It is certainly known that India has some of the highest mountains in the world – the Himalayas – but many people don’t yet know that skiing has been a great passion of the people here for years. India is not only considered to be extremely snow-sure, but also a paradise for freeriders and heliskiing – particularly in the Gulmarg ski area.
1. Adventure in India: Pure Thrills
If you plan to ski in India, you will definitely need to bring along a large helping of adventure. Within sight of the Nanga Parbat, skiers in the ski resort of Gulmarg have the opportunity to weave their way through the best powder snow from the 4,124-metre-high Mt Apharat while enjoying the impressive landscape of the Himalayan Mountains. However, as the region is unfortunately repeatedly shaken by unrest, SnowTex recommends that you check the FCDO website before booking.
2. Snow Security Guaranteed
Here, snow is certainly nothing to worry about. Gulmarg lies at an altitude of 2,730 metres in the Pir Panjals, one of a total of 6 mountain ranges in the Himalayas. Snowfalls of 20 metres are not uncommon here. In addition, the ski season begins in mid-December and ends in mid-May, so there is plenty of time to visit this exotic ski area.
3. Reach up to almost 4,000 m altitude in India’s highest ski area
Since 1998, Gulmarg has had a gondola lift, which starts at the valley station at 2,650 metres altitude and takes guests up to 3,980 metres altitude via the middle station. Currently, the ski area consists of a total of 30 km of pistes. Two tow lifts are available for guests near the valley station. Small hotels, restaurants and mountain huts scattered throughout the valley invite winter sports fans to enjoy a cosy get-together. Although Gulmarg is not yet fully developed, the village already lives mainly from tourism.
4. Paradise for Freeriders and Heliskiers
For those who like a little more variety, the numerous off-piste runs are just right. Heliskiing in particular is becoming increasingly popular with winter sports fans. Dropped by helicopter into the untouched terrain, skiers can then ski down to the valley in deep snow with a view of the breathtaking Himalayan Mountains. However, due to the high risk of avalanches, it is recommended to book instructors and guides to ensure safety on the secluded terrain.
5. Fascinating Culture
If snow masses prevent lifts from operating in Gulmarg, there’s certainly no reason to be bored. There are plenty of alternative programmes: for example, the Rani temple is only a few metres away from the centre. Another religious and holy site is the Baba Reshi Shrine. Both sights give guests an insight into the culture and religion of the locals. For those who have children with them, the Children’s Park is a true paradise. While kids can let off steam and play to their heart’s content, parents can enjoy the view of the mountains and relax.