Gulmarg village sits on a mountain plateau at 2600 metres beneath the 4200 metre summit of Mt Apharwat. A table-top shaped mountain, Mt Apharwat has a crest approximately 5 kilometers long with ridges and gullies dropping towards the resort offering countless skiing opportunities.
From the top station you can drop straight into the gondola bowl or traverse in either direction to ski the 1000 vertical metres back to the mid station. A 20-30 minute hike to the summit opens up the northern end of the mountain and an amazing choice of lines. From Mt Apharwat’s main ridgeline it is possible to ski 2000 vertical metres of awesome terrain an amazing snow down to and through local villages.
Gulmarg has fantastic terrain and great snow but the facilities are not yet up to the standard of western resorts. It is best described as lift-accessed back country. The grooming is very minimal and lift operations are often hindered by weather conditions and other factors. There is avalanche control, hazard marking and ski patrol in the main gondola bowl however this only accounts for about 10% of the terrain that is ridden on a daily basis.
To make the most of the mountain, short hikes are necessary to either access or return from your chosen line. If you are an advanced skier or snowboarder, solid in a variety of off-piste snow conditions and not afraid of putting in a little effort for your turns you will be hugely rewarded. Most of our clients call “best run of my life” at least once during their stay.
The Gondola Bowls
This photgraph shows the base, mid and top station of the gondola and some of the bowls accessed off the lift. The inbounds/patrolled/avalanche controlled area is within the dotted line. There is a groomed trail that winds its way through the trees from the mid station to the base. In the foreground on the left are 3 beginner pomas where most Indian tourists hone their skills and on the knoll to the right sits the majestic Hotel Highlands Park.
The view from the market side of the Gulmarg plateau shows the crest of Mt Apharwat and the rest of the terrain accessed from the gondola. The inbounds area although huge (1400 metres vertical) accounts for about 10% of the terrain ridden on a daily basis. In the foreground on the left is Monkey Hill which is a popular short hike for steep and deep tree skiing.