“Avalanches don’t discriminate. They are equal opportunity killers, and they affect everyone on the mountain! All people engaging in snow sports activities in the backcountry must, thus, be aware of them.”
Freeriding and ski touring have by now become trend sports activities. An increasing number of people decide to enjoy their snow sports activities in the backcountry. They want to stay away from the hectic and the chaos on the groomed slopes.
Skiing and snowboarding in deep snow are indeed fantastic leisure time activities. They help to forget the day to day routines and provide opportunities for self-fulfillment. Besides, freeriding, ski touring and snowshoe hiking give us a chance to test our limits and to learn to overcome our fears. And they allow us to share unique experiences and unforgettable moments with family and friends. Read more
“People must again find pleasure in skiing and must, therefore, be offered new opportunities to enjoy this sport undisturbed and in a relaxed environment!”
Inspiring more people to ski and proposing new options to practice this sport undisturbed and in a relaxed environment is the task for all winter sports market players; tourist destinations, cable car operators, and outdoors companies who propose ski programs. With our backcountry skiing programs in the Himalaya and our powder skiing training courses in Gstaad, we are contributing to this initiative.
In this blog, I try to describe today’s ski market from my own perspective and to present how outdoor companies can enhance their programs to meet the expectations of tomorrow’s skiers.
SKIING BEHAVIOUR IN TRANSITION
Over the past 20 years, the “amateur” ski sports have undergone considerable changes. Despite that many ski resorts have continued to compete in the increase of cable car transport capacities and in the creation of countless groomed slopes, so called “skiing highways”. Read more
Ski Season 2014 in Gulmarg – Snow Storms and Avalanche Danger
The winter of 2014 in Gulmarg has mainly been marked by 3 key factors which turned it into a season that won’t be easily forgotten. Extended periods of high and considerable avalanche danger prevented the free access to the backcountry terrain, 3 major snow storms resulted in a near close down of the resort for several days and a considerable decrease in the number of foreign skiers who visited Kashmir for the ski season 2013/2014 presented a challenge to hotels and operators who had invested in staff and material based on the numbers of previous years.
Avalanche Danger – The permanent Companion of Backcountry Skiers in Gulmarg
Since the opening of the second phase of the cable car to the 4’200m high Mt. Apharwat in 2006 avalanche danger has always been a concern for backcountry skiing program operators, the gondola management and individual travelers. The snowpack and the complex terrain have presented regular challenges to us and our guides over the past years but the winter of 2013/2014 was by far the most difficult to manage. 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