Day 01 Departure any Airport worldwide* – Arrive Delhi:
Meet our tour-leader** at the international airport departure terminal in Europe/USA/Asia etc. and board premium airline, economy class flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, traditional welcome and meet local staff at the Indira Gandhi International airport; transfer and overnight in hotel.
(*Any airport in any country/continent)
(**provided by and at company's cost for groups with 16 - 19 pax).
Day 02 Flight from Delhi to Srinagar – Gulmarg:
Early in the morning transfer to the national domestic airport and board the 1 hour flight for Srinagar which is the summer capital of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Transfer (60 km | 1.5 hrs) in private cars or jeeps. On a clear day breathtaking views of the local Himalayan sub-ranges as the road winds up the slopes. Arrive and check-in at the top resort hotel in the enchanting snow bowl of Gulmarg.
Day 03 – Day 09 Superlative Himalayan deep powder skiing or snowboarding:
Gulmarg operates the world's highest Ski Lift Gondola 3950 m, and has 2.5 km Downhill Slopes!
On these seven days we shall ski down the finest powder snow slopes, all the way down from almost 4000 m where the Gondola lifts us. The tour will be accompanied by a professional Alpine trained guides. If the Gondola does not operate due to stormy winds (usually around mid March) we shall explore the wilderness and the lower reaches on our own which is also a lovely enjoyable experience. A brilliant white jewel in the winter. A true ski resort par excellence! It homes the world's highest Gondola service at 3950 m.
Gulmarg in the native language means – meadow of flowers and is situated in the Pir Pantsal – a local sub range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 2670 m. In the summer one can enjoy playing golf and this too is the world's highest golf course. A full-fledged, but a very tough and difficult 18 hole 72 par course.
For Important technical ski information please read below!
Gulmarg - The Resort
If you are looking for swinging discos, boisterous bars and a commercial skiing resort with artificial machine made slopes, then Gulmarg is not ready for you. Not yet! But if you are an avid skier and do not mind or prefer the non commerciality, but love virgin wilderness and an intense ski experience, then this is the right place to spend a lovely active vacation. Gulmarg is the only spot in the world that provides the "heli" skiing expereinece without an exorbitant noisy helicopter! Enjoy in the winter as a skier on the pure powder slopes and in the summer as a golfer on lovely lush green undulating curves and flower-strewn fairways on the world's highest, 18 hole, par 72 golf course designed by Peter Townsend.
Gulmarg is a resort of the special kind. It is a quiet and peaceful little bowl in the Pir Pantsal a sub Himalayan Range in the Indian part of Kashmir. By virtue of its geographical location and elevation at 2690 m (8,825 ft) it enjoys very heavy snowfalls each winter which may last several days at a stretch and fill the small valley with meters of deep soft dry powder snow. You can clearly hear the typical muffled amorphous powder sound!
The skiing part of it is vastly dictated by the broad and optimally sloped Apherwat massif which makes it versatile. You have every flavour of skiing at your disposal and there is an aerial Gondola (telecabine built by the French). The total distance covered by these ski lifts is about five kilometers and the two-stage ropeway has a capacity to ferry about 600 people per hour to and from Kongdoor, a shoulder of the Apherwat Peak 4,200 m (13,780 ft). The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600 m (8,530 ft) to Kongdoor Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdoor valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to the top. It is thus the world´s highest reaching Gondola! And from here you can choose routes as long as 15 km. The several basic routes to Gulmarg are about 2.5 km.
The second phase of the Gondola may not be operated on some occassions due to powerful stormy winds in the upper reaches. This is a rare weather condition (usually expected in March), but may also occur at any other time. On such days and circumstances we shall confine our activities to the lower reaches or do some excellent touring around the picturesque basin.
All our Gondola or Lift trips have been reserved for all days for multiple trips. So you can plan the day according to your mood and enthusiasm and up to 3 European Alpine Trained Guides (attached to your group) will provide full professional assistance, refresher or beginner courses (as part of the included service etc). Below are two small lists for clothing and equipment recommended only as a reminder; we however do not suggest any particular brand)
- Thermal Body Shirt: Depending on the temperature, (make sure to check this) you will want to use Thermal Underwear as the first level of clothing. It will keep you warm and dry by transferring moisture to the next layer.
- Thermal Pants: Like the Thermal Body Shirt, Thermal Pants are also essential in order to keep you warm, dry, and protected.
- Ski Socks: To keep your feet warm, dry, and padded against hard impacts, you will want to use thick socks, preferably special Ski or Snowboarding socks.
- Fleece Jacket or Sweater: As a second layer, you will want a Ski fleece or woollen sweater. Wear one that meets your requirements.
- Ski Pants: Good Pants should keep you padded, warm, and dry.
- Ski Jacket: Finish off your upper body layering with a waterproof and wind-stopping Ski Jacket or top shell.
- Ski Gloves: To protect your hands from snow, ice and impacts by wearing padded gloves. However this item may also be construed as equipment.
- Ski Skins: For walking uphill your skis should be equipped with proper skins. These can be stored away in the day pack when not in use.
- Ski Boots: It is recommended that you bring worn-in Ski Boots that will work together with Touring Ski Bindings. You may bring extra Shoes for touring, but it is not a must if you have your skis mounted with Touring Ski Bindings.
- Ski Helmets: We recommend for additional safety measure, that you protect your head with a Ski Helmet especially as we will also be skiing among trees.
- Ski Goggles: Protect your eyes from sun's rays, snow, and ice with snow-sport goggles. Please bear in mind that Gulmarg has an extra load of ultra violets and therefore your goggles should be able to filter these.
- Skis or Snowboards: As these are the focal point of the trip, it is essential to have appropriate equipment. Please make sure that you bring "All Mountain" - wide types with about upwards of 95 mm under the boot equipped or mounted with Touring Ski Bindings to enable touring.
Alpine Trekker Bindings or Securafix can also be used for skis with downhill bindings, but they are heavy which is the downside of these.
- Ski Bindings: Attach your Ski Boots to your All Mountain Skis through sturdy Touring Ski Bindings.
- Ski Poles: You need a pair of normal collapsible Ski Poles with reasonable size baskets.
- Day Pack: A small 25 lit. comfortable day pack equipped with transceiver and rescue spade to carry your camera, skins, lunch packet or snacks and other personals/essentials. (Lunch packets and or snacks will be provided as needed by the hotel at no extra charges)
Please bear in mind the above tips in the Clothing and Equipment lists when buying/hiring your equipment. Your local mountain/ski shop or supplier will also be helpful in identifying the various solutions and possibilities for your trip.
Day 10 Gulmarg to Srinagar:
Check out early in the morning after breakfast and we shall be staying the next 2 nights in deluxe houseboats on the famous Dal Lake. Each houseboat offers 3 – 4 bedrooms, a dining room and a living room or lounge. Heating will be done using old style wrought iron stoves. These are situated a couple of hundred meters away from the Boulevard and therefore attached with a few Shikaras (available round the clock) as a means of to and fro access.
En route - half day sightseeing of Srinagar in private cars (2 – 3 pax per car), visiting the Old City which is situated on the banks of the Jhelum river connected by nine bridges. Arrive for Lunch on the Houseboats where you have been checked in and your luggage has been transferred to your respective rooms. In the evening gather in a Donga for a cultural Kashmiri Wazwan - a special cuisine delicacy native to Kashmir only. Overnight in Houseboats.
Day 11 In Srinagar:
If you are an early riser, take one of the free attached Shikaras (deluxe water taxis) and visit the fascinating vegetable boat market on the lake, held every day. Return to houseboats for breakfast. Half day sightseeing of Mughal Gardens visiting Nishat, Shalimar and Cheshma Shahi (Royal Spring). Rest of the day free for individual activities to explore the interesting city on your own.
Day 12 Flight from Srinagar to Delhi:
After breakfast on the houseboats transfer to Srinagar airport and board flight for Delhi. Arrive New Delhi and transfer to hotel. Late in the afternoon a half day sightseeing of Old and New Delhi. We shall visit the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat, India Gate, Presidents Residence, Parliament House. Overnight in hotel.
Day 13 Agra – Sightseeing – Drive Delhi Departure:
We shall start early today and travel by a/c train to Agra and visit the Agra Fort and last, but not the least, the marvelous Taj Mahal built in white marble by the Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth in 1631. The death of Mumtaz left the emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned gray overnight.
The monument is a perfect exercise in symmetry, the four identical faces of the Taj feature vast valued arches embellished with pietra dure inlay (developed in Italy and the Mediterranean) work and quotations from the Quran. Light is admitted into the central chamber by finely cut marble screens. The physical tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are in a locked basement room below the main chamber.
Some group members may not want to make use of this trip and can always stay back using it as a free day in Delhi to relax or explore the city or go hunting for souvenirs on their own.
Arrive Delhi in the evening in time for dinner. We shall go for a typical Indian cultural dinner as a token of farewell from us. Subsequently transfer to a hotel near the airport to wash up and change. Transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport to board the overseas flight.
Regardless of its grade, mountaineering, trekking, skiing and adventure touring can be dangerous and carries an inherent risk of injury or even death, which cannot be eliminated. Although we do our utmost to reduce risk, there always remains a chance of accidents happening. Our trek/tour leaders make decisions about prevailing snow conditions, the weather and the ability of individuals in the group with the safety and well being of all in mind. They will make professional judgements and take measures whenever available to minimise the risk of ventral dangers, such as avalanche, land-slide, ice-fall or stone-fall or extreme weather, but these risks can neither always be predicted nor removed whilst in the mountains. All mountaineering and trekking at high altitude involves risks of altitude illness. Whilst our treks and expeditions are so designed to allow appropriate acclimatization, this cannot entirely remove the dangers of altitude as individuals acclimatize at different rates and the symptoms can be unpredictable. Severe cases necessitate descent or immediate helicopter rescue and, in some extreme and unfortunate cases even death may occur.
The costs in such an event can be astronomical and are not covered in tour/trek/expedition costs. You are therefore requested and you agree to purchase this coverage personally and produce proof before departure along with your visa, other permits and documents.
Since the nature of these policies is limited and valid for short durations, these are not expensive. You may contact us for assistance and further information. You will also find some external links on our site of recommended agencies offering such and associated travel policies.