When the snow falls in Gulmarg, it really falls. It is not uncommon for storms to deliver a metre in the village over a couple of days and at higher elevations, metres more will have fallen. The usual winter weather pattern in Gulmarg is characterised by intense storms followed by extended periods of fine stable weather, light winds and surprisingly mild temperatures. During either of these weather events ideal snow conditions are usually on offer somewhere on the mountain.
There are two very different but equally as awesome skiing and boarding experiences to be had in Gulmarg, the trees and the alpine.
The tree skiing from the mid station of the gondola and off the Gulmarg plateau down to outlying villages is world class in its own right. During the big storms when the upper gondola is closed is when we normally enjoy the deepest and driest snow conditions while skiing the perfectly spaced huge old pines. The lines from the mid station back to the gondola base offer undulating and mainly cruisy trees while off the Gulmarg plateau and Monkey Hill the pitches are steeper and faceshots are the norm.
When the storms clear and the avalanche conditions settle is when the vast alpine bowls above the mid station become the main focus. This terrain is perfect for big fast turns and with the predominant wind coming from the West (over the back of the mountain), the front face is usually blanketed in a smooth cover of great snow.
One of the best runs you could ever do in your life involves 1000 vertical metres of awesome alpine terrain down into beautiful Birch trees, busting out for some big cruisy turns across the mid mountain bench and then dropping into the perfectly spaced ancient pines. The variety of the mountain is part of the magic of Gulmarg.
Although the trees or the alpine are reason enough in their own right for avisit to Gulmarg, you will find it very hard to leave if you have not experienced both the upper and lower mountain conditions at their best. We have structured our trips at 10 days on snow to give you a very real chance of scoring both of these epic skiing and riding conditions. To avoid disappointment do not opt for a shorter stay in Gulmarg. Great things come to those who wait.
The following teaser was made by our friends at B4 Apres during the winter of 2010. Enjoy.
Gulmarg Ski Teaser from b4apres media on Vimeo.
For more skiing and boarding action check out the teaser on the trip.