Sroll to top


Gulmarg Kashmir's gondola, designed by M/S Pomagalski of France, ascends from the resort at 2650 metres, via a mid station and restaurant at 3050 metres, to an elevation of 3980 metres, providing lift served access to 1330 vertical metres of vast snowriding terrain. Other winter sports infrastructure at Gulmarg Kashmir includes road-clearers, Kassbohrer snow grooming machines, Poma surface lifts, hire equipment for a range of winter sports and an ice skating rink.

Gondola operations
Gulmarg Kashmir’s gondola is operated by a state government body, the Jammu & Kashmir Cable Car Corporation. The gondola has been operated on a year round basis since May 2005 The operational hours of the gondola for snowriders in the past three winters have reflected the following challenges: low visitor numbers; absence of guaranteed electricity supply; absence of access by the ski patrol to explosives for the control of avalanche risk; and the learning curve for Gulmarg Kashmir’s indigenous management and staff as they pioneer development of winter sports tourism in the Himalayas.

Winter Operational Hours for Gondola
Prior to the 2007-2008 winter season, operational hours for the gondola, both lower and upper sections, were regularly described by many of our guests as “unpredictable”. In reality, operational hours were often poor, particularly for guests who were visiting during a week of snowy weather. A number of factors were involved, including one which should be borne in mind by all experienced snowriders who come to Gulmarg Kashmir with the dream of experiencing the glorious and vast terrain which is accessible from the top of Mt Apharwhat: Closure of the gondola’s upper section during bad weather, and the possibility of extended delays due to avalanche risk in the opening of the gondola’s upper section, following either good snowfalls or rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

The 2007-2008 winter season marked a number of positive milestones in the progress of the Gulmarg Kashmir’s winter operations:

  1. Closure of the gondola for pre-winter maintenance in November 2007;
  2. Appointment, for the 1st time on a professional (salaried) basis, of overseas expertise to lead avalanche risk assessment and related safety protocols;
  3. Establishment of a (relatively) reliable track record in punctual openings of the gondola’s lower section throughout the winter;
  4. Securing of civilian-military co-operation in making available explosives for the control and abatement of avalanche risks in the patrolled areas of Mt Apharwhat’s high-alpine terrain (upper section of the gondola).

Despite these positive milestones, a number of our guests in the 2007-2008 winter, more so those visiting during a week of snowy weather, were still disappointed with operational hours for the upper section of the gondola.

Most but not all of these delays were weather related. Snowriders visiting Gulmarg Kashmir should not expect the upper section of the gondola to open during bad weather, nor immediately following either good snowfalls or rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

Overall ski patrol resources at Gulmarg Kashmir are limited, by global standards, relative to the enormity of the terrain which is accessible from the top of Mt Apharwhat - perhaps understandably limited, relative to very few indigenous snowriders who are sufficiently skilled to ski or snowboard from the gondola’s top station, and the still relatively few visitors from outside of Kashmir who travel to Gulmarg Kashmir to ski or snowboard.

While explosives were introduced for the control of avalanche risk for the first time, during the 2007-2008 winter, the explosives program was on a trial basis only.

Whilst operations of the upper section of the gondola will always be weather dependent, and we would be reluctant to make any prediction as further improvements in the reliability of operational hours for the upper section of the gondola in the coming 2008-2009 winter, Kashmir Tourism is seeking continuity in the appointments of the overseas experts who led Gulmarg Kashmir’s ski patrol during the immediately past winter, and the related prospect of the expansion of the explosives trials ., and for skiers and boarders who are hungry for fresh Himalayan powder-snow. Gulmarg Kashmir’s ski resorts are located near one of the best slops for skiing in the world.

Please keep in mind that (1) the upper section of the gondola is only closed during times of avalanche risk for your personal safety and (2) the fact that the upper section of the gondola is open does NOT imply that “out-of-bounds” terrain is safe from avalanches.


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