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Avalanche Saftey

Avalanches are a very real danger in Gulmarg, the best way to protect yourself and others is to come prepared. Participating in a certified avalanche safety course is highly recommended but if this option is not available to you, there is still a lot of preparation you can undertake. People spend their entire lives educating themselves on avalanches and rescue techniques; there is no such thing as over preparation where the lives of you and your friends are concerned.

The first step to a safe trip is to make sure you are adequately kitted, every rider should possess an avalanche beacon (transceiver), avalanche probe, and shovel. Modern avalanche rescue technology has progressed immensely in recent years and there are many items one can purchase to increase the chances of survival if trapped, such as breathing tubes and backpacks with baffles that inflate when triggered, using canisters of pressurised air. The internet is a fantastic resource for education and training, read the techniques and practice in the backyard, it doesn’t’ have to be snowing, all training is beneficial. Have timed races with your buddies finding a beacon, make it difficult, remember just how intense and physically draining an avalanche rescue could be. Educate yourself on identifying avalanche risks, examining the snowpack, tips on how to ride out of a slide, what to do if trapped and correct technique for a rescue.

Gulmarg is not your average ski resort, pay close attention to avalanche warnings and be extra aware, with limited ski patrol and a vast terrain, you may have a responsibility to participate if an incident occurs. Get into good habits for safe travel in avalanche terrain – ski with a group and look after each other; ski one at a time and “spot” each other; do not “drop in” while other skiers are below you; always stop in a safe spot such as on a ridge; the most likely time for an avalanche to occur is while it is snowing or within the next 24 hours so BEWARE OF THE FIRST POWDER DAY AFTER A STORM. If in doubt do not go out back; ski within the patrolled ski area boundary; or hire a certified guide to take you back-country.

Guided Skiing & Snowboarding

There are 16 local ski guides that make up Gulmarg Powder Guides. The guides specialize in guiding skiers & snowboarders at Gulmarg on the world's highest gondola at 4,000 meters, as well as off piste and some overnight touring to Kashmiri shepherd huts up to 5,000 meters.

It is highly recommended to take a guide with you whenever you venture into the Gulmarg backcountry particularly if you have limited experience in this type of terrain. Riding with a guide ensures you have a safe and exciting time on the slopes, the trained guides know every corner of these slopes and enjoy riding pow as much as you! Guides are trained in avalanche rescue and responsible backcountry riding meaning you’ll be in good hands should an incident occur.

Having a guide will ensure you get access to the best lines available for the conditions, with or without the gondola your guide will have you hooting your lungs out as you scream through virgin pow. Your guide will organise all transport on runs to the villages of Drung, Babareshi and Tangmarg leaving you with nothing to worry about except which pillow to whack and which log to ride!


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