Sking in Gulmarg is a wonderful combination of incredible powder skiing and the unique culture of India – one of the world’s greatest adventure skiing experiences!

Gulmarg is a small isolated hill-village situated in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at the western extremity of the Himalayas in a subsidiary range called the Pir Panjals. It is 35 miles from Srinagar, the state capital.

Due to its geographic location Gulmarg gets some of the heaviest snowfalls in the Himalayas and it has earned the distinction of being the best ski resort in the Himalayas. Skiing was first introduced to Gulmarg by two British Army officers who established the first ski club in 1927 although it wasn’t until 9-10 years ago when Gulmarg’s name really first started to appear on the cognoscenti’s hotlist!

The village itself sits in gently undulating meadows high above the Kashmiri plateau at about 2,700m.

The area is close to the disputed Pakistan-India border and there is no escape from the huge military presence in the resort and the surrounding area. However any initial unease you may feel is quickly eroded as you discover that the locals are all extremely friendly and welcoming.

Access on to the mountain is via the Gondola. Installed in 2005 it ascends from the resort to almost 4,000m on Mt Apharwat and offers over 2,200m of vertical descent. Thanks to the gondola, Gulmarg claims to be one of the highest lift-served resorts in the world.

In 2012 a new lift called ‘Marys Chair’ was opened. This follows a similar line to the upper section of the gondola – going about half-distance -and can be used to access the upper sections of the ski area.

Gulmarg is the perfect venue for natural, wild, backcountry and off-piste skiing for intermediate to expert level skiers and snowboarders. From the top gondola station, the upper slopes and bowls of Apherwat are wide and open whilst thick conifer forest covers much of the remaining area. If you are prepared to boot pack the 30 minutes (or so) to the summit of Mt Apharwat you’ll be rewarded not only with some awesome powder turns but also with spectacular views across the Kashmir Plateau to Nanga Parbat (8126m) the most westerly eight thousander and the ninth highest mountain on Earth.

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