Located 56-km south west of Srinagar, Gulmarg is a mountain shelf which nestles under the protective 4124 metre height and 5 km spread of Mount Apharwat. From here it has a view over the valley of Kashmir to 8126 metre Nanga Parbat and other distant peaks. Gulmarg, one of the ultimate skiing hot spot for intermediate skiers.
Gulmarg's slopes are all natural slopes. Among the multitudes of slopes, a few gentle slope of ski runs ranging from 200 m to 3kms are specially suited for beginners. Ski lifts and chair lifts take skiers up to the top of the ski slopes from where skiers can choose the beginners, intermediate or more advanced slopes.
The best and longest skiing in Gulmarg is accessed by the Gandola Cable Car Lift, which allows a ski run of 2,213 m. Designed by Poma of France, gondola ascends extends almost to the peak of Apharwat, at an elevation of 3980 metres above sea level, providing lift served access to 1330 vertical metres of vast snow riding terrain. Due to the setting-up of Gandola Cable Car Lift from Gulmarg to Apharwat top, Gulmarg holds a position as one of the highest lift-served ski resorts in the world.
The gondola terrain is divided into two sections, i.e an upper and a lower section. The first section is 2,350 m long and rises 450m vertically from Gulmarg ski resort to slopes at 3300m up the side of Apharwat Mountain.
Heli-skiing is also possible at Gulmarg which is an ultimate winter sports thrill for the adventure sports lover. In heli-skiing, helicopters lift the heli-skiers to the high, snow-covered peak of their choice from where they can ski down the slopes.
By Javed Ameen
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