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Badge of honor

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Staff  January 28, 2010 08:50 AM

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By Sam Lozier, Correspondent 

Ski blogger Sam Lozier is spending a chunk of this winter in Kashmir, India at Gulmarg.

Common sense is often more important than protocol.

Two days ago, Allen and I took a rest day while the rest of our friends tried to ski to Drang, a town that’s down the valley from Gulmarg. In high snow years this is an easy and straightforward run off the Apharwat ridge. Currently, however, as our friends found out firsthand, it’s a pretty heinous walk out on icy shepherd paths.

The funniest part of their experience (and not a lot was funny, especially waiting around for four lost skiers to show up well after nightfall) was the point in their story where they crossed through an army checkpoint using their season’s passes as an ID.

Yes, they passed through a checkpoint with a ski resort season pass.

My first reaction was slight disbelief, which was soon tempered by my quasi-jaded traveler mentality (I’ve been in India for two weeks, ya know, I’ve seen it all…). I started thinking about it more though and it was totally logical. What’s the likelihood of a group of four westerners in shiny new ski gear with the money to spend on season passes actually wanting to do harm to a bunch of westerners? Rather than waste everyone’s time hassling them for papers or searching their stuff, they acknowledged the obvious and waved them through.

It was quite the epiphany to realize that unlike almost everything else here, the military, of all organizations, was the most logical and efficient.

Read and see more of Sam's work at

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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at and


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