Explore untracked powder runs

Gulmarg Backcountry Skiing, India

Join us in the Indian Himalaya for a powder ski and snowboard touring odyssey; Gulmarg is a ski touring and cultural paradise. The word’s out, if you want great skiing in an exotic location, Gulmarg is it!

1,500 vertical metre (4,900 feet) runs, deep powder, steep trees, wide open alpine slopes, avalanche education, Kashmiri culture and great food, you’ll find it all on this trip!

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Low ?
Duration 8 or 12 days
Elevation 4,000M / 13,123FT
Large view

Ski to the accommodation door - Mark Sedon

Large view

Tree skiing in Gulmarg - Dean Staples

Large view

Dal Lake, Shrinigar - Lydia Bradey

Large view

Touring up through the trees - Lydia Bradey

Large view

Fresh turns - Mark Sedon

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Wide open alpine slopes - Mark Sedon

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Colourful local markets - Mark Sedon

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Braving the storm for fresh turns - Mark Sedon

From Jan 27 to Feb 03, 2019
Departs from Srinagar, India
$3,600 USD $
From Jan 27 to Feb 07, 2019
Departs from Srinagar, India
$4,700 USD $
From Feb 10 to Feb 17, 2019
Departs from Srinagar, India
$3,600 USD $
From Feb 10 to Feb 21, 2019
Departs from Srinagar, India
$4,700 USD $
  • Overview

    • Safely explore 1500m (4,900ft) untracked powder runs with your guide
    • 8 and 12 day ski and snowboard touring programmes


    Whatever the weather, you can always get out skiing and riding in the trees. When it’s good we utilise lift access to get up to high altitude to shred the bountiful open faces and bowls leading to perfectly spaced trees. When it’s dumping we drop into the Drang Valley, tree skiing for 10km (6 miles) through the roadless village of Drang where the friendly kids run out to play on the back of our skis.

    The tours are led by IFMGA guides whose knowledge of snow safety is imperative in terrain with so much snow. Your guides are also well equipped to ferret out the best skiing on any given day.

    We enjoy the evenings in the most comfortable hotel in Gulmarg, one of the newest and most luxurious in town and during the evenings (when everyone can stay awake!) we run avalanche education lectures and workshops.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to their trips. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition and trip to offer our ski tourers the best possible experience.

    We employ strong and specialised leaders/mountain guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams with the best back-up and support available.

    Many of our climbers, ski tourers and trekkers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make our expeditions and trips safe, enjoyable and successful.

  • Dates & Prices

    Dates 2019

    Trip 1: January 27 – February 3 (8 days)
    Trip 2: January 27 – February 7 (12 days)
    Trip 3: February 10 – 17 (8 days)
    Trip 4: February 10 – 21 (12 days)

    Pricing Schedule 2019

    The cost of the 12 day expedition ex Srinagar, India is US$4,700 per person (includes heli-lift tour day).
    The cost of the 8 day expedition ex Srinagar, India is US$3,600 per person.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • All expedition trip organisational requirements
    • Transfers - on arrival Srinagar Airport to Gulmarg and return from Gulmarg to Srinagar Houseboat
    • 8 and 12 nights accommodation respectively in Gulmarg hotel (7 and 11) and Srinagar Houseboat (1)
    • 7 and 11 days ski touring respectively
    • Emergency medical supplies
    • IFMGA (UIAGM) and/or NZMGA qualified Adventure Consultants ski guide and local Kashmiri guide
    • Breakfasts and lunches in Gulmarg and an evening meal for the one night on the Srinagar houseboat
    • All lift passes and Baba Rishi taxi touring costs
    • Avalanche safety and ski touring instruction
    • One helicopter lift for heli-ski touring day on 12 day trip


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Air travel to and from Srinagar, India
    • Extra hotel accommodation and meals in Srinagar or Delhi outside of the itinerary
    • All evening meals while in Gulmarg
    • Personal snacks (suggest bringing 2 snack bars a day from home)
    • Purchases of bottled water, gifts and alcohol
    • Other charges at hotels such as laundry
    • Entry visas for India (obtain a tourist visa prior to arrival in India)
    • Personal clothing and ski/snowboard touring equipment
    • Personal travel / cancellation / rescue insurance
    • Any rescue costs or costs of early departure from the trip
    • Gratuity for guides
    • Houseboat to airport taxi, usually about US$15

    Account Information

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account # 1000-594771-0000

    Note: All charges are for the remitters account.

    Or, we can accept a US Dollar bank cheque made out to Adventure Consultants Limited.

    We can accept your deposit via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) but the balance is subject to an additional 3% credit card transaction fee.

    Deposit

    A deposit of US$500 is payable to secure a place on the trip.

    Balance

    The balance is payable for 90 days before your trip start date.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 90 days prior to your trip commencement date. A trip member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • For cancellations within 89-60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • For cancellations within 59 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.


    We strongly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    GulmargThe Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants Gulmarg India Backcountry Skiing Trips.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Gulmarg India Backcountry Skiing

    Our Guides

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to their trips. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition and trip to offer our ski tourers the best possible experience.

    We employ strong and specialised leaders/mountain guides, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams with the best back-up and support available.

    Many of our climbers, ski tourers and trekkers come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make our expeditions and trips safe, enjoyable and successful.

    Additional to our ski guides we work in conjunction with the excellent Kashmiri ski guides who are not only exceptionally strong skiers and know the valley well, but who are affable and friendly as well. Their involvement in our expeditions introduces a strong cultural component which we are sure you’ll enjoy.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Amelia Crofut-BrittinghamAmelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison

    Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison for European and Himalayan Operations. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.


     

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

     

    Weather

    The weather in January and February in Gulmarg is similar to Utah’s weather in the USA. It has 2-3 day storms separated by 3-5 days fine spells. It doesn’t traditionally get much wind, so the powder is exceptional. During clear weather the snow just gets better and better, usually stabilising so we can ski steeper runs. One of the biggest benefits of skiing in Gulmarg is there is always skiing to be done. It’s an incredible place and storms of over a metre of snow are common.

    Avalanche Conditions

    Your guides make morning and on going avalanche assessments and instruction is given on how to contribute to this decision making process. We will probably only ever ski beyond the ski area’s small boundary and each member must be capable of assisting in an avalanche rescue. We all ski with avalanche transceivers, shovel and probe.

    Food

    Kashmiri Cuisine: not as spicy as traditional Indian curry but very tasty. Meals like rogan josh (lamb cooked spices), yakhiyn (lamb cooked in curd), hakh (a spinach-like leaf), rista-gushtaba (minced meat balls in tomato and curd curry) are available plus great Indian curries. Vegetables are a bit sparse in Kashmir, but the food is tasty and plentiful. You can sometimes get salads that are safe to eat and even fresh fruit.

    Accommodation

    We enjoy the evenings in the most comfortable hotel in Gulmarg, one of the newest and most luxurious in town.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Members will be sent a list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment to be individually provided.

    Military History & Travel Warnings

    India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and as recently as 1999.

    Currently, we feel the Gulmarg area is very safe and tourism is welcomed by the local Kashmiris. There is a lot of security and for the past five years, tourists have been travelling to Gulmarg without issue. But in saying this, we advise people to take normal precautions in Srinagar and not travel alone at night away from the tourist regions and to avoid any protests. Some governments still advise against travelling to Kashmir.

  • Itinerary

    You will be met on arrival into Srinagar airport by our Kashmiri driver and driven 60km to Gulmarg (about 2hrs). Your guide/s will meet you at the hotel for an introduction to the area which also provides an opportunity to check each member's personal equipment. We aim to do an initial avalanche rescue training session on the first afternoon/evening so we are ready to ski the next morning.

    On the day following your arrival, we will go skiing. The route options depend on avalanche danger, weather and gondola status but there are four distinct areas we will explore. They can roughly be segregated into Barbarishi Trees, Monkey Hill, gondola mid-station and gondola top.

    Gondola Top: With the claim of 'The World's Highest Gondola', finished in 2005 with its massive vertical drop of 1,500m, descending down through vast alpine bowls and then into perfectly spaced trees it is becoming a mecca for adventurous ski and snowboard touring. When the top stage is open we will usually use it to access the best skiing and most vast touring available. We could ski from the top every day of the 12-day trip and never repeat a run. The ski resort does avalanche control work and patrols the ski resort bowl called Gondola Bowl, right under the gondola. The rest of the terrain is backcountry and decisions about routes and avalanche safety are vital. This is the responsibility of your guide but they will involve you in the decision-making process.

    Gondola Mid-station: The mid-station is about 400m above the town and operates in all but the worse weather. We will use it to gain some height and do some interesting runs like the half day trip down the Drang Valley. It’s a 10-15kms ski down the valley ending in the town of Tangmarg and visiting Drang Village along the way, skiing through the roadless village where the friendly kids run out to play on the back of our skis. The Kashmiri people are very friendly and curious at our skiing antics. They often stare and smile as we pass.

    Baba Rishi Trees: On stormy days, when there’s over 30-50cms of snow in Gulmarg we will consider renting a taxi for the day to ski the Baba Rishi Trees. The taxi drops us at the top, we ski the approximate 400-500m vertical tree run while the taxi drives around to pick us up at the bottom for another lap.

    Monkey Hill: This 250-300m high hill is right behind the town and there’s a well-used boot/skin track up to the summit. Then there are 360 degrees of options open to us to ski down either to the Gulmarg access road or back to town. When it’s really storming and the roads are chaos this is a great day touring and a perfect place for avalanche workshops.

    The touring days are moderately strenuous and involve skinning for between 2 and 3 hours duration with plenty of scenic places to stop along the way.

    There is the minor issue of altitude most people will feel at the start of the trip. Gulmarg town is low enough (about 2,500m) and you may just notice weird dreams and mild headaches. But the top of the peaks are over 4,000m and on your first few trips to the summits, you’ll feel a little short of breath. But not to worry, once you descend you quickly recover and each time you go up it gets better and better.

    People on the 12-day programme get an added bonus, a helicopter lift to a more remote basin. We will fly up to the nearby Triple Peak area using the local Kashmir heli-ski machines and tour for the day, exploring the high alpine region, eventually dropping into the Drang Valley, down to Tangmarg.

    Day  
    1 Arrive Srinagar, transfer to Gulmarg, avalanche rescue practice, short ski tour if possible
    2 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    3 Ski Tour down Drang Valley (10-15kms), ski through Drang Village, play with kids, ski to Tangmarg, late lunch, taxi back to Gulmarg
    4 Ski the Baba Rishi Trees below Gulmarg Township, use taxi back to top of run
    5 Gondola mid-station tour and/or Monkey Hill
    6 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    7 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    8

    Ski tour to top of Gondola.

    Transfer to Srinagar House Boat in the afternoon, dinner, trip ends, (accommodation included), taxi to airport booked by houseboat manager

    Day  
    1 Arrive Srinagar, transfer to Gulmarg, avalanche rescue practice, short ski tour if possible
    2 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    3 Ski Tour down Drang Valley (10-15kms), ski through Drang Village, play with kids, ski to Tangmarg, late lunch, taxi back to Gulmarg
    4 Ski the Baba Rishi Trees below Gulmarg Township, use taxi back to top of run
    5 Gondola mid-station tour and/or Monkey Hill
    6 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    7 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    8 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    9 Ski tour to top of Gondola
    10 Helicopter to Triple Peak, alpine ski tour, ski down to Tangmarg and taxi back to Gulmarg
    11 Gondola mid-station tour, Monkey Hill
    12 Ski tour, transfer to Srinagar House Boat, dinner, trip ends, (accommodation included), taxi to airport booked by houseboat manager

     

    Situated right at the very top of India in the region called Kashmir is the beautiful village of Gulmarg. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The state is now much bigger and has borders with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan. The town has about 30 hotels, an ATM (not always reliable), gift shops and confectionery shops.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverage to its clients.

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

  • FAQ

    • Contact Us

      The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Gulmarg Backcountry Skiing trips. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since. You can read more on the history of Adventure Consultants here.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your skiers?
      Adventure Consultants have spent a lot of time researching this destination, and your IFMGA guides that lead 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.

    • The Trip

      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 down to Tangmarg.

      What is the skiing terrain like?
      You'll find tree runs that are 400-500 vertical metres long, wide open slopes and bowls, and from the top of the world's highest gondola, a 1500m vertical drop. What more can a skier 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?
      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.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      Please plan to arrive into Srinagar International Airport. 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 who 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 & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      Ratios of participants to Western guides is stated on each trip’s webpage in the downloadable ‘Trip Notes’.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our skiers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels and range from those seeking skill development to those purely seeking 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 8,000m 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. Please contact the office for more information or visit our Private Customised Expeditions page.

    • 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 2,500m, but the top of the lift is at 4,000m so you will feel the altitude. The fitter 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 that covers skiing outside of ski area boundaries. 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 developing 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 (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) 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 both the trip deposit and balance payment on credit card. Please note that there is a 3% fee for all card transactions. Please contact our office or visit our online payment system.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Please see the 'Payment Conditions' section above for the inclusions and exclusions for this particular trip. There is also a downloadable pdf document in the 'Trip Notes' section above. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents with whom we have worked 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-to-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 the trip is to contact our office or complete our online booking form (click 'Book Now' below). Your deposit can be submitted by bank transfer (please see 'Payment Details' in the 'Payment Conditions' section above) or via our secure online payment system.

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

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