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
From the inquiries on our website we can see that the interest in ski vacations in Gulmarg is still existing and a considerable number of people are considering a trip to Kashmir next winter. However, during the trip preparation the question on safety in Kashmir is often raised and interested visitors will find that their government advises against traveling to this part of the world, warnings that have been issued for nearly 70 years! Before sharing my point of view on the potential dangers I would like to insert a short video with impressions of a perfect skiing day on Mt. Apharwat, pictures which show that a ski trip to Gulmarg is a life time experience which should not be missed.
I have been writing about “skiers’ safety in Kashmir” on various occasions and have tried to address the issue to the best of my knowledge. With more than 30 months in Kashmir during the past ten years and all in all more than 60 months in India and Nepal I am in a position to assess the risks of a ski trip to Gulmarg from personal experience Read more
In 2009 the New Zealand Ski Club of Kashmir brought 8 young ski instructors from Australia, New Zealand, UK, Argentine and France to Gulmarg in Kashmir to teach the young children in this remote area how to ski. In his recent video Jack McCowan gives an account of the experience those ski instructors made when they were there. The video speaks for itself and shows how much the efforts of these young volunteers were appreciated by the kids and how much they enjoyed their first skiing experience.
These young ski instructors must be applauded for their selfless engagement and be thanked for a fantastic job done! They have contributed a lot by giving to many of these kids probably a ” once in a life time experience” and to some they may even have taught the basic skills that could motivate them to design their own future as skiing and mountaineering professionals.
We all can contribute to a brighter future for this young generation by visiting this Himalaya ski resort and by promoting it to all our friends and skiers or snowboarders we know.
When traveling to foreign countries the search of a suitable accommodation or an acceptable hotel becomes a key part in the planning process. Especially when planning a ski trip into the Himalayas the selection of the ideal hotel accommodation is key to avoid turning the winter holiday into survival training. (on hotel issues read also my blog Season Review 2010)
When I traveled to the ski resort of Gulmarg in Kashmir for the first time in the winter of 2005/2006 I learnt the hard way what can be experienced when believing in his own capabilities to find a suitable hotel accommodation on the spot and at a price level which corresponds to the hotel prices that are common in this part of the world. Read more