We at The Ski Channel bring you everything mountain. So of course when Anderson Cooper and CNN got the hot tip on Bin Laden’s newly discovered journal, they passed along some important findings to us that only we could report.
The Ski Channel presents you for the first time anywhere…
Bin Laden’s Top Ten Ski Spots!
Let’s just say Bin Laden really liked to attack the Powder. We regret to inform all of you superior, well-known ski resorts that none of you made his cut. Apparently he preferred secret, hidden areas to put his favorite non-imperialist skinning skis on.
So here we go…
Number 10: Mount Lebanon, Lebanon
Not to be confused with Mt. Labanon in Pennsylvania. Bin Laden said he preferred this Lebanese mountain range considered the Western Lebanon Mountain Range, since it reminded him of his rough college backcountry days. He enjoyed riding on the bumpy Lebanon cedar cones that heavily cover on the slopes of the mountain.
Number 9: Mount Hermon, Syria
Known as “mountain of the chief.” Well, I think it’s obvious just for that reason why Bin Laden put this at #9. Located in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range bordering Syria and Lebanon, Bin Laden noted he enjoyed its height for the area (the highest point is 2,814 m that’s 9,232 feet above sea level). He said it was a nice change from being stuck in low places.
Number 8: The Sand Dunes in Doha, Qatar
Situated near the Arabian Gulf, the sand dunes are located about an hour south of Doha, Qatar and they are worth a sand-ski ride.
Bin Laden only went there in the early morning for fear of the numerous guided tours that bring groups there in their 4WDs and tents.
You can check out all the tourists getting their sand-ski on in the video below:
Number 7: The Lowari Pass, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Also known as the Lowari Top, this is a very high mountain pass that connects Chitral and Dir in the Hindukush Mountains. It is closed from the mass amounts of snow each year beginning in late November until late May. And of course that’s just the time when Bin Laden would make his way to shred in all the crevasses created there around January.
(Looks like you have some Jeep trouble there fellas…)
Number 6: Mount Catherine, Egypt
Located in Saint Katherine city, it is the highest mountain in Eqypt with an elevation of 2,629 m or 8,625 feet. It can be difficult to find the correct route to get to the summit in the snow. Mount Catherine is also very rocky (as you can see by the picture to the left). There are no fees at the trailhead but Bin Laden said he enjoyed sneaking in there regardless.
Number 5: Wakhjir Pass, Border of China and Afghanistan
The only mountain pass between China and Afghanistan, there is no road across the Wakhjir Pass. It has the greatest official change of clocks of any international perimeter. With extremely difficult terrain, it has an altitude of 4,923 m with an ice cave on the Afghan side. The ice cave’s altitude is that of 4,554 m. Bin Laden said he he could really get away by skiing down to this, his ice cave of choice.
(Due to having no road access, the picture on the left is of the Wakhan Corridor)
Number 4: Gissar Range, Central Asia
This mountain range stretches over 200 km from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Also known as the Hissar Range, it was formerly known as the Peak of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party. Well, I will just leave that up for any open-ended commentary. Bin Landen liked it since he always made a joke about him being in “the hizzy” while there. Is that a bad joke? The Khzaret Sultan which is a part of the Gissar Range is the highest point in Uzbkistan at 4,643 m or 15,233 feet.
Number 3: Noshaq, Afghanistan
The highest mountain in Afghanistan with the 2nd highest peak of the Hindu Kush towering 7,690 m or 25,230 feet, it is located at the northeastern corner of the country. Known for hosting lots of climbing expeditions, Bin Laden preferred never to join any for obvious reasons. The first Afgan ascent here was completed in 2009 by 2 of the 4 “Afghans to the Top” Team (their picture is to the left).
Number 2: Salang Pass, Afghanistan
The great mountain pass which has connections to southern Afghanistan and Pakistan has an elevation of 3,878 m or 12,723 feet. The roads here are supposedly in need of repair. There have been several deathly avalanche incidents near the Salang tunnel, one of which killed 172 people in February 2010. Close to home and with possible avalanche dangers, Bin Laden made this his runner-up.
And now the #1 spot of Bin Laden’s Top Ten Ski Spots is…
Number 1: Gasherbrum I, Pakistan-China Border
The 11th highest peak on Earth, Gasherbrum I is known as the “Hidden Peak” or K5. “Hidden Peak” was coined by William Martin Conway back in 1892 due to this mountain’s maximum remoteness. Obviously, Bin Laden always referred to this location as THE SKI SPOT. Gasherbrum I stands at 8,080 m or 26, 509 feet. I certainly find it interesting that Bin Laden’s #1 ski spot also welcomed its first ascent by an American team in on July 5, 1958. Or is that just me? Time to get some more Americans out there for skiing and climbing! America!