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Reflections on Gulmarg

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By Sam Lozier, Boston.com Correspondent

Ski blogger Sam Lozier is spending a chunk of this winter skiing in India.

As Allen, our new friends Rob and Amit, and I prepare to leave Gulmarg, I felt I would reflect a bit on my experiences here.

 

Gulmarg has been amazing. Despite the fact that it wasnít a banner season, Allen and I met some great people, skied some deep snow, and had a lot of the types of experiences that leave you scratching your head. Things didnít always go well; for the first few weeks we were skiing month-old snow, then, when the snow did finally fall, we were battling crowds for first chair. It was, however, an experience I wouldnít trade for anything. The backcountry is limitless, the people were friendly and helpful, and the experience was worth every penny.

 

To anyone considering a trip to Gulmarg, or Kashmir in general, whether it's to ski at Gulmarg, visit the Mogul Gardens, trek at Sonamarg, or just stay on a houseboat and play a round of golf in Srinigar, I would highly encourage you to follow through on it. Kashmir is a region that has relied heavily on tourism in the past. Despite what the state department may have you believe, Kashmir is a largely peaceful place, and you can play a major role in helping it return to prominence on the Indian tourism circuit simply by visiting. Bringing your tourist dollars to Kashmir will help create real jobs, an exchange of ideas, and, perhaps, a little more attention to the problems that plague the region.

 

Iím writing this from Srinigar, allegedly one of the more dangerous cities in India, yet, Iím comfortable, and having a good time enjoying the sites, the food, and the crazy "what-next?" vibe of Lal Chowk (Central Square) at night. Tomorrow, Allen, Amit, and I will load our things into a taxi and begin our four-day journey to Manali, where hopefully we will arrive just in time to find some high-elevation spring snow and warm valley weather.

 

For those with questions about Gulmarg, I'd encourage you to look at both (snowboardgulmarg.blogspot.com and www.gulmargsnowsafety.com/) for some info on the area. Fair warning: While all the information you would need is on those sites, it won't be clearly presented. A large part of skiing in India is the adventure, and part of the adventure is getting here and around town by yourself.

 

Read and see more of Sam's work at www.famousinternetskiers.com

 

 

 

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