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Skiing down Kongdoori
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Skiing down Kongdoori

 
Skiing down Kongdoori

Page Type: Route

Location: J&K, India, Asia

Lat/Lon: 34.05000°N / 74.38000°E

Object Title: Skiing down Kongdoori

Season: Winter

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: JP

Created/Edited: Mar 6, 2011 / Mar 24, 2011

Object ID: 702810

Hits: 2322 

Page Score: 0%  - 0 Votes 

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Overview

Kongdoori is a bowl shaped area between Gulmarg and the summit on the Afarwat mountain range in J&K, India. It offers some stunning options for off piste skiers and boarders alike.

Getting There & Stuff

Marketplace
 


Gulmarg is 53 Km from Sri Nagar which is the capital of J&K. Sri Nagar is connected to other cities by air and road. There are ample options from the airports at Delhi and Jammu.

There are very few options for skiing in India unlike Europe and the US. Manali and Dalhousie are accessible but the quality of the snow is poor and the experience is sub par. Auli offers some breathtaking slopes but it is terribly inaccessible. Therefore, inspite of the political unrest and militancy in J&K, I choose to go to Gulmarg quite often.

Well, this year the intention was to try out some off piste routes from the top of Afarwat. A subrange of the Himalayas which stands between India and Pakistan, the Afarwat is 4200+ meters at the highest point. And there are some awesome routes from the top to Gulmarg which sits at 2600m. There are some really steep slopes upto the tree line and even below the tree line the routes are quite challenging.

Sadly, the precipitation this year was really high, which was unexpected. The Avalanche expert at GDA, a veteran skier from New Zealand, suggested that all activity (Skiing, Snowboarding etc) from the top of Afarwat be banned/suspended till the authorities incite an artificial avalanche, to counter the risk of a natural avalanche, which would endanger the lives of the athletes who throng Afarwat.

The news was devastating but I guess I have a habit of seeing the glass half full. The next option was Kongdoor which is at 3400m. Kongdoor is a flat area spread over a few acres and even boasts of a restaurant. A steepish off piste slope of a few 100 meters, joins a long winding ski run with intriguing gradients thrown in for good measure. The run from Kongdoor to Gulmarg is almost entirely below the treeline and hence skiing through the woods is quite an experience. I took Dorje, an instructor at JIM & WS and an avid adventurer, along with me for company. We negotiated the initial off piste part of the route using short, jumpy waddling turns and the remaining part of the route through some high speed stuff. The cold breeze from the woods whizzing past ones ears was freezing and ever so often there would be a surprise in a sharp bend or a bump. Edging the skis only made the action faster. One has to be there to experience real speed. Exhilarating stuff -- really.

Afarwat can wait for a year I guess. If Auli remains inaccessible, may be I will return for Afarwat next year depending on the precipitation and climate. Good bye Gulmarg.
Afarwat
 

Red Tape

HAWS
 

Gulmarg is a popular ski resort. Most slopes are available to Indians and foreigners alike. To get to kongdoori, one might hike up the Afarwat or use the Gondola/telecabine which charges a very nominal fee. Carry your passport and visa papers at all times. That should suffice. Avoid loitering around because Gulmarg is a highly militarized zone. Militancy is high in J&K. Gulmarg, nevertheless, tends to be peaceful all year round.

Camping

Camping is illegal in Gulmarg.

External Links

Blog On The Visit

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-4 of 4    
Bob SihlerRoute?

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

It seems that this would be better if posted as a route, not a mountain, since the information pertains to skiing routes, not to the mountain and its summit.



Also, your pictures did not upload.
Posted Mar 6, 2011 9:13 am
JPRe: Route?

JP

Hasn't voted

I dont mind moving it out of mountains into "route". But there is an option "skiing" in the drop down menu under "mountains" head. If "skiing" should not be under mountains then it doesnt make sense to have a "skiing" option in the drop down menu. Besides, it is off piste skiing, down a "mountain". Let me know if I still need to move it to "routes".



Yeah the snaps didnt upload properly. I am still working on it. Seems like an issue with the bulk uploader. But I am on it.



Regards,

JP
Posted Mar 9, 2011 4:50 am
Bob SihlerRe: Route?

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

It definitely fits better as a route page. The "skiing" option is one of several that you can select as activities available associated with a particular mountain. For example, on a mountain page, you might select "Hiking" and "Trad Climbing" as well if such opportunities existed there. Then you would build route pages for the various options.

Posted Mar 10, 2011 9:21 am
JPRe: Route?

JP

Hasn't voted

Agreed. But that is precisely the point. On the MOUNTAIN page among other options, there are skiing and hiking et al. I havent really mentioned a route here. Just get to the top of a mountain in a certain place and Get Set Go.



Not trying to be a pain. I will move it out of where it is right now. Internet is pretty slow at this moment but I will do it eventually.



JP
Posted Apr 30, 2011 3:27 am

Viewing: 1-4 of 4    

Images

Your trulyAfarwatMarketplaceHAWSDifferent ViewNearing KongdooriKongdoori
Dorje