Gulmarg finally opens for skiing after fresh snowfall

The official said that Snowbeating machines are yet to go up and prepare slopes and only after machines would be able to reach Kongdoori the resort can be opened fully.
The official said that Snowbeating machines are yet to go up and prepare slopes and only after machines would be able to reach Kongdoori the resort can be opened fully.File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Although it took a while, the Gulmarg ski resort has now officially opened for the winter skiing season. The ski resort has accumulated enough snow for the opening of the season thanks to the most recent snowfall, which began on January 9 evening.

On Thursday, the main slope of the Gulmarg bowl’s ski lift was opened for skiing for the first time this winter. While the second phase’s skiing remains closed.

The resort is still only partially open as of the opening of one ski lift in the main bowl and Gondola first phase. All of the ski lifts in the main bowl have yet to open since there is not enough snow, and the second phase of the gondola’s higher levels is in danger of an avalanche.

“Finally, we have been able to open the resort this season. Though partially open but still something is better than nothing. It has been distressing this season with not enough snow on the slopes. There is still not enough but we managed to open one ski lift in the main bowl that is helping young skiers,” said an official of the Gulmarg Development Authority. “When we started the ski lift, it was snowing and there is the prediction for more snowfall. We are hopeful of getting enough snowfall to fully open the ski resort,” said GDA Official.

The official said that Snowbeating machines are yet to go up and prepare slopes and only after machines would be able to reach Kongdoori the resort can be opened fully.

“There are two factors for opening the resort fully. First the clearance of the Gulmarg Snow Safety officer who is yet to give his nod. That is more likely for backcountry and upper-reach skiing. For throwing open Kongdoori slopes, we need to take snow beating machines to the slopes. Due to less amount of snow, we are unable to take machines to Kongdoori,” the official added.

The first ski course of Youth Services and Sports also started in the resort on Thursday with around 60 students participating.

Gulmarg Snow School has been operating courses for the basic level for the last two weeks and the students were happy to witness the lift operational first time this season.

“When the lift was started, there was a big cheer from the students who were eagerly waiting for this moment. It was a big relief for all to see the lift operational first time this season. It eases out skiing a great deal and brings totally different charm to the resort,” said Ski School official Shabir Dar.

“The skiing from the first phase of Gulmarg Gondola was also open today but on personal bond as the snow, safety is yet to give his green signal. We are hopeful that the resort will fully become operational in two or three days,” he added.

As the resort has been partially opened and is expected to be fully operational, the skiing competitions are also expected to start shortly.“We need highland and Chair lift Kongdoori slopes open for the conduct of the skiing events. We are waiting for it to open before announcing our schedule. However, we are running out of time as we have to select our teams for various National events,” said an official of the Winter Games Association.

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