Gulmarg Backcountry Skiing

  • Difficulty: 1 Scrambling on low angled terrain of a low technical nature, on snow or rock. Ropes may occasionally be used. Climbers do not need previous experience but do need an ability to move over rough ground. Short steep sections that will require a rope. Basic snow/ice/rock climbing. We recommend that climbers are familiar with ice axe and crampon techniques and/or basic rock climbing techniques although this can often be taught during the trip. Steep terrain that requires moderate level climbing skills on snow/ice/rock. Emphasis on good cramponing skills. Will need experience with rope techniques including rappelling/abseiling and snow camping techniques. Extensive steep terrain. Climber to be capable of following multi pitch climbs and have rope management skills, belay techniques, climbing calls, rappelling/abseiling skills and alpine bivouac and snow camping techniques. Extreme terrain. Climber will have extensive experience on rock or ice and a complete understanding of anchors and protection techniques and a high degree of comfort following longer difficult sections of ice and/or rock in alpine gear with a pack.

    Fitness: A A level of fitness sufficient to carry a light pack (10kg/22lb) and be capable of moving for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. Training would include regular walking on hills and gym work to develop strength: light running, swimming and biking. Defined as one who exercises regularly although not necessarily to a really high level, capable of carrying a pack weighing 18kg/40lb for several hours. Regular cardiovascular exercise (3-4 times a week gym/bike/stairs) and include pack carrying on rough ground once a week. A high standard of fitness. Capable of climbing with a heavy pack (25kg/55lb) for extended periods in mountain conditions. High level of training specific to climbing that would include heavy pack carrying over rough terrain and other preparation such as regular gym/pool/bike training. Excellent level of fitness from participants who would have an ongoing commitment to training and maintaining fitness specific to climbing. Expect long days in extreme conditions. Preparation would include heavy pack carrying, specific conditioning through rock and/or ice climbing and habitual cardio vascular exercise.

    Duration

    8 & 12 Days

    Elevation

    4,000m / 13,123ft

CHOOSING A PROVIDER

How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.

A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers travelling to Gulmarg?
Adventure Consultants have spent a lot of time researching this destination, and your IFMGA guides that led this trip can offer you a safe and enjoyable experience.  These guides are the experts in their field and have an extensive knowledge of snow safety which is imperative for these departures.

What backcountry skiing skills are required to join this trip?
To get the most out of this amazing ski destination, we require participants to at least have solid off-piste skiing experience.

What is the difference between the 8 and 12 day trips?
Besides the trip length, the 12 day trip includes a heli ride to Triple Peak from where you ski tour doen to Tangmarg.

What is the skiing terrain like?
From tree runs that are 400-500 vertical long, wide open slopes and bowls and from the top of the world's highest gondola, a 1500 metre vertical drop. What more can a skiier ask for?

FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES

What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the expedition?Given that we choose to stay in a hotel for this entire trip, washing facilities are available every day and laundry can be done by the hotel for a nominal fee.

What is the food like?
We will get to savour Kashmiri cuisine, so do expect to eat curries (not as hot as Indian curries) and other local dishes such as yakhuyn (lamb) and gushtaba (minced meat balls). The food will be plentiful and of course, very tasty.

What are the hotels like?  Can I have my own room?
Expect to stay in a comfortable hotel in Gulmarg and yes, it is easy for us to arrange a single room. If interested, please do ask our office for the single supplement price.

TRAVEL

Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome and encouraged to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city, if you have the time.

My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows you to change your flight in the event that this is required.

When should I book my ticket?
For the majority of our expeditions, we generally ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights, then ensure you can make changes to your tickets and it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance, in the event that you need to cancel.

Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings to our expedition and trek destinations.

Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
Please plan to arrive into Srinagar International Airport and upon arrival, you can clear Indian customs. The trip fee includes airport transfers from Srinagar to Gulmarg at the start, and you will be met by a Kashmiri driver who will drive you the 60kms to Gulmarg.  At the end, transfer from Gulmarg to the Srinagar Houseboat where you relax at the end after all of the powder skiing.

Do I need to get a visa?
Trip participants will require a tourist visa to enter India, and this should be obtained prior to departing from home.

What if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit. We do also have a dedicated equipment coordinator that is happy to provide advice and answers to any questions you may have.

Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared. Please bring everything on the list!

GUIDES & EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS

How many guides will be assigned to our group?
Ratios of Trekkers/Climbers to Western guides is stated on each trip’s web page in the downloadable ‘trip notes’.

Who goes on your trips?
Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure.

I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks such as Manaslu and Kanchenjunga, all Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.

HEALTH & FITNESS

What kind of physical condition should I be in for a Gulmarg ski trip?
It is certainly advantageous to be fit before you head off on this trip, given the altitude.  The town of Gulmarg is located at 2500m, but the top of the lift is at 4000m so you will feel the altitude. The fitter that you are, the quicker you will acclimatise.

COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES

I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
The Adventure Consultants NZ office receives regular updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our NZ office.

INSURANCE

What insurance do we need to get?
Please arrange travel insurance and in particular, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance for when skiing outside of ski area boundaries with a guide.  Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for off piste skiing and that it covers you for helicopter evacuation.

Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.

What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips, including our courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

FEES & PAYMENTS

Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.

What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country, should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; Internationally qualified Western Guides, proven dependable local operators, small groups sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.

Photos

 Walking back up to Gulmarg after skiing down to the road from Monkey Hill

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