Afghan Ski Challenge
SKI TO HALT SUFFERING – Arc'teryx is proud to support the 2nd Afghan Ski Challenge.
An unusual sports event is taking place this month in the beautiful mountains surrounding the Bamiyan valley in Afghanistan: The second Afghan Ski Challenge.
All but a regular ski touring race, this one is trying to bring the joy of skiing to a region that is suffering from decades of war and the destruction of their world famous cultural monuments.
Bamiyan, once known worldwide for its giant Buddha statues, is now a poor region in Afghanistan - but thanks to it's mountains, as high as 5000 m, the northern exposure and a very dry climate, it offers perfect skiing conditions.
Last year, a small team formed from employees at Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper and local ski enthusiasts from Afghanistan decided to found the Bamiyan Ski Club and launch the first Afghan Ski Challenge - a backcountry ski touring race in the remote Bamiyan region. Without working cell phones, with poor medical facilities and very rustic accommodation, ten local participants learned how to ski and competed in the race. This year, it will be the first race with international competitors. Entry fees will be charged only from non-locals and donated to local sports and educational projects in Afghanistan. Arc'teryx is happy to be one of the main supporters of this event that brings some sports spirit into a battered region.
"150 years ago, the British brought skiing to Switzerland. Now the Swiss bring skiing to Afghanistan."