AUTOMATIC].
- Move the guide [AUTOMATIC].
- Build camps or trade animals [OPTIONAL]
Note: During any phase of the turn, a player may “activate” animals to perform one or more special actions.
Trap an animal
Any remaining animal in the region with the guide can be trapped. The section of the trapped animal determines the guide's next region. Typically that region is where the opposing player will get to trap their next animal so consider this strategically. Note: If no animals remain in the guide's region, relocate the guide to a region with at least one animal. After relocating the guide, trap an animal from the guide's new region.
Replace the animal with a hiker
A new hiker from the active player's stock replaces the animal trapped in step 1.
Move the guide
The guide moves to the region with the flag number that matches the section number selected in step 1. E.g. If the animal was trapped in region 2 section 4, then the guide moves to region 4.
Build camps or trade animals
If the requirements can be met, the active player may select one of the remaining spots on the points chart in the top left of the board to either:
- Row 1: Build the specified number of camps by converting their adjacent hikers (Note: the player must have enough of their 12 camps remaining)
- Row 2: Trade the specified number of different animal types (may include wilds)
- Row 3: Trade the specified number of the same animal type (may include wilds)
- Once a player has placed all 5 cubes on the points chart, that player must skip step 4 for the rest of the game
- Animals can be traded whether or not they have already been activated
- Once animals are traded they are discarded from the player board and can no longer be activated
- Hikers are considered adjacent if their section shares a border with another section or if there are linked by a dotted white path between regions
- Hikers are discarded when they are converted to camps. They are not returned to a player's stock.
At any point during a turn, and any number of times per turn, a player can activate one of their animals that hasn't already been activated Once an animal is activated it slides from the top of the animal board to the bottom of the animal board and can't be activated again (but it can be traded) An animal can be activated on the same turn it was trapped
- Snow Leopard (White): Swap two adjacent hikers. Adjacency is determined by sections that share a border or are linked by a dotted white path. Only hikers and not camps can move.
- Tahr (Brown): Swap a hiker and an adjacent animal. Adjacency is determined by sections that share a border or are linked by a dotted white path. Only hikers and not camps can move.
- Musk Deer (Gray): Swap two animals anywhere on the mountain. Unlike the Snow Leopard and Tahr activations, the animals moved by the Musk Deer do not need to be adjacent.
- Yak (Black): Move the guide to a new region
Two animal types give bonuses during specific steps in a turn and are not "activated"
- Bharal (Blue): Use as any animal type when trading animals during step 4 of a player's turn (i.e. it is wild).
- Red Panda (Red): When trapping this animal during step 1 of a player's turn, score 1 victory point if the player has the same or fewer victory points than their opponent
The end of game triggers immediately if either condition is met:
- Both players have placed all 15 of their hikers
- Both players have placed all 5 of their scoring cubes
The player with the most points wins (farthest along the scoring path)
Area Scoring Variant
If this option is selected, once the end of game is triggered each region is scored as follows starting from region 1. Each region is scored based on the number of each player's hikers/camps: 1 point for 4, 2 points for 5, 3 points for 6. Tie-breaking rules for the scoring path apply to scoring in this phase as well.