We arrive in Gulmarg & its snowing

2013-02-03 Annette outside our hotel…look at all the snow The 60 km drive to Gulmarg from Srinagar was exciting…...
A little too exciting for our liking… As with most Indian drivers, Mansour made constant use of the horn and often with no apparent reason. This was combined with a desperate sense of urgency which included barely slowing from 80km per hour for a red light and when a slow vehicle was turning into our path (on the green light) obviously you just honk the horn.
At times of course the horn was essential as at over 80km through a town then pedestrians and motorbikes need to kep clear. When we reached Tangmarg, 47km from Srinagar in under 45 minutes despite lots of traffic, plenty of roadwork, numerous villages and some snow on the road. There we picked up Nassir, Mansours brother who was in the local police force and going to work in Gulmarg 13 winding snow covered kilometres up the hill.

We were met on our arrival by Jim Gelder and shown to our hotel, called Hotel Heevan. I am still unsure if it is meant to be Heaven or it has some other meaning. Our first day with a guide is Monday so we figured we would take a few runs to the mid station on the Gondola and remind ourselves how to ski. This turned out to be a good decision as the weather had come in and the upper part of the mountain was in thick fog and it started to snow. Stage one of the Gondola was 150 rupee ($3) and stage 2 (to the top) was an extra 250 rupee ($5). The chair lift which opened in 2012 was 200. A day ticket was 1000 rupee or $20. We had 4 runs on the mid station in the 3 hours we were out. The Gondola closed at 4pm.

Our hotel is at about 2700m and is about 800m from the gondola, mostly downhill.
The Gondola starts at about 2670m and mid station is about 3070m giving 400m of descent over about 3km from mid station down the cat track to the bottom.
Our third run was fairly direct and took about 25 minutes for a round trip.

It is now snowing heavily and expected to continue for a few days with probably more than a metre of snow!!!!!

If you click on any of the photos it will enlarge with some info below.
2013-02-03 Annette with Gulmarg mid station behind 2013-02-03 Gary looking the hill it was socked in 2013-02-03 Annette definitely the brightest person on the slopes 2013-02-03 This is Gulmarg Gondola mid station 2013-02-03 Annette in the trees half way down with it snowing 2013-02-03 at Gulmarg (6)