A road with heavy snowfalls and strong winds to Salang Pass

Salang Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,878m (12,723ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Parwan and Baghlan provinces, in Afghanistan.

Salang Pass

Set high in the Hindu Kush, a mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, the road to the summit (Kōtal-e Sālang) is mostly unpaved. It’s called AH76. The pass is 154 km (95 miles) long, running south-north from Jabal Saraj (Parwan Province) to Puli Khumrī (the capital and largest city of Baghlan Province). 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.

Tucked away on the northern part of the country, the most challenging part of the drive was 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. The area features a high risk of avalanches. About 16,000 vehicles ply the Salang pass every day.

Pic: Faruk Delice