Roll of the dice proves frustrating

By Sam Lozier, Correspondent 


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


During the control workday, the upper lift at Gulmarg never opened, while I managed to develop a pretty nice fever, which turned into the dreaded GI-tract illness that every traveler dreads. Yesterday I spent the entire day in bed sleeping, napping, or having my patience for India’s eccentricities (non-stop car honking, the smoky wood heater, etc.) exhausted. 


I managed to get some good dinner down, but woke up today physically exhausted and still not 100 percent. After getting to the lift late and finally getting to the top of the mountain for the first time in days, I found it tracked out by those who’d arrived before me, and clouded in on the lower mountain. Still weak from the fever, I only managed one lap, and spent the rest of today laying around in bed.



It’s frustrating to be in Gulmarg right now, we finally got some much-needed snow, but rather than opening up terrain, it has completely shut down backcountry skiing for at least the next week. At the same time, the storm didn’t reach low enough elevations to enable skiing to Tangmarg, the next town down the mountain, so we’ve been left with skiing the essentially flat terrain under the first stage of the gondola.


Travel is always a roll of the dice, and it’s definitely pretty frustrating right now. Having left stable jobs, girlfriends, pets, and all the other elements of a comfortable home life, many of us are left scratching our heads asking “what now?” We’ve traveled half way around the world chasing the legend of bottomless powder and limitless big mountain terrain, and ended up with less than we started with.


It feels awkward to complain, but it’s getting hard to justify staying in one small corner of India with no snow when there is a nation so large and complex that it’d be impossible to know it in 10 lifetimes at our fingertips. We, and other groups, have started to raise the prospect of traveling to other parts of Kashmir. After all, it’d be both silly and hard to explain passing up a wonderful chance to explore the rest of this huge country.



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