«Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience, or a state of mind, or perhaps an ideal” Jan Morris
The start of the 2017 ski season in Gulmarg is only a few weeks away, and many outdoor sports enthusiasts from all over the world are planning to visit this outstanding mountain sports resort in the Himalayas this winter.
It is rare that I take the time to write a blog about Gulmarg only a few weeks before the season starts but unfortunately a few things have happened during the summer and in recent weeks that need to be put into perspective and explained to future visitors.
However, before getting into details, I want to let all of you know that we will definitely run our programs in Gulmarg in 2017 and that a good number of guests have already booked with us.
Disturbing and dramatizing headlines about the internal unrests and the ceasefire violations by Pakistan during the past few weeks and the recent launch of the demonetization drive by the Indian government created doubts in the minds of potential visitors. Some are, therefore, reluctant to book their ski trip to Gulmarg and wait to see if the situation has changed. Read more
As we run our ski programs in Gulmarg in Kashmir, I have already written a number of blogs on skiers’ safety in this part of the world. Due to the increased acts of terror also in our part of the world, the fear of traveling has once again risen, and people are reluctant to book trips, especially to areas with a majority Muslim population.
In my opinion, life is too short not to do the things you love, and therefore I would like to begin my blog with a quote by the deaf-blind American writer Helen Keller:
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
For travelers, this means we either surrender to the perceived threats and stay at home living an uneventful life within our four walls, or we accept the challenge and refuse to become prisoners of the fear of potential terror acts executed by indoctrinated extremists and mad “mentally disturbed” psychopaths where ever they can. Read more
Checklist for a Safe Ski Trip to Kashmir
During the past few months the number of cease fire violations along the “Line of Control” have increased again and there were also a few shoot outs between militants and security forces in some villages inside Kashmir. This resulted in certain changes in the travel advisories issued by various countries and requires an update on my safety assessment for ski trips to Kashmir which I published in July 2009. Skiers’ Safety in Kashmir.
Whereas most of what I wrote then is still valid today I would like to start by saying a few words about today’s situation in Kashmir but then also discuss two other important safety elements people should be aware of when planning and organizing a ski trip to Gulmarg, namely safety on the mountain and health issues.
Before going into more details about these safety considerations I would, however, like to point out that FSH has conducted its powder ski programs in Gulmarg since 2006 and during all these years we have fortunately never encountered any incidents that gave rise for concern nor did our guests become victims of any serious accidents on the mountain. Read more
Whenever people plan a trekking or ski vacation in the Himalaya they start thinking about fitness requirements and try to find some helpful information. With this article I write about my training methods and describe the most relevant points for getting fit for a sports holiday in high altitudes.
It doesn’t matter whether you plan to participate in an expedition to summit an 8’000m peak or whether you intend to enjoy a ski or trekking vacation in the Himalaya Mountains – a sound physical and mental condition is a prerequisite for being able to fully enjoy such an adventure holiday and also to avoid becoming victim of acute mountain sickness (AMS).
To get ready for a trip to the high mountain area of the Himalaya it is therefore important to build a reasonable physical fitness level and to develop the right mental attitude. Read more