White Silk Road tells the story of three Australian snowboarders who travelled to Afghanistan – a country purposely bypassed by the SKI FOR WISHES adventuring team – to carry the sport they love across new frontiers. In one of the most dangerous parts of the world, they discovered incredible mountains, breathtaking landscapes, and heartwarming communities of hospitable people.
A Snowboard Trip to Afghanistan
In February 2012, Clint Allan, Nick Gregory and Mitch Allan embarked on a trip that would change the way they viewed the world. They travelled to the town of Bamyan, in central Afghanistan, to explore the untouched peaks of the mighty Hindu Kush. Along the way they dodged riots, landmines, bombs and kidnappers to discover a side of the country usually ignored by the western media.
As expected, they found no lifts, no pistes, and instead had to go about things the old-fashioned way, taking a six-hour trek uphill before careering down fresh powder. “This place has seen troubles in the past,” says the introductory voiceover by an Afghan local. As we know, these troubles haven’t been consigned to history and although it is bound to stir up mixed feelings, it is also a stunning and uplifting trailer that shows the other side of a war-torn country.
The spectacular natural beauty of Bamyan has endured through centuries of violence, and a culture of hospitality and optimism in the communities has prevailed through the previous decades of conflict. The snow-capped peaks of the Hindu Kush tower above the small town. All winter, they are covered in deep, dry powder. Most of them had never been ridden. With only their two legs to get them up the mountain, the snowboarders set about changing that.
In the foothills of the mountains, the riders met a small group of locals who had recently taken to the slopes with gumboots and wooden skis: forgetting the tribulations of the past and fostering a new tourist industry that could secure a brighter future. Clint, Mitch and Nick introduced them to snowboarding and helped them learn the fundamentals of a new sport and a new life.
Part snowboard film and part adventure documentary, White Silk Road will appeal to anyone with a desire to squeeze a little more out of life.