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intrested in a trip to Gulmarg

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in a trip to Gulmarg but the cheapest ticket I can find to Delhi is 1300 any advice. Anyone with any experience in Gulmarg?
post #2 of 11
Ask me in March next year. Airfares are airfares. Don't expect them to get any cheaper. If you can't afford it don't go.
post #3 of 11
...lived in India for a decade. Nov-March is high season in India....cheapest flight I ever got was $750 rt. The least expensive good airline was Alitalia, but in the end I just went with Lufthansa, KLM, Delta, as I couldn't be bothered w/extra stops, crappy service, etc. You can try Indian travel agents that cater to an expat crowd, like those in Jackson Heigths, NYC, etc...

Good luck! I'd love to go back and ski Gulmarg....India's India, though.....check out the TR on Cloudveil's web page....

post #4 of 11
I flew Alitalia, O'hare to Mumbia for around $900-1000. Then I change airports and flew Jet Airlines into Shringar for another $200.

The security in Shringar airport was the most intense I have ever seen.
First you go through what we consider security to get into the airport. Then you are interrogated by a military intelligence agent and your luggage is searched again.
Finally right before you get on the airplane, you are frisked on the tarmac by a soldier while another one holds an assault rifle to your head ala midnight express.
post #5 of 11

I'm impressed that you even know about Gulmarg

leave your Kalachnikov at home for this trip ...

So what's the skiing like in the Himalayas?
post #6 of 11
For a possibly rough-around-the-edges destination like this, I recommend Extremely Canadian: http://www.extremelycanadian.com/ski...marg-india.htm . They are not cheap, but they helped us get the most out of Las Lenas in 2005.
post #7 of 11
Bunch of Australians are running the resort for the Indian Govt.

They are your best bet. although I don't know for sure - I bet extremeley canadian are using these guides for local knowledge.

post #8 of 11

Gulmarg Info

Here is the info I recvd from them:

300/184 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060, Australia
Phone: Int’l dial +612 9922 2557
Email: peter@skihimalaya.com

Note: 1US $ = Rs40

Many thanks for your enquiry.

Please read the following information including “Factors to Consider” before booking with us:

To secure a reservation for the 2007/2008 winter please email peter@skihimalaya.com

We will then provide our banking details for payment of your deposit to secure your reservation.
Yours sincerely
Peter Robinson

Day 1 (Saturday) Overnight in Delhi at Airport Hotel (including breakfast)
Day 2 (Sunday) Fly to Srinagar, met at airport by Ski Himalaya, transfer to Gulmarg
Days 2 to 7 Hotel Pine Palace (breakfast and dinner) OR
Hotel Grand Mumtaz (breakfast and dinner)
Day 8 (Saturday) Final day of snowriding before afternoon transfer to Srinagar
Day 8 (Saturday) Overnight in Srinagar (see Srinagar Options described next page)
Day 9 (Sunday) Early afternoon flight to Delhi and international flight home

Guests choosing two nights at Butts Clermont Houseboats in Srinagar will fly to Delhi on Monday
(Day 10)

Delhi – Most international flights arrive at Delhi’s International Airport in the evening or after
midnight. Airport Hotel is located within walking distance of Delhi Domestic Airport and provides a
convenient and comfortable overnight rest before your morning flight to Srinagar. Guests are met at
Delhi’s International Airport and transferred by taxi to Airport Hotel.
Note: Guests who do not require accommodation in Delhi can adjust their itinerary by substituting an
additional Saturday night in Gulmarg in replacement of the night at Airport Hotel in Delhi.

Gulmarg – Our recommended hotels in Gulmarg - Hotel Pine Palace and Hotel Grand Mumtaz - were
the only accommodation options in Gulmarg last winter which combined the benefits of a ski-in skiout
location at the foot of the gondola slopes with the comfort of central heating.
Ski Himalaya prices include all breakfasts and dinners in Gulmarg.
Hotel Pine Palace provides the closest lodgings to the gondola and for the past 3 winters has
consistently provided the best cuisine in Gulmarg. Ski Himalaya guests booking prior to 30 June 2007
for next winter will be able to access rooms at Pine Palace’s new centrally heated hotel building for
the same price as rooms in the original hotel, which are heated by wood-fired stoves. Pine Palace’s
centrally heated wing is our most popular accommodation option and is limited to 14 guest rooms.
Hotel Grand Mumtaz is a nearby larger hotel which opened its doors in late 2006 and enjoys the
benefits of modern new infrastructure including central heating. For the coming winter Grand Mumtaz
is completing a new bar area – a welcome addition to Gulmarg’s après-ski options. It shares a similar
location to Hotel Pine Palace.

Srinagar – Prices for our guests staying at Hotel Grand Mumtaz at Gulmarg include complimentary
overnight accommodation (including breakfast) at its sister hotel in Srinagar. Hotel Grand Mumtaz
is the leading hotel in central Srinagar and is within walking distance of Dal Lake.
Prices for our guests staying at Hotel Pine Palace at Gulmarg include overnight accommodation on
Srinagar’s Dal Lake at Pakhtoon Houseboats (including dinner, breakfast and lunch). Prices include
your short return boat trip from Srinagar’s lakeside boulevard to Pakhtoons.

Guests visiting Kashmir in February and March have the option to upgrade to two nights at our most
popular accommodation in Srinagar Butts Clermont Houseboats. Butts enjoys a unique lakeside
location with Srinagar’s best views of Dal Lake and the surrounding mountains. Accommodation is
limited to seven rooms and requires a two night booking.
Prices Per Person – 8 nights
Hotel at Gulmarg Single Occupancy Twin or Double Occupancy
Hotel Pine Palace 33,000 Rupees 27,000 Rupees
Hotel Grand Mumtaz 35,000 Rupees 29,000 Rupees
Hotel Highlands Park/Hotel Hilltop Prices available on request

Price Per Person – 9 nights including 2 nights at Butts Clermont Houseboats
Hotel at Gulmarg Single Occupancy Twin or Double Occupancy
Hotel Pine Palace 36,000 Rupees 29,000 Rupees
Hotel Grand Mumtaz 39,500 Rupees 32,000 Rupees
- Accommodation
- Meals as stated
- Hotel Taxi from Delhi’s International Airport to Airport Hotel at Delhi’s Domestic Airport
- Transport from Srinagar Airport to Gulmarg and return to Srinagar


When a multi-day mid-winter snow storm closes the upper gondola, the best powder snow terrain in
Gulmarg is in the forests which descend from the resort to the valley floor. The glades of gigantic
Himalayan pine and fir offer fantastic and well protected riding. A major benefit of signing up with
Kashmir Powdercats is the practical access you have to Gulmarg’s best tree terrain on days when
bad weather closes the upper gondola. The Kashmir Powdercats - all Gulmarg locals who live in the
surrounding villages - lead you through the forest to the valley below, from where our road transport
returns you back to Gulmarg for another powder run. Our road transport is co-ordinated by two-way
radio to minimise and/or eliminate any waiting time for our guests at the end of each run.
In good weather our Kashmir Powdercats programmes focus on the upper gondola and the high alpine
terrain, when your Kashmiri Mountain Host’s expert local knowledge helps ensure that you enjoy the
best powder lines on Mt Apharwat. This includes options to participate in classic long descents
beyond the resort’s boundary via Mt Apharwat’s south-eastern shoulders to the valley floor near
Drang - from where our road transport returns you to Gulmarg.

Weekly Mountain Companion Programme
Our weekly “Mountain Companion” programme provides full-time Mountain Hosting and Local Road
Transport on a Monday to Friday basis (5 days). The programme is recommended for all guests who
wish to make the most of their short stay in Gulmarg. You enjoy the benefits of the local knowledge of
a Kashmiri Mountain Host in all weather conditions - in good weather on the mountain above
Gulmarg and in bad weather in the trees below Gulmarg. The best route back from the gondola midstation
to your accommodation - the route which eliminates walking - is not obvious. Your host will
show you the way back to Hotel Pine Palace or Hotel Grand Mumtaz for lunch and/or at the end of
your first day on the mountain.
The programme is particularly recommended for guests traveling alone to Kashmir who would like the
benefits of riding with a small group of like-minded adventurers - no more than six guests per group -
who are grouped together according to skill level.

Price per Person - Kashmir Powdercats
Mountain Companion (5 days) - you provide avalanche beacon 10,000 Rupees
Mountain Companion (5 days) - we provide avalanche beacon * 12,500 Rupees
* includes final Saturday use of avalanche beacon (6 days in total)
Further information on the Kashmir Powdercats is located on the last page of this brochure.

Domestic Air Flights
Ski Himalaya does not organise international flights or flights within India.
We strongly suggest that all guests flying from Delhi to Srinagar use Jet Airways or Kingfisher. Last
winter we found these two airlines to be the more reliable carriers.
Kingfisher offers Value fares combined with excellent service. Jet Airways is a member of
www.oneworld.com. See www.jetairways.com and www.flykingfisher.com for latest prices.
Our guest transfers from Srinagar Airport to Gulmarg are timed to coincide with these flights:
Jet Airways 9W 603 – which departs Delhi at 11:15am and arrives at Srinagar at 12:35pm
Kingfisher IT 303 – which departs Delhi at 11:25am and arrives at Srinagar at 12:45pm
Please note: Guests wishing to arrive on earlier morning flights will need to wait for other guests
arriving on Jet Airways and/or Kingfisher.
International Air Flights
Most international flights to Delhi, including all flights from Australia and South East Asia,
arrive in the evening or overnight.
British Airways and Lufthansa have flights which arrive in Delhi early morning, enabling “same day
connection” to Srinagar. These flights require you to overnight in Delhi on your return journey.
Guests flying with British Airways and Lufthansa may wish to request an advance on their itinerary in
Kashmir by one day (arrive in Gulmarg on Saturday afternoon), with accommodation at Airport Hotel
in Delhi on the last Saturday rather than first Saturday of their itinerary.

Additional costs for which you MUST budget are:
- Your flights
- Your visa to enter India
- Medical vaccinations (see comments in website Q&A)
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- Taxi from Srinagar accommodation to Srinagar Airport (approx 500 Rupees)
- Lift passes for Gondola (maximum of 1500 Rupees per day *)

* Last winter prices for the lower gondola were 100 Rupees per ride or 500 Rupees per day, and for
the upper gondola an additional 250 Rupees per ride or 1000 Rupees per day.

Additional costs which we recommend you CONSIDER budgeting for are:
- Purchase of Kashmiri handicrafts, pashminas, jewellery etcetera
- Bottled drinking water (similar cost to most countries)
- Tips for hospitality services received during the course of your travels in India
- Food and drink other than stated above
- Kashmir Powdercats Local Road Transport and Mountain Hosting services (optional)

Firstly, Gulmarg is not for everyone – at the moment its facilities are not comparable to those of most
international destination resorts. What is does have is an incredible mountain in the most precipitous
winter climate in the Himalayas accessible by a 1330 vertical metre gondola. It is currently a
pioneering resort in an exotic location with no commercial trappings or winter holiday crowds.
Secondly, Mt Apharwat’s upper slopes are best suited to advanced and expert snowriders. Over the
past two winters patrolling of Mt Apharwat’s upper slopes - including monitoring and control of
avalanche risks by professionally qualified overseas ski patrollers - was limited to the large bowl to
the immediate right (looking at the mountain) of Gulmarg’s upper gondola. Skiers and snowboarders
need to be mindful that venturing beyond the main patrolled bowl is equivalent to entering a
backcountry wilderness.

Travel outside the main patrolled bowl should only be undertaken with avalanche safety equipment
and should not be undertaken without due experience and/or caution, including observance of
Backcountry Avalanche Advisories posted by the ski patrol.
Thirdly, We do not currently recommend Gulmarg as an international holiday destination for families.
Intermediates and beginners who are already in India will have fun on the open poma slopes near the
golf course and on the longer woodland slopes below the gondola’s mid-station. They should not
come to Gulmarg expecting to ski or snowboard from the gondola’s top-station.

Fourthly, Operational hours of the upper gondola (above mid-station) are subject to weather and
safety factors. For the past two winters explosives have not been available for the control of avalanche
risk. Until such time as explosives become available for use by the ski patrol, the upper gondola can
be expected to remain closed for much of the first day following a significant snowfall while the ski
patrol undertakes avalanche monitoring and control work.
Fifthly, All guests joining the Kashmir Powdercats will need to sign a Liability Disclaimer (prior to
payment of the balance of bookings monies) reflecting your assumption of the risks that comes with
visiting this pioneering resort and your recognition that none of our local Kashmir Powdercats
Mountain Hosts carry IFMGA/UIAGM professional mountain guiding qualifications.

To secure accommodation email peter@skhimalaya.com
We will then advise you on availability and provide you with our banking details so that you can
pay a deposit to secure your accommodation at Gulmarg for next winter.
For the past 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 winters we priced and accepted payment in American Dollars.
Prices for the 2007-2008 winter are quoted in Indian Rupees and are payable in Australian Dollars.
We will not be able to accept payment in American Dollars for the 2007-2008 winter. Our new pricing
system provides us savings in both banking foreign exchange and transaction fees and currency risk
which we are able to pass on to our guests from around the world. You can find indicative exchange
rates for the Indian Rupee for all currencies at www.xe.com. Payment works as follows:
You pay a deposit of A$200 (Australian Dollars) per room per week to Ski Himalaya’s bank account
in Sydney to secure your accommodation at Gulmarg.
You pay an additional deposit of A$100 for each person who wishes to reserve a place in the Kashmir
Powdercats “Mountain Companion” programme.
Upon payment of your deposit we provide you formal confirmation of your reservation, a receipt for
payment of your deposit in Australian Dollars, and the cost of your itinerary quoted in Indian Rupees.
Deposits are non-refundable but can be rolled forward to a trip with us in either the 2008-2009 or
2009-2010 winters provided that you advise us by 30 November 2007 of your plans to defer your trip.

Final Payments
In early November 2007 we will send you an invoice for final payment.
Ski Himalaya’s invoice converts your fixed cost in Indian Rupees into Australian Dollars according to
the Indian Rupee Sell Rate quoted by our bank (ANZ - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) at
the end of October 2007. We deduct from this Australian Dollar amount your Australian Dollar
deposit, and invoice you for your final balance in Australian Dollars.
Final payment for all guests traveling to Kashmir before mid-January is due at the end of November.
Final payment for all other guests is due 75 days prior to your arrival.

Booking Terms & Conditions
Hotel rooms are allocated “first-come-first-served” basis - so you will need to book early for a good
window view.
So we can arrange your transfers from Delhi and Srinagar Airports, all guests are required to email
full details of both their international and domestic flights (name of airline, flight code and scheduled
time of arrival) as soon as practicable - no later than 20 October 2007 - to peter@skihimalaya.com

An easy way to do this is to simply email a copy of the confirmed international and domestic flights
provided to you by your travel agent/airlines to peter@skihimalaya.com
Past experience shows that a number of guests request late itinerary changes (which are difficult to
administer) due to their delay in booking flights (and consequent lack of availability of flights) or due
to mistakes with dates when booking flights (dates can be particularly confusing if you are flying into
or out of Delhi International Airport after midnight).
We do not wish to charge guests additional fees and are keen to assist everyone booking with us make
the journey to Kashmir. However:
Reminder Fee: Guests who do not provide full details of confirmed flights by 31 October 2007 (both
international and domestic) will be required to pay a “Reminder Fee” of A$50 per guest which will be
included in their final Australian Dollar invoice.
Late Itinerary Adjustment Fee: Guests who request any itinerary changes after 31 October 2007 will
be required to pay a Late Itinerary Adjustment Fee of A$100 per change per guest which will be
included in their final Australian Dollar invoice.
Itinerary Transfer Adjustment Fee: Guests who require a transfer between Srinagar and Gulmarg
outside of our regular itinerary transfer days will be required to pay an Itinerary Transfer Adjustment
Fee of A$100 per guest which will be included in their final Australian Dollar invoice.
All guests participating in either of the Kashmir Powdercats programmes will be required to sign a
Disclaimer of Liability. The disclaimer document will be provided to you with our final invoice.

Kashmir Powdercats = Local Road Transport + Mountain Hosting Services
Whatever the weather rest assured - riding with the Kashmir Powdercats means you’ll make the most
of the incredible snow riding on offer during your short stay in Gulmarg. When you sign on with
Kashmir Powdercats, you enjoy the benefits of our local mountain knowledge plus protection against
disappointment if a Himalayan snowstorm closes the upper gondola for part of your visit. If this
happens you have private transport to and from the all-weather terrain below Gulmarg. This area has a
huge number of descents through widely-spaced trees which are perfect for riding in bad weather.
Who knows what the weather will be like during your stay in Gulmarg. The following is a
fictional week to show you how our full-time Mountain Companion Programme adapts to give
you the best possible riding experience no-matter what weather you hit – sun, snow or blizzard.
Sunday: Met at Srinagar Airport and transfer to Gulmarg. Evening welcome from Kashmir Powdercats.
Distribution of avalanche beacons and film on avalanche safety.
Monday - Clear weather: Morning practice session with avalanche beacons. Warm up runs and orientation on
lower gondola. Later, ascend gondola and see views from the top of Mt Apharwat. Option to ski/board down, or
to ride the gondola back down to Gulmarg. At lunch or at the end of the day your Mountain Host makes sure you
know the best way down from the mountain to your hotel – to make sure you enjoy the full benefits of your
hotel’s ski-in ski-out location.
Tuesday - Snowing: Stage Two of gondola is closed. Our transport meets you at your hotel door and shuttles
you to the top of the forested runs to Tangmarg. Repeated descents – over three kilometers in length - in this
enchanting area. Advanced groups progress to steeper forested runs to Baba Reshi. Our road transport is coordinated
by two-way radio so we can minimise, or eliminate, any waiting time before returning you to Gulmarg
for your next run.
Wednesday - Snowing Again: Stage Two of gondola closed again. Repeat Monday! Expert groups might also
ride from gondola mid-station, past Monkey Hill, to the valley floor. Later in the day our ‘cruiser’ group elects
to return with their Mountain Host to the forested runs under Stage One of the gondola and our nearby hotels.
Thursday – Clear Weather: Opening of Stage Two of the gondola is delayed until after lunch while the ski
patrol monitors avalanche risks and undertakes safety steps. Some guests opt for early descents through the
forested slopes to the Baba Reshi shrine, where the views take on a new beauty in the clearer weather. Others are
happy to spend the first part of the day scouting the runs under Stage One of the gondola with their Mountain
Host. After lunch at our nearby hotels, the afternoon is spent riding the gondola to the top station at 3980 metres
and plundering the safer aspects of Mt Apharwat's Stage Two slopes.

Friday - Sunshine again: Most guests will wish to head for the gondola, either with or without their Mountain
Host! On the second full day of riding from Mt Apharwat, some guests may wish to participate in the ‘northwestern’
descents which involve the walk to Mt Apharwat's summit. This may include direct descents to points
further along the golf course, from where our vehicles return you to the gondola base. Full ‘south-eastern’
descents from Mt Apharwat to the Tangmarg Valley floor are long and serious challenges, and by necessity are
restricted to guests with the requisite skill, fitness and aptitude.
Saturday - Snowing lightly: Visibility is average, with snow expected to increase over the next three days.
Some of our guests participate in further exploration of the Stage Two descents closer to the gondola. Some
guests participate in a group which cruises the sheltered slopes under Stage One of the gondola, staying
conveniently close to our hotels. Other guests participate in groups preferring the better visibility combined with
steeper terrain of forested descents to the Baba Reshi Road.
post #9 of 11
^^^ As per Marty's post - Peter Robinson of Kashmir Powdercats.

BTW, Gulmarg is frontier skiing. If you like comforts forget it. If you want certaintly that the lifts will work and the mountain will be cleared and safe from avalanches, forget it. Also, as on mountain accomodation is fairly limited, the better accomodation for the 2007/08 season will already be pre-booked (mine was booked and confirmed 3 months ago). If you are interested in going you will need to book soon.
post #10 of 11
October is really late for booking airfairs for the winter. Most my Inidan friends book their winter vacation flights in the summer!

When I went, 6-7 years ago, I paid over $1000 for the flight because I booked in November. Had I done it in June, it'd be a lot less...

Don't know about the skiing. But the experience of visiting a country like India...is worth every dollar! (and this comes from someone who travels to other part of Asia regularly!)
post #11 of 11
Most recent advice on availability of accomodation in Gulmarg:

Ski Himalaya represents all of Gulmarg's ski-in ski-out hotels.

The new centrally heated wing of Hotel Pine Palace (Platinum) is heavily booked from 19 January to 1 March 2008.

There are still rooms available at Pine Palace during the Christmas/New Year period and also during March - plus a small number of rooms available during the week commencing 12 January 2008.

We expect that Pir Panjal Inn - our new budget accommodation option for long-stay guests (details are on the next page) - will also be fully booked before next winter.

Availability is still good at our other centrally heated ski-in ski-out hotel options (Hotel Grand Mumtaz and Hotel Heaven) and at the orginal wing of Hotel Pine Palace (Heritage).
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