X-Dance Review: White Silk Road

Posted November 12, 2012 in
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White Silk Road: Snowboarding in Afghanistan
Lightbox Pictures
X-Dance Film Festival

You’d think that having the privilege of snowboarding most anywhere around the world is an adventure enough, but for Aussie-bred Mitch Allan, it wasn’t. Long ago, Allan decided that any trip he was going to take that surrounded snowboarding would be “an epic adventure,” so he packed his gear, grabbed his brother Clint Allan and good friend, Nick Gregory, and journeyed to the skeptical countryside of Afghanistan. The initial reaction to their trip was shocking, as nay-sayers told them it just wasn’t possible to ride mountains in that geographical region, let alone stay safe in such a politically threatening environment with civilians packing AK 47s and land mines at every turn. The boys were apprehensive too, but when they found local guide Ali Shaw who ran a ski touring company in the Dukani Valley, just west of Kabul in central Afghanistan, they decided their trip was worth the risk. Throughout the film you see the gang at different mountains and villages amidst the Dukani Valley, using splitboards and skins to ascend, but shredding some decent powder and lines for their descent (even the Aussies were surprised at how soft the snow was). Some superstitious villagers threatened by the unknown westerners cursed the team, but others accepted them and were fascinated by the cameras and snowboards. Besides seeing the serendipity of the Aussies riding good snow in such a unique place, the film shows the severe oppression of a third world people and how survival is what only matters as the way of life.

White Silk Road: Snowboarding Afghanistan - Trailer from Lightbox Pictures on Vimeo.