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Old 03-08-2010, 09:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Its on the kashmir/pakistan border which is a war zone. There is no such thing as car rentals, or ski resorts. restuarants and hotels are what the town is basically made up of as it is a tourist spot for indians in the summer. You just show up and get prices from all the places and divide what they ask for by 2, i was splitting NZ$25 a night for three bed room but you can stay at proper upmarket places for US$100 if you are so inclined. Its one gondola that goes from 2600 meters up to 4000 meters (8500 to 13000 feet) that gives you access to more terrain then you will ever need, but its all unpatrolled (except one bowl) so you need avalanche training and experience as it is one huge as shit mountain range.

I'm so inclined to make a trip out there.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This thread will be huge, killer shots. A few questions on my mind, if you have the time..

What were the conditions like in terms of avy's, storms, temperature? Did you guys see any big breaks, or have any close calls?

And, how many pits do you think you dug total, throughout the trip?

For real, man I am drooling.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Its the real deal in terms of avy danger, Everything above the treeline is steep and avalanche traps are everywhere. We got unlucky and had a big storm in november then nothing untill christmas and then nothing again for a while after that. A huge ass layer a facets grew and when the storms started rolling in it got dangerous. Luckily we had a 4m (13ft) storm roll through that riped the weak layer out and then regular storms so feb was pretty safe, i say luckily but one of the natural avys that went off was so large it entered a 70+ year old forest and killed 17 army men who were training there at the time. In a normal year storms roll through pretty regularly, ie 3 days of snow 5 days blue bird... rince and repeat with low vis days thrown in aswell.

The storms all come from over the back of the mountain range which wind loads the gondola side which can be dangerous but easy to deal with if you get your bearing right. It can be pretty cold in jan and the start of feb, the snow keeps for ages, the pictures of Great White are 7 days after the last storm and as you can see the snow looks mint. Its really only very cold at night when the sun drops behind the mountain but if it was a sunny day i would often board in just a thermal and jacket or even t shirt and jacket.

Saw one big avalanche set off by ski patrol on the gondola bowl and a friend took a 400m ride which he was lucky to survive (I didn't witness it). Other then that there were some burials reported. Some days were a bit sketchy but its all about turning around or knowing what your up agaist and managing that risk. Dug a fair few pits to check on a few persistent weak layers but i hate to place to much emphasis on them.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No doubt. Looks like a place that could kill you quick. Thanks for the answers. When I feel like I'm at the point I can make those risks completely manageable, I will consider Gulmarg hard.

Thanks for sharing, and safe riding.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You don't get left completely in the dark, they have an excellent snow safety team who have a weekly meeting on tuesday nights and they give everyone the low down on conditions and what they see happening. Along with a rating for the alpine and tree line (ie. moderate). Don't know if it will be the same team next year though.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A few fish eye photos from the trip;

Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHnMc...eature=related

Smoking up with a village elder in our bedroom (the roof) in an indian village for a wedding



weeewooo



During the wedding ceremony it is common to have ladyboys dance on horses... well they did anyway



Wedding presetion coming down the road, view from the roof of the brides house



Dj rave rave, no girls allowed.





Srinagar Old City







view from our house boat

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Back to the snow...

Looking off the back of monkey hill mid skin





Sun on its way down



The way down to babarishi shrine, not enough snow for it when this was taken.



more of Great White



huck your meat





view from the loo, delhi belly can strike anywhere.





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Old 03-08-2010, 10:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Being lazy and catching a taxi to the gondola (1.5 km away)



Gondola midstation, over crowded as you can clearly see.



Skins on, beacons on, strapped in, ready to go.



Top gondola station on the right, people hiking the summit and indians being tourists on the left



hanging out in the sun over the back of the range, late feb



splitboards on standby



Overnight trip options... endless

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Get some.


This pic is SOOO FUCKING EPPICCC!!!!! Love it

The music is sick to/// great damn post
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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OMG. The best trip review I've seen. Reminds me of an article I read in Frequency magazine...old stove included in that pic.

Awesome trip! Seriously.

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