Salang Pass

Salang Pass: a road with heavy snowfalls and strong winds

Salang Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,878m (12,723ft) above the sea level, located in the Hindu Kush, a mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 

During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle and can easily get muddy if it rains making it challenging to get through. The pass is the major mountain pass connecting northern Afghanistan and Kabul province, with further connections to southern Afghanistan and Pakistan, and just to the east of the Kushan Pass and both of them were of great importance in early times as providing the most direct connections between the Kabul region with northern Afghanistan or Tokharistan. The road through the pass has carried heavy military traffic in recent conflicts, and is in very bad repair. Annually the total loss of life is about 40 people.

This road can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. The pass is now bypassed by the Salang tunnel, built by the Soviet Union in 1964, which runs underneath it at a height of about 3.400m (11,154ft) asl. If you do choose this route please check up to date information due to the security situation. Obviously you would have to really (!) check what is going on now. You might want to contact your embassy in Kabul as they have really the best info about terrorist attacks, ongoing armed conflict, risk of kidnapping and high crime rate.
Pic: Faruk Delice



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