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July 10, 2007

Skiing in Iraq

Some just plain crazy stuff:

Despite all the negative news coming out Iraq, there is a glimmer of hope. It’s early days, but an investment and construction boom underway in the largely unreported, relatively peaceful northern part of Iraq, has led to a wave of development proposals, including the country’s first modern ski area.

Neighbouring Iran contains about 20 ski areas and has a long history of winter sports dating back to the era of the Shahs and the first half of the 20th century. Despite the image of both nations as desert countries, Iran actually has several entries in the list of the world’s 20 highest ski areas.

The many ranges of the Zagros mountains extend along southern and western Iran and into northern Iraq. Many peaks exceed 3000m (9,000ft), with the highest point being Zard Kuh at 4548m (14,921 ft).

The rumors of a ski resort for Iraq come on a wave of development projects in the relatively peaceful Kurdistan sector in the north of the country, which has been protected by a no-fly zone since 1991. Although this “nation within a country” still has many deprivations for most of the population, foreign investment and money from wealthy Iraquis is going in to new malls, housing developments, casinos and mosques at levels measured in the billions of dollars.

A New York Times article “Pointing to Stability, Kurds in Iraq Lure Investors,” on 27th June 2007 notes that The Kurdistan Regional Government is investing $325 million in a modern terminal at the Erbil International Airport to handle, officials hope, millions of passengers a year, and a three-mile runway that will be big enough for the new double-decker Airbus A380.

“We’re not saying Kurdistan is heaven,” Herish Muharam, chairman of the Kurdish government’s Board of Investment told the NYT. “But we’re telling investors that Kurdistan can be that heaven.”

Get them Hummers uparmored for the trip to Northern Iraq. This is gonna be a slightly difficult sell for the Kurdistan Tourist Bureau. I am booking my trip now.

UPDATE:Jeremy sends this update:

I am thinking that the avalanche would probably need a few aftermarket upgrades to make that trip possible. Does chevy offer a "gun turret" option for that year, or is that only available on the 07' and up Avalanches?

I think the other major problem would be all of the hoodlum Iraqi snowboarders smoking hash and blowing sh*t up. Nobody wants to share the slopes with snowboarders carrying a-k's, grenades, and RPG's. Bad part is if the resort takes the alta approach and bans snowboarders from the mountain, it's jihad time buddy!!!!!! Waiting in long lift lines sucks. Waiting in long lift lines with suicide bombers..... probably sucks a little more. On the bright side, I am thinking that the Iraqi national team will probably win that olympic event where the skiers shoot at targets, hands down every time...

Jer hits the nail on the head. I am adding the gun turret and up-armor on the Avy now and buying Kevlar body armor.

Posted by Justin at July 10, 2007 11:40 PM


Have you seen the skiing in Iran video on youtube? I posted a link on my blog to it. The skiing looks GREAT!

Posted by: Travis Roberts at July 23, 2007 09:31 PM