Koh-e-Baba Mountain Range, Bamyan Province, Central Afghanistan, approximately 180km west of the capital Kabul.
Uphill, Downhill, Exact course varys. Overall Distance: 2-4 Kilometers, Overall difference in altitude: 600-1200 Meters. Lowest Point: around 2600, Highest Point around 3800.
No weapons allowed. 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.
The Afghan Ski Challenge is a backcountry ski race, which takes place every spring in Bamyan Province, Central Afghanistan. The event is organized by the Bamyan Ski Club and open to all. Bamyan is the other, unknown Afghanistan. In the 70ies a famous destination on the hippietrail to India, does Bamyan today welcome travelers back once again.The race in February 2015 included 30 participants from Afghanistan and 20 international competitors from the US, Australia, Norway, Slowenia, Finland, New Zealand, France and the UK.
Equipment needed: Skis and skins (and sunprotection!) Snowboarders need snowshoes or a Splitboard.This is a self-sufficient race. All food or water has to be carried by competitors.
The Bamyan Ski Club was founded in march 2011 and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. The BSC is a no- profit organization with the aim to promote skiing, tourism and peaceful development in the Bamyan region as well as intercultural exchange. The members of the Bamyan Ski Club include notable personalities representing business, media, gastronomy and tourism.
The club activities are supported by commercial sponsors, donations as well as by our very own Après-Ski-Bar, the „Bamyan Ski Club“ (bamyanskiclub.com) in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which is open to the public from December to April each winter. Already a tradition as well is the „Afghan Ski Challenge at St. Moritz“, a charity ski race, held at the beginning of each January on the Corvigila.
Current projects of the Bamyan Ski Club include the further development of a ski school and a permanent ski center in Bamyan and the establishment of a ski lift in the Bamyan area. The BSC is also involved in the founding of the Afghan Ski Federation and the professional race training of two Afghan skiiers with the aim of a participation in the Winter Olympic 2018.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
For 80 CHF a year, you can become a member of the Bamyan Ski Club. As a member you are entitled to the exclusive Bamyan Ski Club Badge and the stylish Ski Club Pin. Twice a year you will receive a newsletter, which keeps you up to date about the club’s activities, and you will be invited to the annual Member’s Cocktail. With a membership your entrance to the Bamyan Ski Club Bar is guaranteed as well as your pool position at the Afghan Ski Challenge at St. Moritz. To register, please fill in the inlay or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DONATIONS FOR THE ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS
If you wish to support the Bamyan Ski Club even further, donations are of course very welcome.
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The Bamyan Ski Club is a nonprofit organization, founded 2011 and based in Zurich, Switzerland. The Club supports ski sports and peaceful development in Afghanistan. Its activities involve running a ski school for girls and boys in Bamyan, Central Afghanistan and hosting the annual Afghan Ski Challenge, an international ski touring race. The Club’s managing board consists of a former World Class skier, Swiss entrepreneurs and personalities from the NGO-sector.
THE NEXT CHAPTERS
Since the winter of 2014/15, two Afghan skiers have been coming to St. Moritz, Switzerland, for professional trainings. With the support of the Bamyan Ski Club, the city of St. Moritz and ski manufacturer Völkl, Alishah Farhang and Sajjad Husseini hope to become the first Afghan skiers to participate in the Olympics and be part of the Winter Games 2018 in South Korea. The Bamyan Ski Club is also working hard to establish a permanent ski center in Bamyan and to put the first ski lift in the mountains of Afghanistan into operation soon.
THE STORY SO FAR
In March 2011, a group of Swiss ski enthusiasts organized a ski race in Bamyan. It was the first race ever to be held there. To the Afghans, skiing was a strange thing. Even so, ten boys took up the challenge of competing in the event. It was the local car mechanic who carried off the victory. The Afghan Ski Challenge hit the headlines worldwide. The event was covered by The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Guardian and hundreds of TV stations. In the 6th challenge in March 2016, 70 skiers participated. Even though Afghanistan is still a destination for only the most dauntless kind of tourists, many participants were foreigners from as far away as Australia and Canada.
The Afghan Ski Challenge is held annually at the beginning of March in the Ko-e-Baba mountain range, south of Bamyan. The 7th edition is scheduled for March 3rd 2017. For more information please visit afghanskichallenge.com.
The Afghan Ski Challenge at St. Moritz is a charity ski race, taking place in late December/ early January in the skiing region of Corviglia, St. Moritz. More information will on st.moritz.ch or bamyanskiclub.com