Mountain Climate

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Mt Apharwat's winter climate is characterised by major storms and big snowfalls which last for days, followed by periods of beautiful blue weather. During the clear weather low overnight temperatures keep the snow dry and in great condition. These longer weather patterns predominate, as opposed to a climate of regular grey sky with a little snow each day. With only a small local snow-rider population and big snowfalls, there is always an abundance of un-tracked snow here. Therefore Gulmarg is one of those rare places where keen powder enthusiasts are more interested in blue sky weather, rather than the arrival of the next snowfall!

Our experience at Gulmarg suggests that its wind conditions are generally similar to the quiet and gentle weather of the southern USA Rockies, ideal for maximising the quality and depth of the settled snow pack, as well as your riding comfort in both good and bad weather conditions.

The prevailing directions of Gulmarg's winter storms tend to slightly favour the northerly orientated sub-faces of the ridges which wrinkle Mt Apharwat's five kilometre face. These north to northeast facing slopes on Gulmarg's upper mountain provide a number of huge natural "snow traps" which can be relied on for excellent snow cover from December to late April.

While we have not yet visited Gulmarg in early winter, we understand that the relatively dry conditions of late October and November mean that, even at the lower altitudes of the Tangmarg valley below Gulmarg, there is minimal early season rain, and that the first winter snows fall on dry cold ground, assisting accumulation of the early season snow base.

As you can see from our chart, 2004-2005 was a winter of huge snowfalls in Kashmir.

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ęCopyright, Peter Robinson, Ski Himalaya

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