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11 Night 12 Days

Gulmarg is Kashmir’s unique ski area. It’s big Alpine mountain, skiing massive gondola assisted back country runs, deep powder, superb trees or wide open alpine slopes, Kashmiri culture, great food and when it’s snowing, some exquisite 4WD taxi, or touring through trees. It’s a powder skiing paradise and there’s never the need to do nothing, unless you are tired of course. I’ve been touring in Gulmarg for five years and just love the pace. Below is some information, but the main point is YOU NEED A GUIDE to explore Gulmarg’s pristine skiing safely, even if you have a wealth of back country experience and I suggest a qualified with experience in Gulmarg. You decision on who and how much you want to pay will dictate the outcome, safety and quality of your trip. It is not a place to skimp on safety!

About the Touring

We mostly tour in the alpine region (up to 4300m) off the top of the Gulmarg gondola. There are some fantastic long tours with up to 2000 vertical metres of smooth untracked powder, sometimes dropping into a remote village followed by a taxi back up to the hotel. Then there’s the storm skiing from the gondola mid-station with amazing trees, or short climbs on Monkey Hill (right beside town) and also down into the taxi serviced Baba Rishi Trees. The snow is comparable Utah powder, only with bigger and steeper mountains, the shady snow dries out at night and gets better and better.

Gulmarg Town

Situated right at the very top of India in the region called Kashmir is the beautiful village of Gulmarg. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The state is now much bigger and has borders with Afghanistan, China and Pakistan. The town has about 30 hotels, an ATM , gift shops and confectionary shops.

Gulmarg Ski Resort

With the claim of ‘The World’s Highest Gondola’ (it’s actually the second highest), with a massive vertical drop of 1400m, descending down through vast alpine bowls and then into perfectly spaced trees it has become a favorite for adventurous ski and snowboard touring. The gondola rises from the Gulmarg Village in two stages to 4000m on Mt Apharwat (4200m). During big storms the huge pines from the mid station down offer great protected tree skiing descending to 500m below town with taxi serviced ski touring.

Kashmiri Cuisine

Not as spicy as traditional Indian curry but very tasty. Meals like rogan josh (lamb cooked spices), yakhiyn (lamb cooked in curd ), hakh (a spinach-like leaf), rista-gushtaba (minced meat balls in tomato and curd curry) are available plus great Indian curries. Vegetables are a bit sparse in Kashmir, but the food is tasty and plentiful. You can sometimes get salads and even fresh fruit.

Weather

The weather in February in Gulmarg is similar to Utah’s weather in the USA. Storms every couple of weeks. In fine spells the snow just gets better and better, usually stabilizing so we can ski steeper runs. If its snowing and/or bad weather we will use the gondola (if possible), skins and local taxis to ski the numerous amazing tree skiing runs. We’ll ski the Drang Valley, 10-15kms down through the small village of Drang where kids run out to great us and ride on the backs of our skis/boards. Then have lunch in Tang Marg before taxiing back up to Gulmarg.

What to bring from home (optional): Some snacks (say 2 meusli bars per day), tea bags, real coffee (we’ll have some to), drink mix like Gatorade, vegemite, single malt whiskey, wine …
A Muslim State

Kashmir is inhabited by believers of Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism but Islam is the dominant religion. You can buy beer in some hotels in Gulmarg, but no everywhere and there is very little hard liquor or wine around. Bring some if you want it. Kashmiris are ethnically and culturally closer to central Asian culture than Indian or Pakistani culture with significant influence of the Persian culture. Kashmiris belong to the Dardic group and their language Kosher is the only Dardic language which has ancient script and is widely spoken

Flying into Srinagar/India Flights from New Delhi to Srinagar mostly operate in the mornings, so you may need to fly into New Delhi the night before.

Visas

Most countries need a visitors visa for India. Some countries can get a visa on arrival (like NZ) but you must apply and get approval online before leaving home.

Gear Required

You need to bring your own avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe (or you can rent it). You can get away with regular skis, bindings and ski boots. But you need to have a touring binding on your ski and bring skins (which attach to the ski base and slide forward and not backwards for walking up hill). This way you are set for what ever the weather and conditions throw at us. Snowboarders should bring walking poles and snow shoes, or split board. It gets down to about -10-15C on the tops, which isn’t too cold when you are skiing. You can get good quality touring gear or skis in Gulmarg. Another option is to take an adapter for your regular downhill ski bindings which is pretty inexpensive and works fine, they are called Alpine Trekker adapters and then you still need some skins.

TRIP OVERVIEW

Day 1:Srinagar- Sonmarg

Arrival at Srinagar Airport one time pickup in afternoon by 1200 hrs. Transfer to SonMarg. One of the most beautiful drives from Srinagar to Leh, the road passes through a never ending landscape of verdant Rice fields till Kangan. At Sonmarg one can take a pony ride (optional) to Thajiwas Glacier. Overnight stay at Sonmarg

Day 2:Sonmarg - Kargil

Early Rise. Post breakfast. Enroute ZojiPass 11575ft visit zero point. After passing Gumri, golden barley fields of Drass are visible. A few kms after Drass is the Kargil War Memorial, built in memory of martyred soldiers. Overnight stay at Kargil

Day 3: Kargil- Leh

Start journey towards Lamayuru. A Big, tenth century stone statue of Maitreya Buddha at Mulbekh carved out of solid rock dating back to 7th or 8th century. Enroute Namik-la one of the highest pass at 12198 ft. A village called Bodh Kharbu passes before crossing Fotula located at 13479 ft is the highest point of Srinagar-Leh Highway. Descent from Fotula will take you to the village of Lamayuru which is famous for the oldest Gompas, visit Moonland at Lamayuru by a short climb on meditation hill. Thereafter proceed to the Likir Monastery to visit the splendid three storeys Dharma wheel Gompa. Here you’ll be awestruck with the sight of the massive Buddha Statues. if time permits we visit Gurudwara Pathir sahib and Magnetic Hill or stop to cover these in return. Reach Leh. Retire for the day.

Day 4:Leh

After Breakfast. Drive to Visit Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace, Leh Hall of Fame( Which has a museum of Kargill war Memorial). Visit Thiksey Monastery, located on a hill-lock with formidable views of the Indus valley, Thiksey is especially noteworthy for its gigantic seated statue of Maitreya and is also known for its (Dukhang) assembly hall which houses hundreds of rectangular prayer books, stacked between wooden covers and bound in silk. After that we continue to drive through series of chortens to visit Shey Palace the former summer palace of the King of Ladakh. 3 Idiots School Campus . Overnight stay at the hotel

Day 5: Leh- Nubra Valley

After breakfast drive to Nubra valley via Khardungla (Highest Motor able Road in the world,18380 ft) Arrive at Hundar by afternoon. Rest of the day, post lunch free to explore Deskit, Hundar Villages and optional Camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hundar Village. Overnight stay at camp.

Day 6: Turtuk Village- Land Of Balti people

Turtuk is the last village of Indo- Pak Border. Small and colorful flowers and apricot trees grow wild here. The village offers views of Beautiful Valley, part of the Shyok Valley. Stroll around this picturesque village with main occupation of farming in fields and breeding animals. Overnight stay at Hundar.

Day 7: Pangong Lake

After breakfast visit Deskit Monastery built on a cliff and drive to Pangong Lake (14500ft). It is the highest saltwater lake in the world, share by one third in India and two third by china. Reach Pangong by afternoon. Evening free time at leisure to explore lake side. Overnight stay at Camp.

Day 8: Pangong - Chumathang - Tsomoriri

After breakfast leave for Tsomoriri. A comfortable journey along the Indus upstream till Mahey Bridge passing through many small villages. At Mahey we cross the Indus to the right and re-enter a narrow gorge. It’s a picturesque drive to Tsomoriri. Camp at Korzok village next to the lake. Evening walk around the Tsomoriri. Overnight stay at the camp

Day 9: Tsomoriri – Leh

Early morning again visit the lake for the sunrise. Return to Leh via Chumathang. Reach Leh in evening. Optional visit to Leh Market. Overnight at Leh

Day 10: Leh To Kargil

Early morning post breakfast. Leave for Kargil. Visit Spituk Monastery. Visit Gurudwara Patthar Sahib and magnetic hill. Break at nimmu Confluence of Indus & zanskar. Basgo Palace Hiking. Drive to Sham Valley and Alchi (70 kms from Leh). Sightseeing of 1000 year old Alchi Monastery the only Gompa of Ladakh region on Flat ground. Reach Kargil. Overnight at Kargil

Day 11: Kargil to Srinagar, Reach Dal lake

Day at Leisure/ optional to spend Afternoon at Shalimar Bagh(built by jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan.) Nishat Bagh, Lake side views, splendid sunsets, greenish landscape, Mughal Gardens, Shankaracharya temple , Dal Lake etc which are the must watch sites of Srinagar. Or go for an evening shikara ride on the Dal lake, visiting floating / vegetable gardens. Night Stay on House Boat.

Day 12: Departure to Airport.

Post Breakfast Free/ optional to visit market and other gardens depending on departure of Flight. Airport one time drop.

TRIP INCLUDES

Hotel

The Dream Ride Motor Bike Expedition to Ladakh

Package Price Details

*Total Distance: 2787 KM

Documents to Carry

Note:

The check-in time is 12 noon/early check-in subject to availability of the room. We require a minimum strength of 6 riders to operate one group. We have the right to cancel the group if we do not get the minimum strength of riders in any group.

 If there are any additional expenses due to bad weather or any other reason beyond the control of the tour operator on account of a hotel stay, transportation, and meals, etc. extra bill will be raised. Neither Adventure Nation nor the participating partners/hotels will be responsible for the additional expenses.

 Adventure Nation is not responsible for any change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control like change in flight and train schedule, cancellation of flights/trains, political disturbances, natural phenomenon, etc

If any group member wants to leave group in-between the tour then he/she has to pay the cost for transportation of bike from point of leaving the tour till Manali drop

Group members would have to get own riding gear. Wearing a helmet, carrying a valid ID proof & Driving license is mandatory.

All guests will be responsible for the safety and security of their own luggage. We will not be at all responsible for the damage/missing / lost luggage. So carry a small daypack bags to carry all expensive things with you.

Compensation for any damage/accident done by you during the tour to other property/person would be directly payable by you.

Inclusions

Section 01: Package without Motorcycle

Accommodation in Hotels / Camps / Guest Houses on double/triple sharing from Day 01 to Day 12

Meals – Breakfast and Dinner starting from Day 1 Dinner to Day 13 Breakfast.

Services of the experienced trip leader and motorbike Mechanic Services of the backup vehicle for a group of more than 10 motorbikes.

First Aid kit and Oxygen cylinder at dispersal with the trip leader. Inner Line permits worth Rs. 800/-

Adventure Insurance (Heli Evac & AMS Covered) worth Rs. 1500/-

Facility to carry luggage in a vehicle restricted to 1 Rucksack / Duffle bag of 60 Liters per motorbike

Section 02: Package with Motorbike

Everything that is included in section 01

Royal Enfield 350cc motorbike

Motorbike Fuel for the complete trip as per the itinerary

Helmet for both rider and pillion

Extra Fuel for back up

Section 03: Package with MUV

Everything that is included in Section 01

Transport in an MUV like Tempo Traveller / Toyota Innova / Mahindra Xylo / Mahindra Scorpio from Day 01 to Day 13 as per the group size

Exclusions:

GST 5%

Personal expenses like Telephone, Laundry, Tips and Table Drinks, etc.

Any Airfare / Rail fare other than what is mentioned in “Inclusions”

Airport, Railway station or Bus stop pick up or drop

The cost of any spare part will be used due to the accidental damage incurred when the motorbike is in the rider’s possession.

The cost incurred to transfer or tow the motorbike in case it is dropped on the way.

Vehicle servicing or maintenance cost

Any lunch and other meals not mentioned in package inclusions

Security deposit per motorbike of Rs. 10,000/-. As per the deposit policy (This is refundable at the end of the trip if there is no damage or spare parts used.)

Parking and monument entry fees during sightseeing.

Any cost incurred due to extension, change of itinerary due to natural calamities, road, blocks, vehicle breakdown, union issues and factors beyond our control

Additional accommodation/food cost incurred due to any delay

The cost for single sharing accommodation will be additional which needs to be confirmed prior.

Riding Gears for rider which can be hired (Knee pads and Elbow guards – Rs. 750/- for the whole trip)

Anything that is not mentioned in the Inclusion section