It might not be the most obvious alternative to the well-groomed slopes of Val d’Isere, but a small town in Afghanistan is currently positioning itself as the next big thing in skiing and snowboarding. According to an article in today’s Guardian, aid workers in Bamiyan are looking to snow-tourism to help provide income for the remote area.
While I’m sure Afghanistan boasts epic terrain, the fact that it’s being currently torn apart by a vicious war might lead some people to believe that it’s not best-placed to steal Chamonix’s freeriding crown… but apparently the people involved in the project are super-serious. And, to be fair to them, once you read the details of their ideas, the whole thing becomes a little bit more credible.
After all, snowboarders as a species are renowned for their sense of adventure, and their constant search for untracked pow. A couple of years back Whitelines travelled to Kashmir (itself a warzone not so long ago) and had an incredible time – even when sharing lifts with Kalashnikov-wielding soldiers. Not only that, but we also found a surprising number of hardened powder hounds from around the world enjoying the snow alongside us. Earlier this season, a kiwi crew announced they’d be starting up the first heli-boarding operation on the Indian side of the disputed province.
So while Afghanistan may never become the next St Anton, don’t be surprised if you hear tales of intrepid riders shredding the gnar in the Afghan highlands before too long…