“The winter season 2016 in the Himalayas had again a lot to offer for enthusiastic backcountry skiers and confirmed that Gulmarg has remained the insider tip for skiers in search of an exceptional winter holiday destination.”
I arrived in Gulmarg by mid-January 2016 and was pleased to find the ski area already covered with sufficient snow to ski all the runs on Mt. Apharwat. Contrary to previous seasons also the snowpack was stable early in the season and as a result thereof we were able to take full advantage of the terrain right from the beginning of the winter.
However, the earthquakes in Nepal and the wider Hindukush made people reluctant to visit this part of the world last winter. And as if this was not enough the various acts of terror and violence by Islamic fundamentalists and undisciplined juvenile men, in some parts of Europe and worldwide, increased the fear of visiting areas with a mainly Muslim population, especially when these areas were blacklisted in travel advisories. 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
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
Gulmarg Cat Skiing – Winter 2010/2011 in the Himalaya
As we enter the second half of 2010 it is time to share our information on the coming ski season in the Himalaya with all interested parties, the new types of programs on offer, the lodging options available and the safety situation in Kashmir.
At present Free Ski Himalaya is actively monitoring all the different elements that need to be considered when planning a ski trip into the Himalaya Mountains. With this blog we would like to share with you what new skiing opportunities can be expected there next winter and what could impact your travel plans.
So far Gulmarg remains the only winter sports destination in the Himalaya that offers real skiing opportunities. Of course there is also a reasonable infrastructure with ski and chairlifts available Read more