FAQ - Snow & Skiing in Gulmarg
What is the total annual snowfall in Gulmarg?
The snowfall in Gulmarg varies from year to year, but Gulmarg always gets lots of snow! The average annual snowfall in Gulmarg (not well documented) is approximately 14 meters, while during the 2004-05 season there was an amazing 20 meters of snow!
Can you describe Gulmarg's snow conditions?
Gulmarg is located at 34 degrees North Latitude – its snow conditions can be compared with Taos Ski Valley in the U.S. (New Mexico) and Portillo, Chile. Although the Pir Panjal mountain range is far from the ocean, the moisture condenses over the mountains from the Indus watershed. This makes the snow dry but with a high content of moisture. The dry, cold nights and the altitude help to stabilize the snow quickly. Most importantly, the fact that there are not a lot of skiers and snowboarders helps to keep the powder fresh for days!
What is the altitude in Gulmarg? What about vertical meters?
The base elevation of Gulmarg is 2,660 meters, and the top elevation is 3,980 meters. The summit of Mt. Apharwat is 4,124 meters (which you can hike up to). Lift accessed vertical meters is 1,330 meters.
How many ski lifts are there in Gulmarg?
There are a total of 5 ski lifts in Gulmarg: Gulmarg Gondola (2 phases), a 4-passenger chairlift, and 3 surface (poma) lifts. See our Mountain Statistics page for more details.
What is the average temperature in Gulmarg?
The weather in Gulmarg Ski Resort is comparable to the Swiss Alps. The average temperature in Gulmarg in Celsius is: January - 6.4 degrees, February - 3.4 degrees, March - 1.6 degrees.
When is the best time to visit Gulmarg?
The ski season runs between December and March, but the best time to visit Gulmarg is between mid-January to late-February. That's when we typically get the most snow. March can suprisingly be very good, with a very low amount of tourists and many storms. During that time, it can be pretty hot and the snow transforms very rapidly. Keep in mind that Gulmarg Ski Resort does not have snowmaking operations so we must rely on Mother Nature entirely.
Is there heliskiing available in Gulmarg?
Yes! Heliskiing was introduced to Gulmarg in 2011 with the opening of Kashmir Heliski (formerly Gulmarg Heliski). See our Heliskiing page for complete details.
Is there a ski and snowboard school in Gulmarg?
Yes, but ski lessons are geared more towards locals and beginner skiers and snowboarders. We can organize lessons with a local partner company for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Are there private instructors and/or ski guides?
Gulmarg has private instructors and certified Ski Guides. See more info on our Ski Guides page.
What if I am a beginner or low intermediate skier? Do you recommend that I ski Gulmarg?
Beginners and/or low intermediate skiers will be able to ski Gulmarg; however, since most of Gulmarg is not controlled, there is very limited terrain for a beginner or low intermediate skier. We can organize packages for beginner skiers and snowboarders, including instructors and/or Ski Guides.
Given that much of Gulmarg Ski Resort is not controlled, do you recommend hiring a ski guide?
Absolutely! We highly recommend hiring a certified local Ski Guide. A qualified Ski Guide knows the mountain very well and can take you to the best lines. Most importantly, skiing with a qualified Ski Guide is an important safety issue. For more detailed info on why you should hire a Ski Guide, visit our Ski Guides page.
I heard that most of Gulmarg's terrain is not controlled? How can I ensure my safety while skiing in Gulmarg?
There are some basic safety rules that every skier should follow: never ski alone and carry appropriate safety equipment. We also recommend hiring a certified local Ski Guide. See our Safety page for more detailed information.
What happens if I get injured while skiing on the mountain? How do I get down the mountain from an area that is not patrolled? If I do have to get evacuated from the mountain, does my travel insurance cover the cost of evacuation?
First of all, you should ski Gulmarg knowing that all evacuation and rescue should come from your ski party. If you are skiing with a certified Ski Guide, they most likely will carry radios & first-aid equipment and can help evacuate you from the mountain. Make sure your travel insurance policy covers off-piste skiing, "search and rescue," and helicopter evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Should I be concerned about avalanches?
Avalanches are a threat in any mountain environment. Gulmarg has some steep slopes and receives a large amount of annual snowfall -- making avalanche a possibility. Gulmarg Snow Safety posts a daily advisory on avalanche danger and provides courses on mountain safety and avalanche education. Skiing with a certified Ski Guide is recommended, and following the tips on our Safety page will ensure your safety.
I heard that there is a lot of hiking in Gulmarg. How fit do I need to be to ski Gulmarg?
Yes, there is a lot of hiking in Gulmarg although you can do plenty of skiing without hiking. Gulmarg's elevation rises to 3,980 meters, and you can hike up to the summit of Mt. Apharwat at 4,124 meters. Due to the elevation of Gulmarg and lots of hiking options, it is important that skiers and snowboarders are in good physical condition. We recommend that you start a physical training program at least 6 weeks before you arrive in Gulmarg.
How do I purchase a ski lift ticket in Gulmarg?
Purchasing a ski lift ticket can be confusing for first-time travelers to India as the procedure is different than Western resorts. Ski lift tickets are available in single tickets, daily, weekly or season passes. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gulmarggondola.com, in person at the "Gondola ticket block" in Gulmarg, the Srinagar Airport, the Srinagar Tourist Reception Center, and the J&K State Cable Car Corporation Office in Katra and Jammu. I would recommend buying single ride tickets on most days. A season pass can be a good option if you are there from early January. Lift passes are not included in our All Inclusive Pacakges. We recommend hiring a guide. That way the guide will go buy the tickets for you. It makes things so much easier and way faster as they get tickets first from friends working for the resort.
I heard that the Gulmarg Gondola closes down frequently. Will I be reimbursed on days that the Gondola is not running?
Sometimes the Gulmarg Gondola shuts down due to heavy snowstorm conditions or mechanical difficulties. For this reason, we recommend that you only purchase single day lift tickets in case the Gondola is not operating. It is sometimes possible to get the ticket signed on the back and reuse it the next day but not always. Skigulmarg is not responsible for reimbusrsing in anyways.