Gulmarg Mountain Safety
Gulmarg Ski Resort is located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s only 20 kilometers from the India / Pakistan border -- the site of conflicts between the two countries dating back to the early 1900’s over the disputed Kashmir province. The de-militarized zone, known as the “Line of Control,” can be seen while skiing along Gulmarg’s ridgeline.
Is Gulmarg and Kashmir a safe place to visit?
It’s a good idea to check your government’s website for updated information on the Kashmir region before traveling. However, do not be too alarmed if the website recommends “do not travel” as the ski area is quite safe in general. The Kashmiri and Indian military are friendly, polite, and respectful and do their best to ensure that international tourists are safe in Gulmarg and the Kashmir region.
Security is very tight in Kashmir as well as the state capital of Srinagar and its airport.
How to be safe while skiing Gulmarg
One of the reasons ski and snowboard addicts are drawn to Ski Himalaya is the endless off-piste snowfields Gulmarg is known for. With little crowds, untracked lines can be found for days. Gulmarg receives over 14 meters of snowfall annually and with slopes averaging 38 degrees, avalanche becomes a possibility.
Skiers should be aware that 99% of Gulmarg is off piste and not ski patrolled. Only one of Gulmarg’s 18 bowls is ski patrolled, Gondola Bowl (Mary’s Shoulder), and explosives are used to control avalanches in this area.
We recommend hiring an experienced local guide as they have years of experience, local knowledge, and important contacts in case of an emergency.
Make sure you carry the appropriate travel insurance. Contact us -- we can recommend insurance companies that cover off-piste skiing in Kashmir.
There are some basic Gulmarg safety rules that every skier should follow: never ski alone, go one at a time keeping an attentive eye on your partners, and carry appropriate equipment with you such as a shovel, beacon, and probe. Make sure you are knowledgeable on how to use them. We recommend practicing with your gear on your first day in Gulmarg. For those who want to Ski Gulmarg’s off-piste terrain, an avalanche training course or good experience is an extremely important asset.
If you follow these mountain safety rules, ski with a certified local guide, and always ski responsibly, your safety will be greatly ensured.
As Gulmarg Ski Resort is a off-piste, out of bounds ski resort and the health, rescue and evacuation services are not the same as what we are used to, Skigulmarg.com strongly advise to hire a ski guide.
Gulmarg Snow Safety
Gulmarg Snow Safety is a non-profit organization that provides mountain safety and avalanche education. Their website, www.gulmargavalanche.org, and now mainly the Gulmarg Avalanche Condition page on Facebook are good resources on avalanche safety in Gulmarg. That is where you can find daily advisories on avalanche danger on the mountain. Advisories are also posted at the base, mid-station, and the top of the Gulmarg Gondola.
A ski safety officer gives a weekly, free avalanche awareness talk during the ski season. The ski patrol operates 2 rescue training centers where skiers and snowboarders can practice their beacon skills. The centers are located at the Hotel Pine Palace Heritage and at the top of the Gulmarg chairlift (Mary’s Shoulder area).