Fresh snowfall in Gulmarg delights wintersport enthusiasts

A tourist skis at Gulmarg on New Year Eve on Friday December 31, 2021.
A tourist skis at Gulmarg on New Year Eve on Friday December 31, 2021.File Pic: Aman Farooq for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 8: The announcement that Gulmarg will host the third iteration of the Khelo India National Winter Games in 2023 has brought with it a much-anticipated fresh snowfall and brought joy to hundreds of winter sports enthusiasts.

The famous ski resort which normally remains abuzz with skiing activities during this time of the season, hasn’t this season received any major snowfall till now, making the running of ski lifts impossible.

However, all that has changed now, as the ski resort has received intermittent fresh snowfall since January 7 evening. There is a prediction for snowfall on Sunday night as well and then on January 10 again. Though the snow accumulation hasn’t been much so far it still has brought joy among winter sports lovers, who are keeping their fingers crossed.

“We have been waiting all season for this snowfall but so far it is playing hide and seek with us. There was a prediction for heavy snowfall this time but again it hasn’t been satisfactory and the ski resort can’t operate on such a low accumulation. From today evening pace of snow has increased and if it continues in the same fashion tonight we may be able to see the resort in its full charm soon,” said a Tourism official at Gulmarg.

Olympian Gul Mustafa who is incharge of Youth Services and Sports ski courses said that they are hopeful of getting enough snow for the normal start of the season.

“I am happy to finally see it happening. Something is better than nothing but there is a need for more. If it falls as per weather prediction then we may get enough snow for the start of the season. This year it has been difficult for winter sport as all the ski resorts across Country, Auli, and Himachal are witnessing the same scenario,” Gul Mustafa said.

“Normally this time we used to have finished our one course but this season we are yet to start. As snow is not enough for normal skiing yet, we may start basic level skiing course from January 12 onwards,” added Gul Mustafa.

Gulmarg Snow School official Shabir Dar said that everyone is happy in the resort to finally see Snowfall happening.

“We all have been waiting for this. Though it hasn’t been satisfactory during the day, now it has picked up the pace and we may see a lot of snow during the night,” he said.

“Our courses are running without ski lifts so far and if snowfall continues in the same manner we may soon see lifts in full flow,” he further said.

Olympian Nadeem Mirza said that as per weather prediction, there is hope for major snowfall unless it changes.

“We as ski lovers want a lot of snow and are waiting for it. Throughout the day today, there has been very less accumulation but with a prediction for the night intact, we are hopeful to witness a major accumulation. There is also weather prediction for major snowfall on January 10 and in that context, we may finally see Gulmarg buzzing with skiing activities,” Nadeem said.

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