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.
To register for the 6th Afghan Ski Challenge which will be held at the end of February 2016, please get in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org. A 10-day package-tour from London or Istanbul to Bamyan (inc. guided backcountry skiing in the Ko-e-Baba Mountains, cultural programm in Bamyan and participation in the 6th Afghan Ski Challenge and more) is offered by British tour operator Untamed Borders (untamedborders.com). Registration fee for international competitors is 100 US. For Afghan Nationals, the race is free.
The mountains of Afghanistan are not the Alps nor the Rocky Mountains. There is no mountain rescue service nor avalanche warning systems in place and local medical facilities are basic. Mobile phone service is patchy at best and non existent in the mountains. Although the province of Bamyan is known as one of the safest in Afghanistan, the political situation across the country is far from stable. We strongly advise all participants to arrange insurance before entering the competition and consider suitable personal security measures if desired. All participants take part solely at their own risk.