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Skiing to Pakistan

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Staff  January 19, 2010 11:15 AM

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By Sam Lozier, Correspondent


Gulmarg is very (VERY) close to the border with Pakistan. As it still hasn’t snowed in weeks, we’ve been pushing out of the resort and exploring the surrounding drainages for ski potential. Today we headed toward the line of control to see what the terrain was like on the Indian side.


To those familiar with the area, we were headed past the shark fin to ski a chute that looked like it was holding snow pretty well. Unfortunately, it was also very close to the border fence that is the line of control.


It’s a rather curious set of sensations that come over you when you when skiing near the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. We were as awestruck by the beauty of the place as we were the absurdity of recreating near one of the tensest borders in the entire world. Dulling the entire experience thought was the pounding headache I had from hiking at 14k feet to get to the view. 


Further compounding the ridiculousness of the situation was a report that we’d received from a skier who’d been here in previous seasons. He said that it only takes a few storms to completely bury the fence. The unassuming backcountry skier could ski right over the border into Pakistan rather easily. With that in mind, we’ve made an effort to document where exactly the border is, so as not to end up like the hikers that accidentally ended up in Iran.


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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