Some of Gulmarg's most scenic and supernatural
snowriding exists in the forest glades which fall from
the resort plateau to the valley below. This area provides
an uncountable number of enchanting and exciting descents
for riders of all standards. The area is best described
under three destinations: Tangmarg; the Baba Reshi shrine;
plus the gloriously long and rarely skied descents in
the direction of Sunset Peak.
Tangmarg: Apart from the
steeper first hundred metres or so of the Village Trail,
the two ancient routes which descend through open forests
from Gulmarg to Tangmarg are enjoyable for snowriders
of most standards. The Pony Trail is more placid (not
recommended for boarders) but there are plenty of additional
options on either side of these two traditional pathways.
novices should be aware that these slopes can be covered
in significant depths of new snow which are untouched
by grooming machines. We estimate that these routes
are approximately five kilometres in length, providing
relaxing cruisy terrain for accomplished riders and
a solid introduction to powder snow for intermediates.
Please note that the Village and Pony Trails are unmarked,
apart from tracks left in the snow by pedestrians who
prefer to climb them as a shortcut to Gulmarg, in preference
to the winding access road from Tangmarg.
Baba Reshi Shrine: The numerous
routes from Gulmarg to the Baba Reshi Road are shorter
than those to Tangmarg, but provide greater challenge,
with fabulous tree skiing and boarding through steeper
glades and powder-filled chutes. This area provides
a good alternative for advanced and expert riders when
bad weather "whites out" riding on the upper
reaches of Mt Apharwat.
direct road from Gulmarg to the Baba Reshi Shrine, closed
to vehicle traffic in winter, also offers less experienced
powder riders opportunity to enjoy this area and to
visit the interesting wooden architecture of the shrine.
Baba was a courtier of one of the early Muslim rulers
of Kashmir, King Zain-ul-Abidin. Baba became famous
for renouncing worldy ways, including the luxuries of
his royal lifestyle, and died here in 1480. Baba Reshi
is Kashmiri for "Saint Baba".
Peak: This region covers the longest possible
direct descents from Mt Apharwat, via its Southeastern
shoulder, and should not be attempted unless you are
riding in the company of a reliable local guide. The
forested lower parts of this area are also accessible
from the gondola's mid station, which is situated just
above Gulmarg's tree-line, providing a potential vertical
drop, even in snowy weather conditions, of approximately
800 vertical metres.
In good weather the full descent to the
valley floor can be truncated, by taking a well judged
traverse to a high corner of the access road from Tangmarg.
Robinson, Ski Himalaya