Watch video and view photos: The Afghan Ski Challenge 2013, read National Geographic com News

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The Afghan Ski Challenge is a freeride ski race, which takes place every March in Bamiyan Province, Central Afghanistan. The event is organized by the Bamiyan Ski Club and open to all. The founding members of the Bamiyan Ski Club include skiing enthusiasts from Afghanistan and Switzerland. The aim is to promote skiing and tourism in the Bamiyan region.


– LOCATION Koh-e-Baba Mountain Range, Bamiyan Province, Central Afghanistan, approximately 180km west of the capital Kabul.
– COURSE Uphill, Downhill, Overall Distance: 7 Kilometers, Overall difference in altitude: 1200 Meters. Lowest Point: 2900, Highest Point 3400.
– RULES Everyone starts at the same time. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line having successfully registered at all the check points along the way. Skis and Snow Boards are allowed.
– ENTRY FEES The event is free. Contributions are welcomed. The ski race is a non-profit event and all proceeds will feed back into the support and promotion of skiing and tourism in the Bamiyan region.


Afghan Ski Challenge Promotes Tourism to War-Weary Hindu Kush – National Geographic News

John Wendle in Bamyan, Afghanistan

Published March 4, 2013

Strangely for the start of a race, there was no gun. Of course, that the race was being started in Afghanistan made this fact even stranger. Instead, after a confusing series of translations on the layout of the course and much pointing and shouting, the founder of the Afghan Ski Challenge, Christoph Zurcher, simply yelled, “Three! Two! One! Go!”

There was a clatter of skis and poles as around 30 Afghan and international competitors jumped off the line and dashed uphill, across nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) of snowfield. The Afghan racers, most of them farm boys from nearby villages with only a few weeks of skiing experience, quickly outpaced the foreigners—who were huffing at the 10,500-foot (3,200-meter) elevation.Read more

Read more on National Geographic com


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