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News from Gulmarg, Kashmir

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
so here's a quick update on Gulmarg in Kashmir about the upcoming Ski season.

Speaking to Yasin from the ski shop today i learned that the first descents from the new gondola have already been made this season. There is currently a couple of feet of snow on the higher parts of the mountain, however skiing all the way down to Gulmarg is not yet possible.

The gondola is running well.

Accommodation this winter
Yasin from the ski shop has rooms and cottages available near to the gondola where beds and rooms are available for rent. 500Rs a night will get you all your food, tea, wood (chopped), shopping, done for you with a caretaker working full time for you. There are two bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a lounge and hot water. Thoroughly recommended! Very cosy.

*** Similar accommodation is also available with Billa Bakshi, from the Green Punjabi Dhaba

Yasin and Billa's contact details are available on the site.

Mission Gulmarg
An international team of ski patrol experts organized by Ido Neiger (
www.kashmiralpine.com )will be overseeing the training of Kashmir's first professional ski patrol this winter. Read more about this incredible team at www.Missiongulmarg.com . The ski patrol will not be in place until early in the New Year, before when, you will be required to hand in a letter claiming entire responsibility for your use of the gondola and mountain.

Greg Von Doersten’s article Kashmir: Peace and Powder in the Last Shangri La out now in the current issue of snowboard journal:
""..When I mention the continuing war, Yaseen snaps back: “What war? Gulmarg has never been attacked.” I inquire further and Hamid counters, “The guidebooks and Indian government are giving the wrong impression of this area.” Yaseen reaches for the hookah, a water pipe he uses to smoke tobacco, draws a number of deep puffs from the pipe to rid himself of the ugly reminder, and continues: “Now people are coming back. New Zealand, Canada and Britain—I see new people every month. When the gondola is finished, it will be sooooooo good. ” I get the feeling that after living in this war-torn region for so long, Yaseen and every other Kashmiri I meet perceives safety in relative terms, since everyone in Gulmarg is caught up in this euphoria of hope and denial about the war."

www.snowboardjournal.com for more

as you know probably already TGR’s latest release Tangerine Dream also has loads of footage from their trip to Gulmarg lasy year.

Gondola prices are confirmed:
a) For Phase One of Gulmarg Gondola to Kongdori 2700m-3100m:
1) Day passes Rs. 500/per day
2) Weekly passes: Rs. 4000/per week

b) For Phase-II of Gulmarg Gondola Project from Kongdori to Apharwat 3100m-4100m:
1) Day passes: Rs. 1000/per day
2) Weekly passes: Rs. 6000/per week

(45 Rs = 1$)

Some other tips for a trip to Gulmarg....
1. Buy a 'Pharan' on your way through Srinagar
2. Keep hold of your small change as much as you can in Gulmarg
3. Check out the huts with Yasin and Billa - they are cosy enough especially with a batman to help out.
4. In the Tangmarg market, look for the 1 Rupee Peanut crunches wrapped in plastic, they come in a tub. Try Butter Cakes, and 'ladoo' from any bakery.
5. Top bottles: Royal Stag Whisky, Old Monk Rum,
6. If you need a houseboat, try HB Arif - it is very easy to find opposite Hotel Malik on the 'Boulevard'. The owner is called Mohammed Yousuf Baktoo. Sikhara rides ~(boat trips) can be long and cold in a storm so find somewher like the Arif that is near the Boulevard. Also check out Mr Bob's Houseboats - the Lala Rukh Chain if the Arif is full.
7. Good reading - you might find "When Men meet Mountains" by John Keay (i think) in a Srinagar book shop- excellent tales of historic travellers trampic round the Himalaya, Karakorams Pamirs Hindu Kush and Kun Lun. Srinagar bookshops are well stocked with the Classics and Biographies but not much else... best to buy in Delhi
8. Flu and colds - if you get the flu or a cold in Gulmarg, find a herbal root called Shangar, boil it until it is black and drink it. A bit aniseedy, but drinkable.
9. Remember 2700m is pretty high - be as fit as possible for your trip! And try to keep visits to Srinagar to a minimum!


The following ski guides are recommended:
Paul Exall, Yasin Khan, Hamid Dar, Billa Bakshi

Links to our site.
We’re also looking to get some links to our site so please email me through the site if you fancy some backscratching, and helping us out a little.

For now though,

Bara Assalaam Alaikum, Kripaya Bahut Maza
(big peace be on you, please enjoy greatly)

Ware Chuka x

brought to from http://www.himalayanpowderdreams.com
post #2 of 3


Now that's one heckuva ski trip. It's too bad that Kashmir is the tinderbox it is. I hear there is skiing in Iran and there used to be skiing in Afghanistan.

It'd be a great thing if 5 years from nowthe threads on this board debated Kashmir vs. Iran like they do UT vs. CO.
post #3 of 3
A group of 5 are heading to Gulmarg on 15th Feb. We'll be there for 2-3wks. I'll post some info on our return.

May also get a chance to ski in iran later this season - apparently they're having great conditions this year.

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