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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting

    TR: Gulmarg, Kashmir 1.05.07-1.12.07

    With the decision to head over to India for a few weeks over Christmas made, the opportunity to spend a bit of time in Gulmarg became very enticing. Through some friends who run, I met Eric Segalstad, a freelancer for Skiing and Warren Miller, who was headed over to Gulmarg for the winter to chronicle the 06/07 winter there. I will shamelessly plug his cool website - - and tell you all to check it out periodically for new news, photos, and vids.

    here is a 2 min video that Eric put together of me talking and skiing and posted through stellarmag last week.

    The day I arrived, Srinagar, the captial of muslim state of Kashmir was completely shut down due to violent anti-US protests following the hanging of Saddam. The cover of the paper the day I arrived and my first day there. sort of felt like walking into the lion's den.


    Due to the hectic situation in Srinagar and being an American, we pretty much jetted straight up to Gulmarg, about 57 kilometers, or three hours away.

    literally on the highway out of town...

    We get back up to Gulmarg without incident, but as we drove up higher and higher, it became clear that it had not snowed in sometime, almost two weeks I was later to find out. Fortunately, with touring gear, pockets of north-facing, recycled powder were accessible amidst an endless sea of the gnarliest sastrugi laden, wind scoured mixed and variable snow conditions you can find.

    rolling into the posh resort community of Gulmarg...

    first real view of the moutain, with a 3.5 mile summit ridge...

    Eric had scored me a room in Gulmarg's sweetest low budget backwater home for eccentrics...

    digs were more than adequate and the characters were pretty outrageous...

    this guy, Fayaz, was the go-to guy for everything you needed. he was there at 5:30 am to stoke the stove with three cups of kerosene and obnoxiously serve chai tea. classic.

    this looked a bit chilly, but I just reminded myself that I was sandwiched in between Afganistan, Pakistan, China, and Tibet and to try and not be too picky...

    we woke up early the next morning to hurry up and wait for the gondola to open at 11 am. They 'say' it opens at 9, but that is usually not the case. or maybe it is, but it only opens for 15 minutes before shutting down for the next two hours. not set schedule of any real kind, except that they closed with amazing precision every day right on time.

    below are a bunch of pics from several days of gondola accessed touring that we did on the mountain. we had to work for it everyday, but we skied at least one sweet pitch with great snow everyday.

    Eric, skinning at the 14,000ft summit of Apherwat with some sickness behind him...

    Eric skiing some cream cheesyness...

    good old central asian bootpacks...sweet tree though...

    as you can see, the snow down low was getting pretty dirty, but stayed nice and smooth. Eric -

    At least since it wasn't snowing, the weather was awesome and skiining was single layer affair...

    those trees were very cool looking... note the sticker on the helmet - REPRESENT!

    pulling away from the midstation...

    skinning was a theme of ours...

    "Oh, if only we were over there - it would be exactly like it is right here..."

    Eric skiing some smoothness...

    Billa, the coolest Kashmiri I met, for sure...

    Billa, laying one down...

    Me, taken by Eric, trying to power through some deceptively smooth looking snow...

    I wish these were a joke...

    Eric, skiing some more silkyness...

    Eric, exiting a great line...

    Me, trying to find the softness...

    Eric, playing in the trees on his 29th Bday...

    The irony of this made me laugh, in that sad kind of way...

    A little 20'er where the landing wasn't completely terrible. Me...

    Here is some pretty much unedited helmet cam footy that I took, as well...

    this place is sweet and recommended to anyone that can get there. leave your impatience behind and get ready for a gondola, Indian style.
    Last edited by reidhresko; 01-22-2007 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting

    part 2...

    So, people in Kashmir heat themselves with these jankyass converted coke can stoves called bucaris. the little woven basket in front, which has a clay pot in it, is called congri, and men put hot coals in the pot and hold the woven basket underneath the large overcoats you see all of the men wearing. Many actually sleep with these pots of red hot coals in their beds with them - under the covers - to keep warm. crazy...

    the rest are all pics taken in Srinagar the day I left town, of a floating fish market, cool stuff, and abundant soldiers. I have been around the world and have definitely never seen anywhere even nearly as militarized as Srinagar.

    how about some soldiers?...

    how about some more?

    just for good measure...sweet bombed out building...

    imagine calling this home - and work!...

    um...such nice scenery...


    need a chicken on the go?...

    pimpy houseboats on Dal Lake...

    congris for sale...

    life on the lake:

    a floating vegetable market and social gathering - 6:30am...

    and we out...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    looks like an amazing experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roo View Post
    I don't think I've ever seen mental illness so faithfully rendered in html.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    SE Alaska
    Very cool, thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    looks like an AMAZING trip!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    This TR is bigtime! $$$$$$$$$$$$

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    wow. that looks amazing. Now i really want to go there, maybe with better snow though

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    THAT is a trip report.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    In Anchortown looking to get my career on track
    I agree, a SERIOUS money thread, you have just added one more must do destination to the list, DAMN, now if i could ONLY find a way to incorporate skiing Kashmire with my masters....
    Our world is full of surrender at the first sign of adversity, do not give up when the challenge meets you, meet the challenge. Through perseverance comes the rewards, the rewards that make life so enjoyable.

    Seize the day, trusting little in the future.

    if you want something, go after it. if you want to screw someone over, look DEEP in your heart and realize Karma is a bitch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    north by northwest
    very interesting, thanks!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Saaaan Diaago

    [sucks thumb] Mommy...

    Ya know, J? I wasn't all that pissed about being out of commision. Until I saw that helmetcam footy...

    Nice TR. Looks like some SERIOUSLY high quality fun with what I would presume is lots of vert for earning your turns.

    Out of curiosity, how much more coin did you have to drop to go there over say some high-class Euro resort? Or did SKIING mag cover some of that?
    Last edited by Deep Days; 01-21-2007 at 10:36 PM.
    "I said flotation is groovy"
    -Jimi Hendrix

    "Just... ski down there and jump offa somethin' for cryin' out loud!!!"
    -The Coolest Guy to have Ever Lived

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    where it's steep and deep
    Very interesting read - thanks for sharing.

    I've been wanting to travel to Gulmarg for quite a while. My last plans for Easter just fell through again. It will happen at some point ...
    Ein Berg ohne Absturzgefahr ist nur noch Attrappe. (Reinhold Messner)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    North Vancouver
    As I read your TR, I felt like I was there....very very well done.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    This is a GREAT photo:

    You caught those two guys at the perfect moment.

  15. #15
    doughboyshredder Guest
    Awesome report. I am leaving for Gulmarg on Feb 16th for 3 weeks. I can't freaking wait. Your report on Srinagar has me a bit sketched out, especially since I am traveling alone. I plan on saying "ay" quite a bit. Maybe acting like a Canadian will help. Hopefully there will be a few good storms before I get there.

    And big props for the helmet cam footage. I know what I will be dreaming of for the next few weeks.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I really like those trees, pretty crazy looking.
    Easily one of the best TRs this season, so cool.
    Big mountain or Bust.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    freaking sweet TR!!!!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Wow! That looks amazing, hopefully next time I go to India i'll be able to take a detour there. You better have smoked some shisha with 'Fayaz'! :P

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Looks fun. Hopefully there'll be more snow this week.
    Elvis has left the building

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Bandwidth exceeded, no pictures! The captions sound good though.
    In drove this drunken madman and stopped on a dime! Unfortunately the dime was in Mr. Rococo's pocket!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    FKNA Johnboy! Can't wait to pick your brain later this week for more details...
    I've got more suits than Liberace, but less than Eastvailhucker.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Dying to see this, but all the images come up as placeholders that read "Bandwidth Exceeded."

    This comment to be replaced with "FNKA that's FKN awesome FKN shit..." when the problem is fixed!

    EDIT: OK now I got em.

    Gets five stars for exotic-ness let alone some great pics. Interesting and making me want to make the trip myself someday... thanks!
    Last edited by bbirtle; 01-22-2007 at 10:41 AM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    crap... i want to see this... whats up with the bandwidth

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Wiesenstr. 2B,63128 Dietzenbach,FRG
    tx for helping developing world ... but cant see pics ...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Eagle, CO
    Dude, nice trip! Awesome

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