A group of nine herdsmen using traditional fur snowboards completed an arduous 300-kilometer long journey to promote skiing in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region using only traditional fur snowboards.
The nine herdsmen from the Altay prefecture spent ten days traversing the autonomous region’s mountainous terrain, Xinhua News reported. The area they ventured through included over 100 kilometers of uninhabited wilderness.
Maliqin, the leader of the group, hopes that the journey can promote Altay’s ancient skiing culture and help people find joy in skiing in Xinjiang.
They started their journey from Baihaba Village on January 5 and concluded their trip when they arrived at Altay City on January 15.
According to a previous report from Xinhua, the nine men formed the group in December and had been conducting short simulation exercises before undertaking the long journey.
The fur snowboards used by the group are said to have a history dating back more than 5,000 years. They are made of pine wood, horsehide and cowhide.
Fur snowboarding used to be a major means of traveling in the Xinjiang area. In recent years, as society progressed, the activity has evolved from transportation to a form of sport.
Ancient cave drawings exist in the region which suggest the use of the mode of transportation going back thousands of years.
Altay is believed to be one of the birthplaces of ancient skiing, with ancient rock paintings in the region depicting people hunting with fur snowboards.