As one of the poorest countries in the world and plagued by ongoing war, Afghanistan may seem an unlikely snowboard destination. Yet it is also home to 15,000-foot peaks and, as a group of intrepid Australians find out, a humble, welcoming populace who for the most part want the same things as the rest of us: a peaceful community, a happy family, food on the table and a bit of spare time to enjoy life.

Our plane was tracking northeastward across Iran towards Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan: as in, one of the most dangerous countries in the world. I had been staring at the desolate Iranian desert for what seemed like hours. I checked my watch—it had only been twenty minutes. Time does not fly when you are gripped with fear. Out the window, the desert was beginning to rise up and buckle; the first sign of the Afghan mountains. I looked around the plane at Australian riders Clint Allan, Nick Gregory and Mitch Allan. Within the hour, we would be in Afghanistan—and we would be there to snowboard…

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