Let It Snow

India Today - - BEST OF INDIA - By Omar Ab­dul­lah, Jammu and Kash­mir Chief Min­is­ter

Gul­marg is where I first learnt to ski, it’s also the only place I’ve seen my dad and mum on skis. Some of my fondest mem­o­ries are of win­ters spent on the slopes of Gul­marg— ski­ing dur­ing the day and re­lax­ing in the evening near the bukhari of the lounge of the High­land Park ho­tel, rest­ing my tired mus­cles just enough to be able to hit the slopes again.

Gul­marg of­fers some­thing for ev­ery type of skier— from the be­gin­ner to the ex­pert. There are four drag lifts in the main bowl cater­ing to be­gin­ners and also in­ter­me­di­ate- level skiers. Dur­ing the school hol­i­days, the queues for the lifts can be a bit long as a num­ber of cour­ses are run by the govern­ment, so be pre­pared to wait. For the more dar­ing, the gon­dola phase one will take you up to 11,400 ft and phase two up to 13,700 ft. You can choose be­tween beaten pistes and the best pow­der snow you can imag­ine. There is a new chair­lift be­tween th­ese two phases as well to widen your op­tions. Don’t worry about equip­ment. Ex­cel­lent qual­ity ski gear is avail­able on rent. Also there are very good in­struc­tors to help you start from scratch or brush up your skills. I can’t wait for the win­ter to re­turn so I can get back on those slopes. If any of you come to Gul­marg af­ter read­ing this and you see me on the slopes, do come and say hi.

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