Thursday, May 27, 2010

Minefield ski-mountaineering - Afghanistan

During my 3 years in Afghanistan, 1993-96, I was able to enjoy some good skiing. It would probably more accurate to call it minefield ski-mountaineering, as my good friend Ian Clarke, the mine clearance expert from HALO trust,  gave the opinion that when the area is likely to have land-mines, if it is covered with snow, and you are on skis, it is almost impossible to trigger of a mine as the body-weight is evenly distributed. Clarke did a lot of telemark skiing in the area between 1993 and 1995 in the Salang Pass are before taking up a ski-instructors job at Cadrona, near Wanaka, for the New Zealand winter of 1995. I did not take any photos of my early skiing in Afghanistan, but in early 1996, I met Mette Sophie, a young Norwegian woman, who was an expert skier. Here are a few photos:



Mette Sophie, about to start on a run down a mountain side in the central Hindu Kush. Photo: Bob McKerrow



Mette Sophie starting a good ski run in powder snow. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Bob McKerrow enjoying a day out skiing in the Hindu Kush. Photo: Darla Milne.

On Friday, the only day off during the week, we used climb among the various 4000 metres peaks in the Paghman range from where you get spectacular views of the Hindu Kush and Hazarajat area. Climbing 4000 metre peaks in a day makes living in Kabul a joy. Also for the enthusiastic skier, a two hour drive takes you to the Salang Pass at 3,878 metres an excellent ski-mountaineering area.  See photos above and below. Photos: Bob McKerrow and Darla Milne

7 comments:

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